Adjudication Process

Adjudication Process if wrongdoing is alleged

Outlined below is a brief overview of the process generally followed when an initial investigation of a complaint or report of wrongdoing indicates a legal cause for action.  Examples of legal causes would be the violation of the practice act governing the health care professional's license and practice or one of the applicable Board rules.

  1. If the complaint indicates a legal cause for action, the health care professional is typically notified in writing of the nature of the complaint and asked for a written reply and/or invited to meet with the Board's Investigating Officer (the "I/O") to discuss the matter.
  2. The I/O has three options to conclude the investigation of a complaint: (I) dismissal if there is no violation of the law or rules; (ii) a negotiated disposition with the applicant or licensee, which is called  a Consent Order; or (iii) filing administrative charges to be followed by a hearing before the Board. Any of these options must be approved by the Board.
  3. If the Investigation department finds sufficient evidence to initiate proceedings, a complaint signed by the I/O will be filed against the licensee, who will be named as the Respondent.
  4. The Respondent will receive a description of the complaint and the rules or laws alleged to have been violated, and will have 15 days from receipt to respond to the complaint if desired.
  5. The Respondent is then served with the complaint, provided with the Board's rules of adjudication, advised of the right to counsel, informed how to subpoena documents and witnesses to testify at the hearing, and invited to attend a pre-hearing conference. Respondent may, at his or her costs, enlist the services of an attorney to represent Respondent's interests in the matter.
  6. A pre-hearing conference is held with the Board's independent legal counsel, the Respondent (or Respondent's counsel) and counsel for the I/O (who is referred to as the Complainant) to discuss matters pertinent to the hearing and to select a hearing date.
  7. Respondent will be given appropriate notice of the hearing through registered return receipt mail or by personal delivery.
  8. Before the hearing the Respondent may engage in discovery and file prehearing motions; during the hearing the Respondent may cross-examine adverse witnesses, present exhibits and call witnesses on his or her own behalf. 
  9. The hearing is conducted before a panel of the Board and is transcribed by a court reporter.
  10. Following the hearing the Board renders a written opinion. [Note: If the continuing practice of a licensee is considered a threat to public safety, emergency action may be taken to summarily suspend the license of the Respondent immediately i.e., before a hearing. If the Respondent’s license is summarily suspended, the hearing will take place no longer than 60 days from the date of suspension].
  11. If the Board determines that Respondent has violated the applicable law or rules, it may deny an applicant's application, or revoke, suspend, or impose probationary terms and conditions on an individual's license, registration or certificate. In addition, some practice acts administered by the Board permit it to assess the Respondent with an administrative fine, fees and costs attendant to the hearing.
  12. A party aggrieved by a Board decision may a request rehearing by the Board or file a petition for judicial review with the courts.

Specific instructions and protocols pertaining to the hearing and events surrounding it are documented in the full description of this process, which can be found in Chapter 99 of the Board’s Rules, as well as the Louisiana Administrative Procedure Act, La. R.S. 49:951 et seq.