Perhaps you are aware that a CA Professional Licensing Agency or Board such as the CA Department of Consumer Affairs, the CA Medical Board, the CA Dental Board, the CA Bureau of Real Estate, the CA Pharmacy Board, the CA Physical Therapy Board, the CA Respiratory Care Board, the CA Board of Registered Nursing, the CA Licensed Vocational Nursing Board, the CA Board of Behavioral Sciences, the CA Chiropractic Board or the CA Department of Insurance is investigating your “fitness” or “moral character” to hold such a license.
Perhaps you were contacted by an investigator with the applicable board, such as an investigator with the CA Department of Consumers Affairs. Or, you were informed that your CA professional license application was denied and you have requested an appeal of that denial in the form of an administrative hearing pursuant to the CA Administrative Procedures Act and CA Government Code.
In such situations, as you may know, the administrative proceedings begin once you, the licensee or license applicant, receive an Accusation (for license holders) or a Statement of Issues (for license applicants). However, it can take a very long time to receive such documents which are generated either by the licensing agency itself or its counsel – often the CA Attorney General’s Office.
This often long waiting period for the Accusation to arrive in the mail is usually not a problem for the license holder since they have the license during the waiting period. However, this long delay can be very frustrating for a license applicant who is anxious to have their administrative hearing and get their license so that they can work in their chosen profession (credentialed teaching, nursing, being a real estate broker or appraiser, a veterinarian, a court reporter, etc…).
Unfortunately, most CA professional licensing agencies are not bound by a formal statute of limitations in terms of issuing a Statement of Issues or Accusation or bringing a case to administrative hearing. Thus it could take a two or three years from the time an individual submits their application until they get their Statement of Issues and/or administrative hearing to contest the CA professional license denial.
However, if a CA licensing board takes an inordinate amount of time to bring a case to hearing , there are defenses at the licensee’s or license applicant’s disposal. These defenses, including “laches” and “estoppel,” are very sophisticated and best raised by a CA professional license defense attorney like Jonathan Turner. For example, the defense of laches entails arguing that because the CA professional licensing agency dragged its feet in bringing a matter to hearing (as well as issuing the Accusation or Statement of Issues), the licensee or license applicant has been prejudiced.
An example of laches is the case of a registered nurse accused of unprofessional conduct and/or gross negligence while on the job. The alleged incident may have occurred 2, 3 or 4 years prior to the administrative hearing. As a result to this passage of time, witnesses’ memories have faded so that they cannot remember the incident at issue. Such a scenario, which is not uncommon in CA professional licensing discipline cases, may result in a successful laches defense and the dismissal of the CA nursing board’s Accusation.
In short, if you are a CA professional licensee or license applicant, and are waiting for a Statement of Issues or Accusation, contact CA professional license defense attorney Jonathan Turner right away.
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