The Intake Stage is the first stage in the case handling process. Complaints are received in the Division of Legal Services and Compliance (DLSC) and processed.
Copies of the complaint and related information are then screened by Board Screening Panels and DLSC staff to determine if an investigation is warranted. Complaints that do not warrant investigation are closed. Complaints that appear to have merit, or require further investigation, are identified for investigative action and a case is opened.
The Investigation Stage is the next stage in the case handling process. The assigned DLSC investigator and attorney develop an investigative plan. Investigative staff gather necessary evidence and make contacts with witnesses as needed. A board member is consulted on issues requiring professional expertise. The results of the investigation are provided to and discussed with the case advisor. Cases that do not warrant professional discipline are closed. Cases with violations proceed to the next stage for legal action.
The third stage is the Legal Action Stage. In this stage, DLSC compliance attorneys review the results of the investigation and pursue disciplinary action when appropriate. Cases may resolve by means of stipulated agreements, informal settlement conferences, or administrative warnings. The case advisor will be asked for assistance on matters involving professional expertise and for their opinion on appropriate case resolution.
The fourth stage is the Hearing Stage. This is a formal legal process and results if no satisfactory resolution is available at the Legal Action Stage. The DLSC attorney litigates the case before an administrative law judge (ALJ). The ALJ issues a proposed decision which is reviewed by the credentialing board or department. If a violation is found, discipline may be imposed. Disciplinary orders may include reprimand, limitation, suspension, and revocation.
Orders are monitored for compliance by DLSC monitoring staff.