Defense Attorneys for Licensed Professionals

Howell, Buchan & Strong - Professional License Defense Attorneys in Florida

How to Survive After Receiving a Department of Business and Professional Regulation Complaint or Denial

When the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) issues an administrative complaint or denial of your professional renewal license, you need to know how to keep working. The DBPR will issue an Administrative Complaint (A.C.) seeking revocation or suspension of your license or a denial of your renewal license. There are statutory provisions that help you keep working and not get shut down when litigating with the DBPR and the case is sent to the Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH). In this blog, we’ll illustrate the steps you can take to protect your livelihood. 

Step 1

After receiving the complaint or denial it is crucial that you file your Election of Rights (EOR) form or contact an attorney to prepare a request for a hearing. 

Time is of the essence! You only have 21 days after receiving any of these notices to file the EOR. If not filed in time, the Department will default your case. If you do not complete the EOR form correctly, the DBPR will give you one chance to correct it. If it is not corrected to pass review, the DBPR will proceed to default your case. You do not want this to happen!

When completing the EOR form, you also need to choose between an informal hearing and a formal hearing. It is helpful to have an attorney skilled in administrative law to assist in this decision-making process. Upon filing your EOR or request for a hearing, there are a few statutes that apply to help you keep working. 

Note: Licensees should be reminded that if they continue to operate while the complaint or denial is pending, they must continue to comply with all applicable statutes, including filing renewal applications. 

Step 2

Equally important is that you seek a stay after the Department enters a Final Order on a complaint seeking revocation or suspension or denial of your renewal license. Step two is when you need to seek a court’s assistance to stay in business.

At this point, you need to appeal the Final Order and seek assistance from an appellate court. It is crucial to take an appeal within thirty (30) days of the “rendition of the Final Order” by the DBPR. If an appeal is not taken, this right vanishes. After the appeal is filed, the licensee must seek a request for a stay or halting of enforcement of the Final Order issued by the DBPR. 

A stay must be granted by an appellate court so that you are not required to cease practicing your profession. There are five (5) appellate courts in Florida. A licensee can seek help from either the District Court of Appeals (DCA) from their home county or the DCA where the agency is located. An administrative law attorney with appellate experience can assist in seeking the stay before a specific District Court of Appeal. 

Contact Howell, Buchan & Strong if you need assistance for: 

  • Review of the Department’s Administrative Complaint or denial of your renewal license,
  • Advice and counsel on options to save our license and keep practicing,
  • Discussing ways to stay (or “freeze) the DBPR’s attempt to suspend or revoke your license, and
  • Representing you against the Department in legal proceedings.
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