After receiving a notification that a complaint was levied against you as a professional, your heart sinks and you begin preparing for the formal hearing in front of the Department of Administrative Hearings (DOAH). And, ultimately, the worst-case scenario happens: your professional license is revoked. How are you going to continue providing for you and your family?
This might feel like the end of the line, but it’s not. You have an appeals process to initiate, which could end up with your license getting reinstated. This blog will take a look at the process for appealing either an adverse ruling from an administrative law judge or an order entered into by the head of the agency that oversees your professional licensing.
Continuing your business operations as normal, when your professional license is otherwise suspended or revoked, is typically a felony in Florida. So, what are you to do when the DOAH or an agency head has revoked or suspended your license and you’re waiting on the outcome of the appeal? You might be able to get a temporary stay of the final order by applying for supersedeas relief. This is non-automatic; you must take this action yourself.
You might not be successful with this petition if the agency overseeing your professional licensing convinces the court that granting supersedeas would pose “probable danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the state.” In some cases, you might be able to receive supersedeas within a couple of weeks after the final order. If you’re successful, you will be able to continue doing business until your appeal is decided.
Chapter 120, Section 68 of the Florida Statutes allow licensees 30 days to appeal the decision of an agency or administrative law judge. You will generally file the appeals petition in the appellate district of the appropriate agency’s headquarters or in the district where you reside.
One of the most important things to know is that arguing about the facts of your case will get you nowhere in front of the court. If factual errors surface, the appellate court will remand the case back to the lower level. In your appeal, your attorney must successfully argue that a legal error was made when forming the recommendation or decision to revoke or suspend your license. For instance, the law was incorrectly interpreted or applied in the decision.
After an administrative law judge or an agency head makes the decision to suspend or revoke your license, the stakes are raised even higher in the appeals process. It takes an especially knowledgeable and experienced attorney to successfully navigate this complex legal process. Attorney Barry M. Wax is well-equipped to respond to any threats to your livelihood as a professional licensee in Florida. Give the firm a call today to receive a free initial consultation.