Administrative Complaints are legal documents filed by a state agency or department that charges a licensee with a violation of the law. Administrative Complaints or “ACs” are filed by the state and served on a business or professional either by a personal process server (someone handing the papers to you) or via certified mail. Do not avoid an Administrative Complaint if your licensing agency is trying to serve you. It is best to accept service of the AC and then immediately consult with an attorney experienced in handling such cases. If you avoid service the government usually after a period of time simply publishes a notice about the case in a newspaper of general circulation and proceeds to revoke your license.
If you have been served with an Administrative Complaint you usually have a deadline, in most cases, of 21-days to file a response with the agency or department that is initiating the case against you. If you fail to respond you lose your right to contest the action and the state will proceed to revoke your license. If you are served with an Administrative Complaint here are some immediate steps that you should follow:
STEP 1 Contact an attorney who is experienced in representing people with administrative law cases.
STEP 2 Gather the Administrative Complaint and any other documents which the state agency may have sent you. Also, you may have known you were being investigated prior to the filing of the Administrative Complaint and may have received a letter or correspondence notifying you that you are the subject of an investigation. You may have even written the state agency and given them a statement i.e, your side of the story. All of these documents should be gathered quickly for review by an experienced attorney.
STEP 3 Do not talk to anyone until you have consulted with an experienced attorney about your rights. Generally, business and professional licensees do not have to speak to investigators who have counsel. There are some exceptions to this however depending on the type of license.
It cannot be overemphasized that you must act quickly to consult with an attorney and decide how to respond to the complaint. Failure to do so could result in a revocation of your rights and specifically your license.