(a) The administrative law judge of the Medical Quality Hearing Panel established pursuant to Section 11371 may issue an interim order suspending a license, imposing drug testing, continuing education, supervision of procedures, limitations on the authority to prescribe, furnish, administer, or dispense controlled substances, or other license restrictions. Interim orders may be issued only if the affidavits in support of the petition show that the licensee has engaged in, or is about to engage in, acts or omissions constituting a violation of the Medical Practice Act or the appropriate practice act governing each allied health profession, or is unable to practice safely due to a mental or physical condition, and that permitting the licensee to continue to engage in the profession for which the license was issued will endanger the public health, safety, or welfare. The failure to comply with an order issued pursuant to Section 820 of the Business and Professions Code may constitute grounds to issue an interim suspension order under this section.
(b) All orders authorized by this section shall be issued only after a hearing conducted pursuant to subdivision (d), unless it appears from the facts shown by affidavit that serious injury would result to the public before the matter can be heard on notice. Except as provided in subdivision (c), the licensee shall receive at least 15 days’ prior notice of the hearing, which notice shall include affidavits and all other information in support of the order.
(c) If an interim order is issued without notice, the administrative law judge who issued the order without notice shall cause the licensee to be notified of the order, including affidavits and all other information in support of the order by a 24-hour delivery service. That notice shall also include the date of the hearing on the order, which shall be conducted in accordance with the requirement of subdivision (d), not later than 20 days from the date of issuance. The order shall be dissolved unless the requirements of subdivision (a) are satisfied.
(d) For the purposes of the hearing conducted pursuant to this section, the licentiate shall, at a minimum, have the following rights:
(1) To be represented by counsel.
(2) To have a record made of the proceedings, copies of which may be obtained by the licentiate upon payment of any reasonable charges associated with the record.
(3) To present written evidence in the form of relevant declarations, affidavits, and documents.
The discretion of the administrative law judge to permit testimony at the hearing conducted pursuant to this section shall be identical to the discretion of a superior court judge to permit testimony at a hearing conducted pursuant to Section 527 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(4) To present oral argument.
(e) Consistent with the burden and standards of proof applicable to a preliminary injunction entered under Section 527 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the administrative law judge shall grant the interim order if, in the exercise of discretion, the administrative law judge concludes that:
(1) There is a reasonable probability that the petitioner will prevail in the underlying action.
(2) The likelihood of injury to the public in not issuing the order outweighs the likelihood of injury to the licensee in issuing the order.
(f) In all cases in which an interim order is issued, and an accusation or petition to revoke probation is not filed and served pursuant to Sections 11503 and 11505 within 30 days of the date on which the parties to the hearing on the interim order have submitted the matter, the order shall be dissolved.
Upon service of the accusation or petition to revoke probation the licensee shall have, in addition to the rights granted by this section, all of the rights and privileges available as specified in this chapter. If the licensee requests a hearing on the accusation, the board shall provide the licensee with a hearing within 30 days of the request, unless the licensee stipulates to a later hearing, and a decision within 15 days of the date the decision is received from the administrative law judge, or the board shall nullify the interim order previously issued, unless good cause can be shown by the Division of Medical Quality for a delay.
(g) If an interim order is issued, a written decision shall be prepared within 15 days of the hearing, by the administrative law judge, including findings of fact and a conclusion articulating the connection between the evidence produced at the hearing and the decision reached.
(h) Notwithstanding the fact that interim orders issued pursuant to this section are not issued after a hearing as otherwise required by this chapter, interim orders so issued shall be subject to judicial review pursuant to Section 1094.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The relief that may be ordered shall be limited to a stay of the interim order. Interim orders issued pursuant to this section are final interim orders and, if not dissolved pursuant to subdivision (c) or (f), may only be challenged administratively at the hearing on the accusation.
(i) The interim order provided for by this section shall be:
(1) In addition to, and not a limitation on, the authority to seek injunctive relief provided for in the Business and Professions Code.
(2) A limitation on the emergency decision procedure provided in Article 13 (commencing with Section 11460.10) of Chapter 4.5.
(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 775, Sec. 110. (SB 798) Effective January 1, 2018.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018