File a Complaint
To begin the complaint process, download the complaint form, complete it, and mail it to the contact person and address specified on the form.
What happens after a disciplinary complaint is filed?
1) The complaint is screened. The Office evaluates: (a.) whether the professional activity in question is within OPR’s jurisdiction, and (b.) whether the conduct described, if proven, would be actionable as unprofessional conduct.
2) When a complaint meets the criteria above, a case is opened and assigned a number. Urgent dangers to the public health, safety, or welfare are flagged for summary proceedings.
3) The Office notifies the complainant when a case has been opened or screened. The Office also notifies the subject of the complaint (called the “respondent”), except where there is an investigative reason not to. When appropriate, the Office often sends a copy of the complaint and requests a response.
4) An investigative team is assigned. The team includes a case manager, an investigator, a board member or advisor with expertise in the profession, and a prosecuting attorney. The case manager is a complainant’s primary point of contact for updates on the status of an investigation.
5) The investigator ordinarily contacts the complainant, respondent, and other relevant witnesses. The investigator gathers written documentation, records, and evidence. Depending on the nature and complexity of a case, investigations may take six to nine months to complete.
6) Findings are analyzed. The team reviews the investigator’s findings and may request additional information or suggest additional avenues of inquiry.
7) A charging decision is made. Once the team is satisfied that the issue in question is understood, the prosecuting attorney determines whether to pursue disciplinary action by filing formal charges. Formal disciplinary charges ordinarily take five to ten months to resolve.
8) The case is either closed or charged. Where a case is closed without charges, the investigative details and identity of the respondent remain confidential, and a brief report is sent to the complainant, respondent, and relevant board. Where the prosecuting attorney files disciplinary charges, those charges and any subsequent proceedings, findings, and orders are public.
9) Charges are adjudicated. Charges may be resolved by an agreement, called a stipulation, or may proceed to a hearing before the relevant board or before an administrative law officer.
10) A sanction may be imposed. The professional disciplinary process focuses on the competence, conduct, and fitness of a licensee to practice. If there is a finding of unprofessional conduct, available sanctions range from a warning, to practice supervision, to remedial coursework, to suspension for a period of time, to permanent revocation of a license. The Office does not have authority to order restitution to an aggrieved complainant. Complainants seeking restitution should consult an attorney, consult the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Attorney General, or pursue a claim in small claims court.