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RULE §203.42Notice and Hearings

(a) Upon Staff Attorney approval of an Investigative Report (Report) finding a violation has occurred, the Investigator will send the Respondent(s) a copy of the Report and a letter notifying the Respondent(s) of the Commission's determination to assess an administrative penalty and/or sanction the Respondent's license(s).

(b) The Respondent(s) has 30 days from receipt of the letter to respond to this correspondence. The Respondent(s) can accept the Commission's determination or can request to settle the case by formal or informal methods. Failure to respond within 30 days waives the right to a hearing and requires payment of the assessed penalty and/or enforcement of the license sanction.

(c) Informal methods to settle a case can include the following options:

  (1) Informal negotiation with the Staff Attorney or

  (2) Informal settlement conference with Executive Director, Staff Attorney and Investigator. Additionally, the complainant shall be given an opportunity to present his/her allegations at the settlement conference.

(d) If the Respondent accepts the Commission's determination to assess an administrative penalty and/or license sanction or if a settlement is reached via informal methods, the Respondent shall pay the penalty or shall enter into an Agreed Order with the Commission which is signed by the Executive Director. Once an Agreed Order is signed or the penalty is paid, the case is closed.

(e) If no resolution is reached as outlined by subsection (d) of this section, the Respondent is sent a Notice of Hearing and Complaint and the Commission sets the case on the SOAH Docket for a hearing before a SOAH Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).

(f) Once the ALJ renders a Proposal for Decision (PFD), the PFD is presented to the Commissioners at the Commission's next regularly scheduled meeting.

(g) The Commissioners accept or modify the PFD by Commission Order.

(h) The Respondent can either accept the Commission's Order, or after exhausting all administrative remedies, the Respondent can appeal the Commission's decision by filing suit for judicial review in accordance with Government Code, Chapter 2001, and Occupations Code §651.555.

(i) All correspondence to the Respondent(s) will be sent by both certified mail and first class mail to the Respondent's address of record on file with the Commission.

(j) The Commission will notify the Complainant of the final disposition of the complaint.

(k) Government Code §§2001.051 - 2001.103; Occupations Code §651.506; and SOAH's Rules of Practice and Procedure (Tex. Admin. Code, Title 1, §155) govern hearings held at SOAH.

(l) The Commission's Alternative Dispute Resolution Policy and Procedure Rule, found in §207.1 of this title, and SOAH's Rules of Practice and Procedure, Tex. Admin. Code, Title 1, §155.351, govern ADR with Commission staff and mediation at SOAH.

Source Note: The provisions of this §203.42 adopted to be effective October 18, 2015, 40 TexReg 7070; amended to be effective October 3, 2019, 44 TexReg 5625

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