Every professional in the state of North Carolina has the right to judicial review of an occupational licensing board decision as stipulated in North Carolina General Statute §150B-43. What this means is that the licensee can appeal any Board or government agency decision concerning his/her license after she/he has had a disciplinary hearing. The appeal of that decision is to the superior court in the county in which the licensee resides. A superior court judge, not jury, will hear the appeal as long as the appeal is filed within 30 days of the licensing board/agency’s decision. This process may vary slightly as some Boards may provide an alternate adequate procedure for judicial remedy under their own statute or administrative code.
What Happens After a Petition for Review is Filed?
After a licensee files a petition for review, which appeals the agency/board’s decision, the agency or board will transmit to the court the original or certified copy of the ‘official record’ of the contested case that shall be reviewed. Now, the record may be shortened, but both parties have to stipulate to the shortening of the record first. However, it may be recommended to stipulate to the record because if a party unreasonably does not then the court may tax additional cost to the refusing party. The petitioner must serve all parties of record to the administrative proceedings by personal service or certified mail under NCGS §150B-46.
Is My License Still Active Pending An Appeal?
Most likely, unless the licensing board or agency has filed, and been granted, an injunction prohibiting you from practicing under your license. If no injunction has been granted, then the licensee may continue to practice under her/his license until a decision is permanently rendered.
If the outcome of the judicial review goes in favor of the board/agency, then the licensee can appeal the judicial review to the NC Court of Appeals. This must be done within 30 days of the entry of the judgement signed by the superior court judge. To maintain licensure status, the licensee must apply for a stay of the administrative decision to the court that issued the judgement.
Can I Present New Evidence at a Review Hearing in Superior Court?
Potentially, but only if the court determines that the new evidence is material to the issues that will be heard. The evidence also must not have been reasonably available for presentation at the administrative hearing. The judge can remand the case back to the board or agency to hear the new evidence. This is assuming that there is new evidence that could not have reasonably been presented at the administrative hearing. If the board or agency hears the new evidence, then the superior court would have a new record which will contain the new evidence.
If you are facing professional license discipline, make sure you know what steps you need to take to safeguard your livelihood. North State Law defends all types of professional licenses throughout the state of North Carolina. Call us today at 919-521-8810 if your professional license is in danger.