.16 Complaints and Hearing Procedures.

A. Filing of Complaints. Any person, public officer, or association or the Board may submit a complaint against any licensee or AIT for due cause.

B. Representation by Counsel.

(1) A respondent may be represented by counsel in any matter before the Board and at any stage of the proceedings.

(2) If the matter goes to a hearing, a respondent shall be represented by:

(a) The respondent; or

(b) By an attorney who is:

(i) Admitted to the Maryland Bar; or

(ii) Specially admitted to practice law pursuant to Maryland Rule 14.

(3) An administrative prosecutor assigned to the Board by the Office of the Attorney General shall prosecute disciplinary matters in Board proceedings.

(4) The Board may be represented by and obtain advice of counsel assigned to it by the Office of the Attorney General in all proceedings.

C. Confidentiality of Proceedings.

(1) Except as otherwise provided by law, the proceedings of the Board are confidential. The parties may not waive the confidentiality provided by this regulation.

(2) The Office of Administrative Hearings' proceedings involving the adjudication of a Board-contested case and the administrative law judge's recommended decision are confidential. The respondent may not waive the confidentiality of the proceedings or of the residents whose medical records or care are reflected in the record of the proceedings.

(3) To the extent possible, even after a final order is issued by the Board, the parties may not reveal the identity of any residents referred to in the Board's order.

D. Investigation of Complaints.

(1) On receipt of a complaint, the administrative personnel shall:

(a) Send an acknowledgement letter to the complainant; and

(b) Present the complaint to the disciplinary subcommittee of the Board.

(2) The Board's disciplinary subcommittee shall:

(a) Review a complaint over which the Board has jurisdiction; and

(b) Make a recommendation to the Board as to the disposition of the complaint.

(3) The Board may send a copy of the complaint, either in its entirety or redacted, to the licensee who is the subject of the complaint to obtain a response to the allegations made in the complaint.

(4) Participation in review of complaints made to the Board is not a basis for recusal of a Board member, Board counsel, or the administrative prosecutor from further proceedings in the case.

(5) The Board may issue subpoenas over the signature of:

(a) The Board's executive director; or

(b) A Board member.

E. Prosecution of Complaints.

(1) For each complaint, after reviewing the complaint, any investigative material, and the disciplinary subcommittee’s recommendation, the Board shall:

(a) Close the case;

(b) Close the case with a nonpublic informal advisory letter to the licensee; or

(c) Vote to take the following disciplinary action or actions:

(i) Charge the licensee with a violation or violations of Health Occupations Article, §9-314, Annotated Code of Maryland, or a violation or violations of COMAR;

(ii) Summarily suspend a license or issue a Notice of Intent to Summarily Suspend;

(iii) Deny an application for licensure; or

(iv) Issue a cease and desist order.

(2) After a vote for disciplinary action or actions, the matter shall be referred to an administrative prosecutor for prosecutorial action.

(3) After the administrative prosecutor has drafted the notice or order of the disciplinary action or actions, if acceptable, a Board officer or the Board executive director shall sign the notice or order of the disciplinary action or actions and the licensee, applicant, or individual shall be served.