A. Surrender of License.
(1) The Board may require conditions for surrender of a license, including:
(a) An admission of a violation of the Maryland Audiologists, Hearing Aid Dispensers, and Speech-Language Pathologists Act;
(b) An admission of facts;
(c) A statement of the circumstances under which the surrender was offered or accepted;
(d) Restrictions on future licensure;
(e) Conditions for reinstatement of the license; or
(f) An agreement that the respondent may not apply for reinstatement of the license.
(2) Unless the Board determines that disclosure of the surrender is not in the public interest, a letter of surrender is a final order of the Board and is a public record under State Government Article, §10-611, Annotated Code of Maryland.
B. Hearings on Charges or Notice of Initial Denial.
(1) Hearings shall be conducted under State Government Article, Title 10, Annotated Code of Maryland.
(2) The Board may delegate its authority to hear contested cases to the Office of Administrative Hearings on a case-by-case basis.
(3) Proceedings may not be open to the public.
(4) All records, including the recommended decision, shall be confidential and sealed.
(5) If a matter has been delegated to the Office of Administrative Hearings, the administrative law judge presiding over the proceedings shall issue to the Board a recommended decision containing:
(a) Proposed or final findings of fact;
(b) Proposed or final conclusions of law;
(c) A proposed sanction; or
(d) Any combination of §B(5)(a)(c) of this regulation pursuant to the Board's delegation.
C. Burden of Proof.
(1) An applicant or licensee issued a notice of initial denial by the Board has the burden to demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that the applicant or licensee is entitled to licensure or other benefit the Board has initially denied.
(2) The administrative prosecutor has the burden to demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that the licensee has committed a violation or violations of the Maryland Audiologists, Hearing Aid Dispensers, and Speech-Language Pathologists Act.
D. Exceptions and Exceptions Hearing.
(1) If a matter has been delegated by the Board to the Office of Administrative Hearings, a party may file exceptions to the administrative law judge's proposed findings of fact, proposed conclusions of law, and proposed sanction, as set out in the recommended decision, before the Board makes a final decision.
(2) Unless otherwise permitted by the Board, within 15 days after the issuance of the recommended decision, or as otherwise specified by the administrative law judge in the recommended decision, either party may file written exceptions with the Board.
(3) Unless otherwise permitted by the Board, a party's written exceptions may not be longer than 25 double-spaced pages, and shall state with particularity the finding of fact, conclusion of law, or other matter excepted to, and the relevant portions of the record supporting the party's exception.
(4) Unless otherwise permitted by the Board, within 10 days after a party's exceptions are filed with the Board, the opposing party may file an answer to exceptions.
(5) Unless otherwise permitted by the Board, a party's answer to exceptions may not be longer than 25 double-spaced pages, and shall state with particularity a response to an exception and the relevant portions of the record supporting that response.
(6) Unless otherwise permitted, the Board may not consider a party's response to an answer to exceptions.
(7) Unless otherwise agreed by the parties and permitted by the Board, an exceptions hearing shall be scheduled for the next meeting of the Board after receipt of the parties' exceptions and any answer to exceptions.
(8) Exceptions Hearing.
(a) An exceptions hearing shall be held before the Board.
(b) The hearing shall be a nonevidentiary hearing to provide the parties with an opportunity for oral argument on the exceptions and answers to exceptions.
(c) The Board member presiding at the hearing shall determine all procedural issues and may impose reasonable time limits on each party's oral argument.
(d) The presiding Board member shall make rulings reasonably necessary to facilitate the effective and efficient progress of the hearing.
(e) The respondent and the administrative prosecutor each may not exceed 30 minutes to present oral argument.
(f) The party who filed the exceptions shall proceed first and may reserve part of the allotted time for rebuttal.
(9) Unless otherwise agreed by the parties and permitted by the Board, the parties may not, in an answer to exceptions or in the hearing on exceptions, reference any document or other evidence or offer an exhibit that is outside the record of the evidentiary hearing before the administrative law judge.
(10) If neither party files exceptions within the time specified in §D(2) of this regulation, the Board shall consider only the recommended decision of the administrative law judge and the record of the evidentiary hearing in making its final decision.
E. Board Final Decision and Order.
(1) After review of the record and deliberation, the Board shall issue a final order consisting of findings of fact, conclusions of law, and the sanction or disposition to be imposed.
(2) Upon a finding that there has been a violation of the Maryland Audiologists, Hearing Aid Dispensers, and Speech-Language Pathologists Act, the Board may order that the licensee be fined, reprimanded, placed on probation, or the license suspended or revoked.