Please read the following information carefully with the understanding that this is a brief and general summary.
1. The State Board of Psychology has the responsibility to enforce the Laws and Rules Governing Psychologists set forth in ORC and OAC Chapters 4732. The Board has the authority to deny an application for licensure, or reprimand, suspend or revoke a license. The Board does not have the authority to: reward financial compensation; mandate financial reimbursements; or intervene in litigation.
2. After receipt of a formal complaint, including valid authorizations to release confidential information and a written narrative describing the alleged misconduct, an acknowledgement letter will be mailed to the complainant. The assigned investigator and a supervising Board Member will review the complaint and any supplemental information provided.
3. After a thorough review by the assigned investigator and the supervising Board Member, the complainant may be asked to provide additional information, such as documentation, physical evidence, or clarification of information already provided.
4. The investigator may interview the license holder or applicant and/or require him or her to respond to a written inquiry regarding allegations and/or other identified concerns. In every case the license holder or applicant will be informed that a complaint was filed, the complainant’s name, and the final disposition of the complaint.
5. Complaints may be closed with no formal action even when violations of rules appear to be present. Each complaint presents a unique set of circumstances and legal challenges and is reviewed on a case by case basis to determine if formal action will be pursued. Per Board policy, there is a second level independent review of all complaints before they are closed without formal action. Cases closed without formal action do not become a public record, and all portions of the investigative file are confidential and exempt from public disclosure under current public record laws.
6. When agents of the Board believe that a serious violation appears to have occurred and formal action is warranted, agents of the Board may seek to negotiate a Consent Agreement. Any Agreement must be approved both by the licensee/applicant and the Board. Negotiated Agreements are presented to the members of the Ohio Board of Psychology for approval or rejection during regularly scheduled Board meetings. A Consent Agreement typically contains a general fact pattern, agreed violations of laws and/or rules, and any agreed disciplinary action.
7. When a serious violation is believed to have occurred but no Consent Agreement is reached with the licensee/applicant, the Board may file formal charges by issuing a Notice of Opportunity for Hearing. If the Board approves a Notice, the license holder/applicant is entitled to significant due process rights and may request a public administrative hearing.
8. If an administrative hearing is scheduled, the complainant may be subpoenaed to testify as a witness. The Assistant Attorney General assigned to the Board will present the Board’s case and guide the preparation of witness testimony and the presentation of evidence. The license holder/applicant also has the right to be represented by counsel, call witnesses, present evidence and conduct an examination of the complainant.
9. After a hearing, the Board determines what disciplinary action, if any, will be ordered. Any Order of the Board setting forth a disciplinary action may be appealed by the licensee/applicant through the courts. Some orders of regulatory board are overturned by courts during a process that can take several years.
10. When the Board files formal charges or takes formal action against a license holder/applicant, under current law some of the contents of the investigative file may become a "public record." Testimony and evidence produced during a formal administrative hearing may be subject to public record laws. Medical records (including psychological treatment records) are typically protected and will not become a public record unless under order of a court.
The investigative process may take a year or longer to complete, although this is not the case for all investigations. Your patience is appreciated during this process.
Revised January 2014