Criminal Convictions and Pharmacist Discipline in California
California Criminal Defense Lawyers

Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in California face discipline by the Board of Pharmacy -- including license revocation -- after receiving certain kinds of criminal convictions.1

The Board may also withhold licenses from aspiring pharmacists and techs who have been convicted of a criminal offense in the previous seven (7) years that was substantially related to pharmaceuticals (like fraud, for example). And there are some criminal convictions that may bar applicants from getting a pharmaceutical license no matter how old they are, including:

  • a serious offense (such as murder, rape, or grand theft), or
  • a sex offense, requiring the applicant to register as a Tier II or Tier III offender

Our California Criminal Defense Lawyers represent people accused of crimes and we have experience helping pharmacists avoid losing their licenses in disciplinary actions.2

If you find yourself caught up in a swirl of accusations and want to do everything possible to stay out of jail and protect your livelihood or have further questions after reading this article, we invite you to contact us for a consultation.

This article covers:

california pharmacist
Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in California face discipline by the Board of Pharmacy -- including license revocation -- after receiving certain kinds of criminal convictions.

1. Who regulates pharmacists in California?

The Board of Pharmacy, a governmental agency within the California Department of Consumer Affairs, regulates pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy interns.

The Board enforces California pharmacy laws and implements regulations in accordance with its mission of public protection.3

As part of its responsibility, the Board can discipline licensees convicted of certain crimes by placing them on probation or suspending or revoking their licenses.

2. What convictions trigger Board discipline?

Criminal convictions that are "substantially related" to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a pharmacist, pharmacy technician or pharmacy intern can trigger Board discipline.4

The Board of Pharmacy also can deny a license application in the first place on the basis of a substantially related conviction.5

The substantially related requirement is based in statute, but it is also grounded in the Constitution. People have a right to practice their chosen profession and this right can only be denied for a reason that relates to the person's fitness to practice that profession.6

2.1. "substantially related"

A substantially related conviction is one that "evidences present or potential unfitness of a licensee or registrant to perform the functions authorized by his license or registration in a manner consistent with the public health, safety, or welfare."7

Statutes and Pharmacy Board documents indicate that convictions for the following crimes are substantially related to pharmacy work:

This is by no means an exhaustive list. The Board and/or a court might consider other kinds of convictions to be substantially related to pharmacy work.

Additionally, an administrative law judge may rule differently than the Board in a given case, just as a reviewing court may rule differently than an administrative law judge.

For example, in one case the Board maintained that a conviction for domestic violence (corporal injury) was substantially related to pharmacy. In a hearing on the matter, however, an administrative law judge disagreed.19

Criminal convictions are classified in the Board's Disciplinary Guidelines as either Category II or Category III violations, with a recommended minimum discipline of three to five years probation plus possible license suspension and maximum discipline of license revocation.

2.2. Convictions

Convictions include felony and misdemeanor convictions secured through guilty pleas and verdicts, "no contest" pleas and convictions that may later be expunged under California Penal Code Section 1203.4. The Board can take disciplinary action even if you successfully complete a court-ordered diversion program.20

Generally speaking, the Board can act with respect to a conviction when the time for appeal has passed, the judgment has been affirmed on appeal, or an order granting probation is made. However, the Board will take expedited action when:

    • the licensee is incarcerated for a felony
    • the licensee is convicted of a felony that was committed

      • in the course of business for which his or her license was granted OR a victim of the licensee's felony crime was a client or patient, AND
      • the offense involved an intent to deceive or defraud OR the illegal sale of a controlled substance21
  • the licensee is convicted of a felony substantially related crime22

The Board has ways to find out about concealed convictions, so it is wise to be honest. Court clerks must report to the Board licensee convictions within 10 days of judgment.23

Additionally, effective December 7, 2010, a new Board regulation will take effect requiring license renewal applicants to submit fingerprint information and disclose convictions.24 A similar requirement likely will be enacted for pharmacy technicians, according to the Board's Final Statement of Reasons.

2.3. Rehabilitation

A conviction does not always tell the whole story. People can be rehabilitated from their criminal activities and change for the better.

Luckily, the Board is required to consider evidence of such rehabilitation in making discipline decisions.25 The Board will look at the whole picture, including:

  • evidence of remorse or restitution
  • evidence of participation in counseling and/or group therapy
  • evidence of volunteer work and community engagement
  • letters of reference from employers and/or probation officials26
  • length of time since conviction with a clean record27

In one case the Board sought to revoke the license of a pharmacy technician who sustained two recreational drug convictions in circumstances unrelated to his work.

The administrative law judge (often referred to as the "ALJ") acknowledged that such convictions can form the basis for license revocation. But the ALJ recommended a less severe punishment of probation because of mitigating factors indicating rehabilitation:

[Licensee's] use of illegal drugs did not result in any actual harm to the public, although there was a potential for harm. [Licensee] has no other criminal record, as would be expected if he were addicted to illegal drugs and needed to steal or engage in other unlawful activities to support a drug habit. [Licensee] briefly failed in his first effort at sustained sobriety, but he has succeeded since. [Licensee] accepted full responsibility for his misconduct, he cooperated with law enforcement, he cooperated with the Board's investigator, he expressed sincere remorse, and he is well into the process of rehabilitating himself.28

Regulatory proceedings are not designed to "punish" a licensee like criminal proceedings. Instead, they are designed to help the Board assess whether a licensee poses a danger to the public.

The Board is not thinking: "We want to get that licensee and make him feel bad and punish him for getting that conviction". Rather, the Board is thinking: "Our job is to protect pharmacy customers in California and we must look very carefully at this conviction to see whether it indicates the licensee presents a danger to the public."

You want the Board to see that you are sincere in your remorse and have taken the steps necessary to overcome the past. You want the Board to feel confident that you pose no danger to the public if you keep working."29

2.4. Reinstatement

Even if you end up losing your license, do not give up. Eventually, you can apply to have your license reinstated and at that time the Board will again look at rehabilitation evidence.30

In one case a pharmacy technician had her license revoked after pleading guilty to identity theft. Even though her license was revoked, the ALJ gave her hope for the future, noting that she was on the right track by expressing remorse, complying with her probation terms, taking intermittent work and participating in worthy church activities:

It is understood that respondent strived very hard to become a pharmacy technician and wants very much to keep her registration. Due, however, to the seriousness of her offenses and the access that a pharmacy technician can have to patients' private and confidential information at a pharmacy, public safety and welfare require that respondent's registration be revoked. Respondent is encouraged to apply for reinstatement of her registration after she completes her criminal probation, obtains reduction or expungement of her offenses, and has rehabilitated herself.31

3. What can I do to fight for my license?

If you receive an Accusation from the Board notifying you that the Board seeks to discipline you by suspending or revoking your license, all is not lost.32

You (or your attorney) may be able to negotiate a settlement with the Board to limit the extent of discipline.

You can also opt for a hearing in front of an administrative law judge, where you will have the right to introduce evidence and cross-examine witnesses.33

In preparing your case, you will have the right to "discovery of relevant evidence.34

The hearing will generally take place in a building located near you in Sacramento, Oakland, Los Angeles or San Diego.35 The Board will be represented by a lawyer from the California Attorney General's Office and we highly recommend that you have an attorney by your side, as well.

If you want a hearing before an ALJ, it is very important that you act quickly. If you do not respond within 15 days, you will be presumed to have given up your chance for a hearing.36

We discuss the hearing process in more detail in our related article Administrative Hearings.

4. Can I become a pharmacist if I have a criminal history? (The 7-year rule)

The general rule is that the Board of Pharmacy may not disqualify social work applicants with no criminal convictions within the past seven (7) years. And if applicants do have criminal convictions within the previous seven (7) years, the Board may disqualify them only if the cases were substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of being a pharmacist. (Scroll up to question 2 for a more in-depth explanation of substantially related crimes.)

But there are exceptions: The Board may deny pharmacy licenses to applicants who have been convicted of any of the following offenses at any time:

  • a crime for which the applicant has to register as a Tier II or Tier III sex offender; or
  • a serious felony, as defined in Section 1192.7 of the Penal Code, which includes:
  1. rape;
  2. commission of rape or sexual penetration in concert with another person, in violation of Section 264.1;
  3. continuous sexual abuse of a child, in violation of Section 288.5;
  4. sodomy by force, violence, duress, menace, threat of great bodily injury, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person;
  5. oral copulation by force, violence, duress, menace, threat of great bodily injury, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person;
  6. lewd or lascivious act on a child under 14 years of age;
  7. any burglary of the first degree;
  8. robbery or bank robbery;
  9. grand theft involving a firearm;
  10. assault with a deadly weapon by an inmate;
  11. assault with the intent to commit mayhem, rape, sodomy, or oral copulation, in violation of Section 220;
  12. assault with a deadly weapon, firearm, machine gun, assault weapon, or semiautomatic firearm or assault on a peace officer or firefighter, in violation of Section 245;
  13. assault with a deadly weapon against a public transit employee, custodial officer, or school employee, in violation of Sections 245.2, 245.3, or 245.5;
  14. assault with intent to commit rape or robbery;
  15. assault with a deadly weapon or instrument on a peace officer;
  16. assault by a life prisoner on a noninmate;
  17. murder or voluntary manslaughter;
  18. attempted murder;
  19. kidnapping;
  20. mayhem;
  21. any felony punishable by death or imprisonment in the state prison for life;
  22. any felony in which the defendant personally inflicts great bodily injury on any person, other than an accomplice, or any felony in which the defendant personally uses a firearm;
  23. arson;
  24. holding of a hostage by a person confined in a state prison;
  25. attempt to commit a felony punishable by death or imprisonment in the state prison for life;
  26. any felony in which the defendant personally used a dangerous or deadly weapon;
  27. selling, furnishing, administering, giving, or offering to sell, furnish, administer, or give to a minor any heroin, cocaine, phencyclidine (PCP), or any methamphetamine-related drug, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 11055 of the Health and Safety Code, or any of the precursors of methamphetamines, as described in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 11055 or subdivision (a) of Section 11100 of the Health and Safety Code;
  28. any violation of subdivision (a) of Section 289 where the act is accomplished against the victim's will by force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person;
  29. carjacking; (28) any felony offense, which would also constitute a felony violation of Section 186.22;
  30. shooting from a vehicle, in violation of subdivision (c) or (d) of Section 12034;
  31. throwing acid or flammable substances, in violation of Section 244;
  32. discharge of a firearm at an inhabited dwelling, vehicle, or aircraft, in violation of Section 246;
  33. intimidation of victims or witnesses, in violation of Section 136.1;
  34. criminal threats, in violation of Section 422;
  35. any attempt to commit a crime listed in this subdivision other than an assault;
  36. exploding a destructive device or any explosive with intent to injure;
  37. exploding a destructive device or any explosive causing bodily injury, great bodily injury, or mayhem;
  38. exploding a destructive device or any explosive with intent to murder;
  39. any violation of Section 12022.53;
  40. a violation of subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11418; and
  41. any conspiracy to commit an offense described in this subdivision.

However, pharmacist applicants who get denied licenses on the basis of their criminal history have the right to appeal.37

Our California Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Help.

california pharmacist legal defense
Call us for help at (855) LAW-FIRM

If you or a loved one is charged with a crime and are a pharmacist and you are looking to hire an attorney for representation, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group. We can provide a free consultation in office or by phone. We have local offices in Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, Long Beach, Orange County, Ventura, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, San Diego, Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and throughout California.

Helpful links:

Board of Pharmacy

California Office of Administrative hearings


References:

  1. In the Matter of the Accusation Against Nolan Wong, infra; In the Matter of the Accusation Against George Chiu, infra.

  2. Our California Criminal Defense Lawyers have local offices in Beverly Hills, Burbank, Glendale, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Pomona, San Diego, San Francisco, Torrance, Van Nuys, West Covina, and Whittier.

  3. See California Business and Professions Code Section 4000 et seq.  See also California Code of Regulations Title 16, Division 17 (California State Board of Pharmacy).

  4. See California Business and Professions Code Section 4301: "The board shall take action against any holder of a license who is guilty of unprofessional conduct or whose license has been issued by mistake. Unprofessional conduct shall include, but is not limited to, any of the following:  (a) Procurement of a license by fraud or misrepresentation.  (b) Incompetence.  (c) Gross negligence.  (d) The clearly excessive furnishing of controlled substances in violation of subdivision (a) of Section 11153 of the Health and Safety Code.  (e) The clearly excessive furnishing of controlled substances in violation of subdivision (a) of Section 11153.5 of the Health and Safety Code. Factors to be considered in determining whether the furnishing of controlled substances is clearly excessive shall include, but not be limited to, the amount of controlled substances furnished, the previous ordering pattern of the customer (including size and frequency of orders), the type and size of the customer, and where and to whom the customer distributes its product.  (f) The commission of any act involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or corruption, whether the act is committed in the course of relations as a licensee or otherwise, and whether the act is a felony or misdemeanor or not.  (g) Knowingly making or signing any certificate or other document that falsely represents the existence or nonexistence of a state of facts.  (h) The administering to oneself, of any controlled substance, or the use of any dangerous drug or of alcoholic beverages to the extent or in a manner as to be dangerous or injurious to oneself, to a person holding a license under this chapter, or to any other person or to the public, or to the extent that the use impairs the ability of the person to conduct with safety to the public the practice authorized by the license.  (i) Except as otherwise authorized by law, knowingly selling, furnishing, giving away, or administering, or offering to sell, furnish, give away, or administer, any controlled substance to an addict.  (j) The violation of any of the statutes of this state, of any other state, or of the United States regulating controlled substances and dangerous drugs.  (k) The conviction of more than one misdemeanor or any felony involving the use, consumption, or self-administration of any dangerous drug or alcoholic beverage, or any combination of those substances.  (l) The conviction of a crime substantially related to the qualifications, functions, and duties of a licensee under this chapter. The record of conviction of a violation of Chapter 13 (commencing with Section 801) of Title 21 of the United States Code regulating controlled substances or of a violation of the statutes of this state regulating controlled substances or dangerous drugs shall be conclusive evidence of unprofessional conduct. In all other cases, the record of conviction shall be conclusive evidence only of the fact that the conviction occurred. The board may inquire into the circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime, in order to fix the degree of discipline or, in the case of a conviction not involving controlled substances or dangerous drugs, to determine if the conviction is of an offense substantially related to the qualifications, functions, and duties of a licensee under this chapter. A plea or verdict of guilty or a conviction following a plea of nolo contendere is deemed to be a conviction within the meaning of this provision. The board may take action when the time for appeal has elapsed, or the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal or when an order granting probation is made suspending the imposition of sentence, irrespective of a subsequent order under Section 1203.4 of the Penal Code allowing the person to withdraw his or her plea of guilty and to enter a plea of not guilty, or setting aside the verdict of guilty, or dismissing the accusation, information, or indictment.  (m) The cash compromise of a charge of violation of Chapter 13 (commencing with Section 801) of Title 21 of the United States Code regulating controlled substances or of Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 14000) of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code relating to the Medi-Cal program.  (n) The revocation, suspension, or other discipline by another state of a license to practice pharmacy, operate a pharmacy, or do any other act for which a license is required by this chapter that would be grounds for revocation, suspension, or other discipline under this chapter. Any disciplinary action taken by the board pursuant to this section shall be coterminous with action taken by another state, except that the term of any discipline taken by the board may exceed that of another state, consistent with the board's enforcement guidelines. The evidence of discipline by another state is conclusive proof of unprofessional conduct.  (o) Violating or attempting to violate, directly or indirectly, or assisting in or abetting the violation of or conspiring to violate any provision or term of this chapter or of the applicable federal and state laws and regulations governing pharmacy, including regulations established by the board or by any other state or federal regulatory agency.  (p) Actions or conduct that would have warranted denial of a license.  (q) Engaging in any conduct that subverts or attempts to subvert an investigation of the board.  (r) The selling, trading, transferring, or furnishing of drugs obtained pursuant to Section 256b of Title 42 of the United States Code to any person a licensee knows or reasonably should have known, not to be a patient of a covered entity, as defined in paragraph (4) of subsection (a) of Section 256b of Title 42 of the United States Code.  (s) The clearly excessive furnishing of dangerous drugs by a wholesaler to a pharmacy that primarily or solely dispenses prescription drugs to patients of long-term care facilities. Factors to be considered in determining whether the furnishing of dangerous drugs is clearly excessive shall include, but not be limited to, the amount of dangerous drugs furnished to a pharmacy that primarily or solely dispenses prescription drugs to patients of long-term care facilities, the previous ordering pattern of the pharmacy, and the general patient population to whom the pharmacy distributes the dangerous drugs. That a wholesaler has established, and employs, a tracking system that complies with the requirements of subdivision (b) of Section 4164 shall be considered in determining whether there has been a violation of this subdivision. This provision shall not be interpreted to require a wholesaler to obtain personal medical information or be authorized to permit a wholesaler to have access to personal medical information except as otherwise authorized by Section 56 and following of the Civil Code. For purposes of this section, “long-term care facility” shall have the same meaning given the term in Section 1418 of the Health and Safety Code.  (t) The acquisition of a nonprescription diabetes test device from a person that the licensee knew or should have known was not the nonprescription diabetes test device's manufacturer or the manufacturer's authorized distributors as identified in Section 4160.5.  (u) The submission of a reimbursement claim for a nonprescription diabetes test device to a pharmaceutical benefit manager, health insurer, government agency, or other third-party payor when the licensee knew or reasonably should have known that the diabetes test device was not purchased either directly from the manufacturer or from the nonprescription diabetes test device manufacturer's authorized distributors as identified in Section 4160.5."  SEE ALSO California Business and Professions Code Section 490, which provides:  "(a) In addition to any other action that a board is permitted to take against a licensee, a board may suspend or revoke a license on the ground that the licensee has been convicted of a crime, if the crime is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the business or profession for which the license was issued.  (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a board may exercise any authority to discipline a licensee for conviction of a crime that is independent of the authority granted under subdivision (a) only if the crime is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the business or profession for which the licensee's license was issued.  (c) A conviction within the meaning of this section means a plea or verdict of guilty or a conviction following a plea of nolo contendere. An action that a board is permitted to take following the establishment of a conviction may be taken when the time for appeal has elapsed, or the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal, or when an order granting probation is made suspending the imposition of sentence, irrespective of a subsequent order under Section 1203.4 of the Penal Code.  (d) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the application of this section has been made unclear by the holding in Petropoulos v. Department of Real Estate (2006) 142 Cal.App.4th 554, and that the holding in that case has placed a significant number of statutes and regulations in question, resulting in potential harm to the consumers of California from licensees who have been convicted of crimes. Therefore, the Legislature finds and declares that this section establishes an independent basis for a board to impose discipline upon a licensee, and that the amendments to this section made by Chapter 33 of the Statutes of 2008 do not constitute a change to, but rather are declaratory of, existing law."

  5. California Business and Professions Code Section 480 provides: "(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, a board may deny a license regulated by this code on the grounds that the applicant has been convicted of a crime or has been subject to formal discipline only if either of the following conditions are met: (1) The applicant has been convicted of a crime within the preceding seven years from the date of application that is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the business or profession for which the application is made, regardless of whether the applicant was incarcerated for that crime, or the applicant has been convicted of a crime that is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the business or profession for which the application is made and for which the applicant is presently incarcerated or for which the applicant was released from incarceration within the preceding seven years from the date of application. However, the preceding seven-year limitation shall not apply in either of the following situations: (A) The applicant was convicted of a serious felony, as defined in Section 1192.7 of the Penal Code or a crime for which registration is required pursuant to paragraph (2) or (3) of subdivision (d) of Section 290 of the Penal Code. (B) The applicant was convicted of a financial crime currently classified as a felony that is directly and adversely related to the fiduciary qualifications, functions, or duties of the business or profession for which the application is made, pursuant to regulations adopted by the board, and for which the applicant is seeking licensure under any of the following: (i) Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 5000) of Division 3. (ii) Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 6500) of Division 3. (iii) Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 7000) of Division 3. (iv) Chapter 11.3 (commencing with Section 7512) of Division 3. (v) Licensure as a funeral director or cemetery manager under Chapter 12 (commencing with Section 7600) of Division 3. (vi) Division 4 (commencing with Section 10000). (2) The applicant has been subjected to formal discipline by a licensing board in or outside California within the preceding seven years from the date of application based on professional misconduct that would have been cause for discipline before the board for which the present application is made and that is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the business or profession for which the present application is made. However, prior disciplinary action by a licensing board within the preceding seven years shall not be the basis for denial of a license if the basis for that disciplinary action was a conviction that has been dismissed pursuant to Section 1203.4, 1203.4a, 1203.41, or 1203.42 of the Penal Code or a comparable dismissal or expungement. (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, a person shall not be denied a license on the basis that he or she has been convicted of a crime, or on the basis of acts underlying a conviction for a crime, if he or she has obtained a certificate of rehabilitation under Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 4852.01) of Title 6 of Part 3 of the Penal Code, has been granted clemency or a pardon by a state or federal executive, or has made a showing of rehabilitation pursuant to Section 482. (c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, a person shall not be denied a license on the basis of any conviction, or on the basis of the acts underlying the conviction, that has been dismissed pursuant to Section 1203.4, 1203.4a, 1203.41, or 1203.42 of the Penal Code, or a comparable dismissal or expungement. An applicant who has a conviction that has been dismissed pursuant to Section 1203.4, 1203.4a, 1203.41, or 1203.42 of the Penal Code shall provide proof of the dismissal if it is not reflected on the report furnished by the Department of Justice. (d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, a board shall not deny a license on the basis of an arrest that resulted in a disposition other than a conviction, including an arrest that resulted in an infraction, citation, or a juvenile adjudication. (e) A board may deny a license regulated by this code on the ground that the applicant knowingly made a false statement of fact that is required to be revealed in the application for the license. A board shall not deny a license based solely on an applicant's failure to disclose a fact that would not have been cause for denial of the license had it been disclosed. (f) A board shall follow the following procedures in requesting or acting on an applicant's criminal history information: (1) A board issuing a license pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 5500), Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 5615), Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 7301), Chapter 20 (commencing with Section 9800), or Chapter 20.3 (commencing with Section 9880), of Division 3, or Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 19000) or Chapter 3.1 (commencing with Section 19225) of Division 8 may require applicants for licensure under those chapters to disclose criminal conviction history on an application for licensure. (2) Except as provided in paragraph (1), a board shall not require an applicant for licensure to disclose any information or documentation regarding the applicant's criminal history. However, a board may request mitigating information from an applicant regarding the applicant's criminal history for purposes of determining substantial relation or demonstrating evidence of rehabilitation, provided that the applicant is informed that disclosure is voluntary and that the applicant's decision not to disclose any information shall not be a factor in a board's decision to grant or deny an application for licensure. (3) If a board decides to deny an application for licensure based solely or in part on the applicant's conviction history, the board shall notify the applicant in writing of all of the following: (A) The denial or disqualification of licensure. (B) Any existing procedure the board has for the applicant to challenge the decision or to request reconsideration. (C) That the applicant has the right to appeal the board's decision. (D) The processes for the applicant to request a copy of his or her complete conviction history and question the accuracy or completeness of the record pursuant to Sections 11122 to 11127 of the Penal Code. (g) (1) For a minimum of three years, each board under this code shall retain application forms and other documents submitted by an applicant, any notice provided to an applicant, all other communications received from and provided to an applicant, and criminal history reports of an applicant. (2) Each board under this code shall retain the number of applications received for each license and the number of applications requiring inquiries regarding criminal history. In addition, each licensing authority shall retain all of the following information: (A) The number of applicants with a criminal record who received notice of denial or disqualification of licensure. (B) The number of applicants with a criminal record who provided evidence of mitigation or rehabilitation. (C) The number of applicants with a criminal record who appealed any denial or disqualification of licensure. (D) The final disposition and demographic information, consisting of voluntarily provided information on race or gender, of any applicant described in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C). (3) (A) Each board under this code shall annually make available to the public through the board's Internet Web site and through a report submitted to the appropriate policy committees of the Legislature deidentified information collected pursuant to this subdivision. Each board shall ensure confidentiality of the individual applicants. (B) A report pursuant to subparagraph (A) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code. (h) “Conviction” as used in this section shall have the same meaning as defined in Section 7.5. (i) This section does not in any way modify or otherwise affect the existing authority of the following entities in regard to licensure: (1) The State Athletic Commission. (2) The Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education. (3) The California Horse Racing Board. (j) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2020."

  6. In Hughes v. Board of Architectural Examiners, 17 Cal.4th 763 (1998), a case involving discipline of an architect, the Supreme Court of California affirmed this principle:  "It is axiomatic that the right of an individual to engage in any of the common occupations of life is among the several fundamental liberties protected by the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.  Therefore, for example, a statute constitutionally can prohibit an individual from practicing a lawful profession only for reasons related to his or her fitness or competence to practice that profession." (at 788, internal citations omitted).

  7. California Code of Regulations, Title 16, 1770 provides: "For the purpose of denial, suspension, or revocation of a personal or facility license pursuant to Division 1.5 (commencing with Section 475) of the Business and Professions Code, a crime or act shall be considered substantially related to the qualifications, functions or duties of a licensee or registrant if to a substantial degree it evidences present or potential unfitness of a licensee or registrant to perform the functions authorized by his license or registration in a manner consistent with the public health, safety, or welfare."

  8. See California Business and Professions Code Section 4301(l), supra.  See also California Business and Professions Code Section 4311(c)(4), infra.

  9. B&P 4311(c)(4), Id.

  10. Id.

  11. Id.

  12. In the Matter of the First Amended Accusation Against Lisa Anne Panab (RPH) Case No. 3050 (licensee placed on 5 years of probation with 12 month license suspension).

  13. In the Matter of the Accusation Against Richard Castaneda (TCH) Case No. 3121 (license revoked)

  14. In the Matter of the Accusation Against Jennifer York (TCH) Case No. 3129 (license revoked by default decision).

  15. In the Matter of the Accusation Against Nolan Wong (RPH) Case No. 3025 (voluntary surrender of license).

  16. In the Matter of the Accusation Against George Chiu (RPH) Case No. 2367 (license revoked); In the Matter of the Accusation Against Teresa Marie Brock (TCH) Case No. 3147 (license revoked by default decision)

  17. In the Matter of the Accusation Against Melissa Dawn Owenby-Collins (TCH) Case No. 3079 (license revoked).

  18. In the Matter of the Accusation Against Rashandra Johnson (TCH) Case No. 3060 (license revoked).

  19. In the Matter of the Accusation Against Richard Castaneda, supra (The ALJ held that:  "Legal grounds to revoke respondent's registration exist by virtue of his two alcohol-related driving convictions because they are substantially related to the qualifications, functions, and duties of a licentiate.  Legal grounds to revoke respondent's registration do not exist by virtue of respondent's spousal abuse conviction, since it was not established that such a conviction is substantially related to the qualifications, functions or duties of a licentiate.  Legal grounds to revoke respondent's registration do not exist by virtue of respondent's arrest for violating Penal Code section 647, subdivision (f), since it was not established that respondent engaged in such conduct." Legal Conclusion No. 11)  Regarding domestic violence convictions and professional licenses, Section 2.13 of CEB's Professional Licensing provides:  "Whether a conviction of spousal battery or domestic violence is substantially related to a license depends on the profession.  For example, domestic violence is probably not related to the license of an auto mechanic, because a mechanic is unlikely to be in physical contact or confrontation with a customer, but it maybe related to health care professions involving physical care of patients.  See, e.g. 16 Cal Code Regs 1444 (conviction for violation of act listed in Pen C  11160(d) (abuse of spouse or cohabitant) substantially related to practice of nursing)."

  20. California Business and Professions Code Section 492 provides:  "Notwithstanding any other provision of law, successful completion of any diversion program under the Penal Code, or successful completion of an alcohol and drug problem assessment program under Article 5 (commencing with Section 23249.50) of Chapter 12 of Division 11 of the Vehicle Code, shall not prohibit any agency established under Division 2 (commencing with Section 500) of this code, or any initiative act referred to in that division, from taking disciplinary action against a licensee or from denying a license for professional misconduct, notwithstanding that evidence of that misconduct may be recorded in a record pertaining to an arrest.  This section shall not be construed to apply to any drug diversion program operated by any agency established under Division 2 (commencing with Section 500) of this code, or any initiative act referred to in that division."

  21. California Business and Professions Code Section 4311(a) and (b) provide:  "(a) Any license issued by the board, or the holder thereof, shall be suspended automatically during any time that the person is incarcerated after conviction of a felony, regardless of whether the conviction has been appealed.  The board, immediately upon receipt of a certified copy of a record of a criminal conviction, shall determine whether the person has been automatically suspended by virtue of incarceration pursuant to a felony conviction and, if so, the duration of that suspension.  The board shall notify the person so suspended of the suspension and that the person has a right to request a hearing, solely as to whether he or she is incarcerated pursuant to a felony conviction, in writing at that person's address of record with the board and at the facility in which the person is incarcerated.  (b) In addition to any suspension under subdivision (a), the board shall summarily suspend any license issued by the board where a conviction of the holder of the license meets the requirements of paragraphs (1) and (2).  (1) A felony that was either of the following:  (A) Committed in the course of a business or practice for which the board issues a license.  (B) Committed in a manner that a client, customer, or patient of the licensee was a victim.   (2) Where an element of the offense involves either of the following:  (A) The specific intent to deceive, defraud, steal, or make a false statement.  (B) The illegal sale or possession for sale of or trafficking in any controlled substance.  (3) The suspension shall continue until the time for appeal has elapsed, if no appeal is taken, or until the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal or has otherwise become final, and until further order of the board.   (4) The board shall immediately send notice in writing of the suspension to the licensee, or the holder of any other board-issued license, at his or her address of record and, if incarcerated at the time, at the facility in which the person is incarcerated.  The notice shall include notification of that person's right to elect to have the issue of penalty heard as provided in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d), and of the right to request a hearing to contest the summary suspension.  Any request for a hearing under this paragraph must be received by the board within 15 days following receipt of the notice provided for by this paragraph.  (5) The hearing shall be before an administrative law judge, a committee of the board sitting with an administrative law judge, or the board sitting with an administrative law judge, at the board's discretion, and shall be subject to review by the board, at its discretion.  The hearing shall be limited to (A) whether there has been a felony conviction as stated in the board's notice, and (B) whether the conviction meets the criteria of this subdivision, except where the licensee chooses to proceed as provided by paragraph (2) of subdivision (d), or where the board has also filed and served an accusation as provided in Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code and given notice of the hearing as required by that chapter; provided that if an accusation under Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code is also to be heard, only an administrative law judge sitting alone or the board, sitting with an administrative law judge, may hear the case."

  22. California Business and Professions Code Section 4311(c) through (g) provide:  "(c) In addition to any suspension under subdivision (a), the board shall also suspend any license issued by the board, or the holder thereof, if the board determines that the felony conviction of the holder of the license is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the licensee.  (1) Notice of the board's determination shall be sent to the licensee, or the holder thereof, at that person's address of record with the board and, if the person is incarcerated at the time, the facility in which the person is incarcerated.  The notice shall advise the person that the license shall be suspended without hearing unless, within 15 days following receipt of the notice, a written request for hearing is delivered to the board.  (2) Upon receipt of a timely request for hearing, a notice of hearing shall be sent to the person at least 10 days before the date scheduled for the hearing.  The notice of hearing shall include notification of that person's right to elect to have the issue of penalty heard as provided in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d).  (3) The hearing to determine whether a felony conviction is substantially related for purposes of an interim suspension under this subdivision shall be separate from any hearing on an accusation under the Administrative Procedure Act, except where the licensee elects to proceed under paragraph (2) of subdivision (d), or where the board has filed and served an accusation as provided by Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code and given notice of hearing as required by that chapter.  The hearing on whether the felony conviction is substantially related shall be heard either by an administrative law judge sitting alone, by a committee of the board sitting with an administrative law judge, or by the board sitting with an administrative law judge, at the board's discretion, and shall be subject to review by the board, at its discretion.  However, if an accusation under Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code is also to be heard, only an administrative law judge sitting alone or the board, sitting with an administrative law judge, may hear the case.  Except where a person proceeds under paragraph (2) of subdivision (d), or the board proceeds with an accusation at the same time, any suspension imposed under this subdivision shall continue until an accusation is filed under Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code and a final decision is rendered by the board.  (4) A conviction of any crime referred to in Section 4301, or for violation of Section 187, 261, or 288 of the Penal Code, shall be conclusively presumed to be substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a licensee of the board.  Upon its own motion or for good cause shown the board may decline to impose a suspension under this subdivision or may set aside a suspension previously imposed when it appears to be in the interest of justice to do so, with due regard to maintaining the integrity of and confidence in the practice of pharmacy and the handling of dangerous drugs and devices.   (d) (1) Discipline may be ordered in accordance with Section 4300 or an application denied when the time for appeal has elapsed, the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal, or an order granting probation is made suspending the imposition of sentence, irrespective of a subsequent order under Section 1203.4 of the Penal Code allowing the person to withdraw his or her plea of guilty and to enter a plea of not guilty, setting aside the verdict of guilty, or dismissing the accusation, complaint, information, or indictment.  (2) The issue of penalty shall be heard by an administrative law judge sitting alone or with a committee of the board or with the board itself, at the board's discretion, and any decision shall be subject to review by the board, at its discretion.  The hearing shall not be held until the judgment of conviction has become final or, irrespective of a subsequent order under Section 1203.4 of the Penal Code, an order granting probation has been made suspending the imposition of sentence, provided that a licensee may, at his or her option, elect to have the issue of penalty decided before those time periods have elapsed.  Where the licensee so elects, the issue of penalty shall be heard in the manner described in this section at the hearing to determine whether the conviction was substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the licensee.  If the conviction of a licensee who has made this election is overturned on appeal, any discipline ordered pursuant to this section shall automatically cease.  Nothing in this subdivision shall prohibit the board from pursuing disciplinary action based on any cause, including the facts underlying the conviction, other than the overturned conviction.  (3) The record of the proceedings resulting in the criminal conviction, including a transcript of any testimony taken in connection with the proceeding, may be received in evidence in any administrative proceeding to the extent the testimony would otherwise be admissible under Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.  A certified copy of the criminal conviction shall be conclusive proof of the fact of the conviction.  (e) Other provisions of this chapter setting forth procedures for the suspension or revocation of a license issued by the board shall not apply to proceedings conducted pursuant to this section, except as specifically provided in this section.   (f) For purposes of this section, a crime is a felony if it is specifically declared to be so or is made a felony by subdivision (a) of Section 17 of the Penal Code, unless it is charged as a misdemeanor pursuant to paragraph (4) or (5) of subdivision (b) of Section 17 of the Penal Code, irrespective of whether in a particular case the crime may be considered a misdemeanor as a result of postconviction proceedings.  For purposes of this section, a felony also includes a conviction under federal law, or the law of any other state of the United States, of the District of Columbia, or of any territory or possession of the United States.  A conviction includes a plea or verdict of guilty or a conviction following a plea of nolo contendere.  (g) The board may delegate the authority to issue a suspension under subdivision (a) or (b) or a notice of suspension under subdivision (c) to the executive officer of the board."

  23. California Business and Professions Code Section 803 provides:  "(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), within 10 days after a judgment by a court of this state that a person who holds a license, certificate, or other similar authority from the Board of Behavioral Sciences or from an agency mentioned in subdivision (a) of Section 800 (except a person licensed pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 1200)) has committed a crime, or is liable for any death or personal injury resulting in a judgment for an amount in excess of thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) caused by his or her negligence, error or omission in practice, or his or her rendering unauthorized professional services, the clerk of the court that rendered the judgment shall report that fact to the agency that issued the license, certificate, or other similar authority.  (b) For purposes of a physician and surgeon, osteopathic physician and surgeon, or doctor of podiatric medicine, who is liable for any death or personal injury resulting in a judgment of any amount caused by his or her negligence, error or omission in practice, or his or her rendering unauthorized professional services, the clerk of the court that rendered the judgment shall report that fact to the agency that issued the license."

  24. California Code of Regulations, Title 16, 1702 provides:  "(a) A pharmacist applicant for renewal who has not previously submitted fingerprints as a condition of licensure or for whom an electronic record of the licensee's fingerprints does not exist in the Department of Justice's criminal offender record identification database shall successfully complete a state and federal level criminal offender record information search conducted through the Department of Justice by the licensee's renewal date that occurs on or after December 7, 2010.  (1) A pharmacists shall retain for at least three years as evidence of having complied with subdivision (a) either a receipt showing that he or she has electronically transmitted his or her fingerprint images to the Department of Justice or, for those who did not use an electronic fingerprint system, a receipt evidencing that his or her fingerprints were recorded and submitted to the Board.  (2) A pharmacist applicant for renewal shall pay the actual cost of compliance with subdivision (a).  (3) As a condition of petitioning the board for reinstatement of a revoked or surrendered license, or for restoration of a retired license, an applicant shall comply with subdivision (a).  (4) The board may waive the requirements of this section for licensees who are actively serving in the United States military. The board may not return a license to active status until the licensee has complied with subdivision (a).  (b) As a condition of renewal, a pharmacist applicant shall disclose on the renewal form whether he or she has been convicted, as defined in Section 490 of the Business and Professions Code, of any violation of the law in this or any other state, the United States, or other country, omitting traffic infractions under $500 not involving alcohol, dangerous drugs, or controlled substances.  (c) Failure to provide all of the information required by this section renders an application for renewal incomplete and the board shall not renew the license and shall issue the applicant an inactive pharmacist license. An inactive pharmacist license issued pursuant to this section may only be reactivated after compliance is confirmed for all licensure renewal requirements."

  25. California Business and Professions Code Section 482 provides:  "Each board under the provisions of this code shall develop criteria to evaluate the rehabilitation of a person when:  (a) Considering the denial of a license by the board under Section 480; or  (b) Considering suspension or revocation of a license under Section 490.   Each board shall take into account all competent evidence of rehabilitation furnished by the applicant or licensee."

  26. One decision indicates that such letters are more convincing if signed under penalty of perjury.  See In the Matter of the Accusation Against Richard Castaneda, supra.

  27. California Code of Regulations, Title 16, 1769 provides:  "(a) In addition to any other requirements for licensure, when considering the approval of an application, the board or its designee may require an applicant to be examined by one or more physicians and surgeons or psychologists designated by the board if it appears that the applicant may be unable to safely practice due to mental illness or physical illness affecting competency. An applicant's failure to comply with the examination requirement shall render his or her application incomplete. The board shall pay the full cost of such examination. The board shall seek that the evaluation be conducted within 60 days of the date the applicant is advised that an examination is required. The board shall receive the examiner's evaluation within 60 days of the date the examination is completed. The report of the examiner shall be made available to the applicant. If after receiving the report of the evaluation, the board determines that the applicant is unable to safely practice, the board may deny the application. (b) When considering the denial of a facility or personal license under Section 480 of the Business and Professions Code, the board, in evaluating the rehabilitation of the applicant and his present eligibility for licensing or registration, will consider the following criteria: (1) The nature and severity of the act(s) or offense(s) under consideration as grounds for denial. (2) Evidence of any act(s) committed subsequent to the act(s) or crime(s) under consideration as grounds for denial under Section 480 of the Business and Professions Code. (3) The time that has elapsed since commission of the act(s) or crime(s) referred to in subdivision (1) or (2). (4) Whether the applicant has complied with any terms of parole, probation, restitution or any other sanctions lawfully imposed against the applicant. (5) Evidence, if any, of rehabilitation submitted by the applicant. (c) When considering the suspension or revocation of a facility or a personal license on the ground that the licensee or the registrant has been convicted of a crime, the board, in evaluating the rehabilitation of such person and his present eligibility for a license will consider the following criteria: (1) Nature and severity of the act(s) or offense(s). (2) Total criminal record. (3) The time that has elapsed since commission of the act(s) or offense(s). (4) Whether the licensee has complied with all terms of parole, probation, restitution or any other sanctions lawfully imposed against the licensee. (5) Evidence, if any, of rehabilitation submitted by the licensee."

  28. In the Matter of the Accusation Against Richard Paul Mason (TCH) Case No. 3119.

  29. See Hughes v. Board of Architectural Examiners, 17 Cal.4th 763, 787, supra ("Following Webster, several decisions recognized that such administrative proceedings are not intended to punish the licensee, but rather to protect the public.").

  30. California Business and Professions Code Section 4313 provides:  "In determining whether to grant an application for licensure or whether to discipline or reinstate a license, the board shall give consideration to evidence of rehabilitation.  However, public protection shall take priority over rehabilitation and, where evidence of rehabilitation and public protection are in conflict, public protection shall take precedence."  SEE ALSO California Business and Professions Code Section 4309, which provides:  "(a) A person whose license has been revoked or suspended or who has been placed on probation may petition the board for reinstatement or modification of penalty, including modification or termination of probation, after not less than the following minimum periods have elapsed from the effective date of the decision ordering disciplinary action:  (1) At least three years for reinstatement of a revoked license.  (2) At least two years for early termination of probation of three years or more.  (3) At least one year for modification of a condition, or reinstatement of a license revoked for mental or physical illness, or termination of probation of less than three years.  (b) The petition shall state any facts required by the board, and the petition shall be accompanied by two or more verified recommendations from holders of licenses issued by the board to which the petition is addressed, and two or more recommendations from citizens, each having personal knowledge of the disciplinary penalty imposed by the board and the activities of the petitioner since the disciplinary penalty was imposed.  (c) The petition may be heard by the board sitting with an administrative law judge, or a committee of the board sitting with an administrative law judge, or the board may assign the petition to an administrative law judge.  Where the petition is heard by a committee of the board sitting with an administrative law judge or by an administrative law judge sitting alone, the decision shall be subject to review by the board pursuant to Section 11517 of the Government Code.  (d) In considering reinstatement or modification of penalty, the board, committee of the board, or the administrative law judge hearing the petition may consider factors including, but not limited to, all of the following:  (1) All the activities of the petitioner since the disciplinary action was taken.  (2) The offense for which the petitioner was disciplined.  (3) The petitioner's activities during the time the license was in good standing.  (4) The petitioner's documented rehabilitative efforts.  (5) The petitioner's general reputation for truth and professional ability.  (e) The hearing may be continued from time to time as the board, committee of the board, or the administrative law judge designated in Section 11371 of the Government Code finds necessary.  (f) The board, committee of the board, or administrative law judge may impose necessary terms and conditions on the licensee in reinstating the license.  (g) No petition under this section shall be considered while the petitioner is under sentence for any criminal offense, including any period during which the petitioner is on court-imposed probation or parole.  No petition shall be considered while there is an accusation or petition to revoke probation pending against the person.  The board may deny without a hearing or argument any petition filed pursuant to this section within a period of two years from the effective date of the prior decision following a hearing under this section.  (h) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to amend or otherwise change the effect or application of Sections 822 and 823.  (i) The board may investigate any and all matters pertaining to the petition and documents submitted with or in connection with the application."

  31. Id.

  32. California Government Code Section 11503 provides:  "A hearing to determine whether a right, authority, license or privilege should be revoked, suspended, limited or conditioned shall be initiated by filing an accusation.  The accusation shall be a written statement of charges which shall set forth in ordinary and concise language the acts or omissions with which the respondent is charged, to the end that the respondent will be able to prepare his defense.  It shall specify the statutes and rules which the respondent is alleged to have violated, but shall not consist merely of charges phrased in the language of such statutes and rules.  The accusation shall be verified unless made by a public officer acting in his official capacity or by an employee of the agency before which the proceeding is to be held.  The verification may be on information and belief."

  33. California Government Code Section 11513 provides:  "(a) Oral evidence shall be taken only on oath or affirmation.  (b) Each party shall have these rights:  to call and examine witnesses, to introduce exhibits; to cross-examine opposing witnesses on any matter relevant to the issues even though that matter was not covered in the direct examination; to impeach any witness regardless of which party first called him or her to testify; and to rebut the evidence against him or her.  If respondent does not testify in his or her own behalf he or she may be called and examined as if under cross-examination.  (c) The hearing need not be conducted according to technical rules relating to evidence and witnesses, except as hereinafter provided. Any relevant evidence shall be admitted if it is the sort of evidence on which responsible persons are accustomed to rely in the conduct of serious affairs, regardless of the existence of any common law or statutory rule which might make improper the admission of the evidence over objection in civil actions.  (d) Hearsay evidence may be used for the purpose of supplementing or explaining other evidence but over timely objection shall not be sufficient in itself to support a finding unless it would be admissible over objection in civil actions.  An objection is timely if made before submission of the case or on reconsideration.  (e) The rules of privilege shall be effective to the extent that they are otherwise required by statute to be recognized at the hearing.  (f) The presiding officer has discretion to exclude evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the probability that its admission will necessitate undue consumption of time."

  34. California Government Code Section 11507.5 provides:  "After initiation of a proceeding in which a respondent or other party is entitled to a hearing on the merits, a party, upon written request made to another party, prior to the hearing and within 30 days after service by the agency of the initial pleading or within 15 days after the service of an additional pleading, is entitled to (1) obtain the names and addresses of witnesses to the extent known to the other party, including, but not limited to, those intended to be called to testify at the hearing, and (2) inspect and make a copy of any of the following in the possession or custody or under the control of the other party:  (a) A statement of a person, other than the respondent, named in the initial administrative pleading, or in any additional pleading, when it is claimed that the act or omission of the respondent as to this person is the basis for the administrative proceeding;  (b) A statement pertaining to the subject matter of the proceeding made by any party to another party or person;  (c) Statements of witnesses then proposed to be called by the party and of other persons having personal knowledge of the acts, omissions or events which are the basis for the proceeding, not included in (a) or (b) above;  (d) All writings, including, but not limited to, reports of mental, physical and blood examinations and things which the party then proposes to offer in evidence;  (e) Any other writing or thing which is relevant and which would be admissible in evidence;  (f) Investigative reports made by or on behalf of the agency or other party pertaining to the subject matter of the proceeding, to the extent that these reports (1) contain the names and addresses of witnesses or of persons having personal knowledge of the acts, omissions or events which are the basis for the proceeding, or (2) reflect matters perceived by the investigator in the course of his or her investigation, or (3) contain or include by attachment any statement or writing described in (a) to (e), inclusive, or summary thereof.  For the purpose of this section, “statements” include written statements by the person signed or otherwise authenticated by him or her, stenographic, mechanical, electrical or other recordings, or transcripts thereof, of oral statements by the person, and written reports or summaries of these oral statements.  Nothing in this section shall authorize the inspection or copying of any writing or thing which is privileged from disclosure by law or otherwise made confidential or protected as the attorney's work product."

  35. California Government Code Section 11508 provides:  "(a) The agency shall consult the office, and subject to the availability of its staff, shall determine the time and place of the hearing. The hearing shall be held at a hearing facility maintained by the office in Sacramento, Oakland, Los Angeles, or San Diego and shall be held at the facility that is closest to the location where the transaction occurred or the respondent resides.  (b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the hearing may be held at either of the following places:  (1) A place selected by the agency that is closer to the location where the transaction occurred or the respondent resides.  (2) A place within the state selected by agreement of the parties.  (c) The respondent may move for, and the administrative law judge has discretion to grant or deny, a change in the place of the hearing. A motion for a change in the place of the hearing shall be made within 10 days after service of the notice of hearing on the respondent.  Unless good cause is identified in writing by the administrative law judge, hearings shall be held in a facility maintained by the office."

  36. California Government Code Section 11506 provides:  ("(a) Within 15 days after service of the accusation or District Statement of Reduction in Force the respondent may file with the agency a notice of defense, or, as applicable, notice of participation, in which the respondent may:  (1) Request a hearing.  (2) Object to the accusation or District Statement of Reduction in Force upon the ground that it does not state acts or omissions upon which the agency may proceed.  (3) Object to the form of the accusation or District Statement of Reduction in Force on the ground that it is so indefinite or uncertain that the respondent cannot identify the transaction or prepare a defense.  (4) Admit the accusation or District Statement of Reduction in Force in whole or in part.  (5) Present new matter by way of defense.  (6) Object to the accusation or District Statement of Reduction in Force upon the ground that, under the circumstances, compliance with the requirements of a regulation would result in a material violation of another regulation enacted by another department affecting substantive rights.  (b) Within the time specified the respondent may file one or more notices of defense, or, as applicable, notices of participation, upon any or all of these grounds but all of these notices shall be filed within that period unless the agency in its discretion authorizes the filing of a later notice.  (c) The respondent shall be entitled to a hearing on the merits if the respondent files a notice of defense or notice of participation, and the notice shall be deemed a specific denial of all parts of the accusation or District Statement of Reduction in Force not expressly admitted. Failure to file a notice of defense or notice of participation shall constitute a waiver of respondent's right to a hearing, but the agency in its discretion may nevertheless grant a hearing. Unless objection is taken as provided in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a), all objections to the form of the accusation or District Statement of Reduction in Force shall be deemed waived.  (d) The notice of defense or notice of participation shall be in writing signed by or on behalf of the respondent and shall state the respondent's mailing address. It need not be verified or follow any particular form.  (e) As used in this section, “file,” “files,” “filed,” or “filing” means “delivered or mailed” to the agency as provided in Section 11505."

  37. California Business and Professions Code Section 480; California Assembly Bill 2138 (2018).

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