How To Submit A Complaint
Submit A Complaint
- The state of Georgia has determined that certain businesses and professions affect the health, safety and welfare of the public.
- Persons practicing in these businesses and professions, with some exceptions, are required by state law to be licensed under the Professional Licensing Boards Division.
- The requirements are published in Georgia Law, the Official Code of Georgia Annotates, (O.C.G.A.) Title 43.
- Boards only have legal jurisdiction over an individual’s license to practice and can only discipline an individual if there is found to be a violation of the laws and rules governing the practice.
- Boards reserve the right to not accept or process anonymous complaints.
- Complaints and all information about the complaint are not subject to open records request and are strictly confidential.
What to Submit
- Complaints must be submitted in writing.
- To submit a complaint against a licensed individual or a licensed facility, you must provide their name and license number.
- If you do not know the information, you can search for a licensed facility.
- You can also search for a licensed individual.
- The complaint must include:
- Your name, address, telephone number, and email address
- The name and address of the person or facility being reported and, if applicable, their license number
- A detailed description of the violation
- Any other pertinent information, which includes supporting documents (i.e. business/patient records, cancelled checks, billing statements, proposals, contracts, invoices...) that could be used to support your complaint.
Choose and complete the appropriate online form and submit.
Complaint is Referred to Investigations
- Complaints are given serious consideration by the board, and further investigative action may be taken, if appropriate. A referral of the complaint for further investigation does not necessarily mean that a licensing violation has occurred, and you may or may not be contacted by a board Investigator.
- Investigations are completed as soon as possible, depending upon the nature and circumstances of the complaint.
- Investigations are confidential by law; we are unable to divulge receipt of or updates on the status of a complaint over the phone.
- Georgia law requires that investigative files are confidential for any purpose other than a hearing before the board; however, the board is authorized to release the records to another enforcement agency or lawful licensing authority.
- A board may discipline a license holder if the board determines that a violation of the board’s laws, rules and/or regulations has occurred.
- A licensee who violates these laws, rules and/or regulations may be subject to disciplinary action, such as a fine, reprimand, suspension or revocation of the license.
- When a Board seeks to sanction a license holder and the license holder does not voluntarily enter into a consent agreement/order with the board, the board may be required to hold an Administrative Hearing. When cases proceed to a formal hearing, the decision is made by an administrative law judge in accordance with the Georgia Administrative Procedures Act.
- If a hearing is conducted, the complainant (you) may be called upon to testify, and your identity as a complainant may become known.
- After the formal hearing is conducted, the administrative law judge issues a ruling (Initial Decision and recommended disciplinary action).
- The licensee may request, or the board on its own, may seek review of the administrative law judge’s decision.
- After the final decision is issued, the licensee may appeal that decision to the Superior Court of Bibb County.
- The disciplinary procedure is lengthy and may take months to complete. However, it is designed to insure due process and to protect the rights of the individuals involved.
Business Practice/Billing Disputes
- Most boards generally do not have legal jurisdiction over business practices/billing/fee disputes.
- The boards have no authority to set business fees or settle business fee disputes.
- Seeking legal counsel or seeking a remedy in the civil court arena for issues dealing with business practices/billing/fee disputes is an option.
- The boards jurisdiction is over individuals, facilities or businesses who are licensed or have applied for a license.
- If the board receives a complaint that substantiates unlicensed practice or the aiding and abetting of unlicensed practice, the board may in some cases proceed to a hearing for a Cease and Desist Order or refer the matter for criminal prosecution in the jurisdiction where the unlawful act took place. The board has no authority to take further action unless the individual or facility applies for a license.
- Seeking legal counsel or seeking a remedy in the civil court arena for any damages experienced as a result of unlicensed practice or aiding and abetting unlicensed practice is an option.
Possible Resolutions to Complaints
- The complaint is closed with no violation/insufficient evidence – you will be notified of this action.
- The complaint is closed with a letter of concern - this action is taken if there is no violation of the laws and rules governing practice but the board desires to express its concern to the practitioner surrounding the complaint. You will be notified that the complaint has been closed; however, a letter of concern is private and cannot be shared.
- The complaint is closed after an inspection – Inspection reports are public information.
- The complaint is closed with an Order for Monies received – this action is taken when a fine has been paid for a violation that was discovered during an inspection. This information is public.
- The complaint is closed with a private consent order – the action is taken when there is a violation of the laws and rules governing practice. However, the matter is closed with a private agreement between the licensee and the board. A private consent order is private and cannot be shared.
- The complaint is closed with a public consent order – the action is taken when there is a violation of the laws and rules governing practice. The matter is public and you will be notified of the Board’s decision. This information is posted on the licensees’ public license record.
What to Expect
- An acknowledgment will be sent to you from the board upon receipt of the complaint.
- You may expect the state board to be genuinely concerned with your complaint. It will be reviewed thoroughly.
- If the complaint does not fall within the legal jurisdiction of the board, you will receive notice to that affect. When appropriate, the board will investigate and resolve the complaint.
- Please remember that Investigations are confidential; we are unable to provide any information concerning the status of a complaint, except to report if the complaint investigation is ongoing or closed. If a complaint is closed with a public action, such information may be provided.
- Once the investigative process is completed, you will be notified.