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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Chapter 245A

Section 245A.07

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245A.07 Sanctions.

Subdivision 1. Sanctions available. In addition to making a license conditional under section 245A.06, the commissioner may propose to suspend or revoke the license, impose a fine, or secure an injunction against the continuing operation of the program of a license holder who does not comply with applicable law or rule. When applying sanctions authorized under this section, the commissioner shall consider the nature, chronicity, or severity of the violation of law or rule and the effect of the violation on the health, safety, or rights of persons served by the program.

Subd. 2. Temporary immediate suspension. If the license holder's actions or failure to comply with applicable law or rule, or the actions of other individuals or conditions in the program pose an imminent risk of harm to the health, safety, or rights of persons served by the program, the commissioner shall act immediately to temporarily suspend the license. No state funds shall be made available or be expended by any agency or department of state, county, or municipal government for use by a license holder regulated under this chapter while a license is under immediate suspension. A notice stating the reasons for the immediate suspension and informing the license holder of the right to an expedited hearing under chapter 14 and Minnesota Rules, parts 1400.8505 to 1400.8612, must be delivered by personal service to the address shown on the application or the last known address of the license holder. The license holder may appeal an order immediately suspending a license. The appeal of an order immediately suspending a license must be made in writing by certified mail or personal service. If mailed, the appeal must be postmarked and sent to the commissioner within five calendar days after the license holder receives notice that the license has been immediately suspended. If a request is made by personal service, it must be received by the commissioner within five calendar days after the license holder received the order. A license holder and any controlling individual shall discontinue operation of the program upon receipt of the commissioner's order to immediately suspend the license.

Subd. 2a. Immediate suspension expedited hearing. (a) Within five working days of receipt of the license holder's timely appeal, the commissioner shall request assignment of an administrative law judge. The request must include a proposed date, time, and place of a hearing. A hearing must be conducted by an administrative law judge within 30 calendar days of the request for assignment, unless an extension is requested by either party and granted by the administrative law judge for good cause. The commissioner shall issue a notice of hearing by certified mail or personal service at least ten working days before the hearing. The scope of the hearing shall be limited solely to the issue of whether the temporary immediate suspension should remain in effect pending the commissioner's final order under section 245A.08, regarding a licensing sanction issued under subdivision 3 following the immediate suspension. The burden of proof in expedited hearings under this subdivision shall be limited to the commissioner's demonstration that reasonable cause exists to believe that the license holder's actions or failure to comply with applicable law or rule poses an imminent risk of harm to the health, safety, or rights of persons served by the program.

(b) The administrative law judge shall issue findings of fact, conclusions, and a recommendation within ten working days from the date of hearing. The parties shall have ten calendar days to submit exceptions to the administrative law judge's report. The record shall close at the end of the ten-day period for submission of exceptions. The commissioner's final order shall be issued within ten working days from the close of the record. Within 90 calendar days after a final order affirming an immediate suspension, the commissioner shall make a determination regarding whether a final licensing sanction shall be issued under subdivision 3. The license holder shall continue to be prohibited from operation of the program during this 90-day period.

(c) When the final order under paragraph (b) affirms an immediate suspension, and a final licensing sanction is issued under subdivision 3 and the license holder appeals that sanction, the license holder continues to be prohibited from operation of the program pending a final commissioner's order under section 245A.08, subdivision 5, regarding the final licensing sanction.

Subd. 3. License suspension, revocation, or fine. The commissioner may suspend or revoke a license, or impose a fine if a license holder fails to comply fully with applicable laws or rules, has a disqualification which has not been set aside under section 245C.22, or knowingly withholds relevant information from or gives false or misleading information to the commissioner in connection with an application for a license, in connection with the background study status of an individual, or during an investigation. A license holder who has had a license suspended, revoked, or has been ordered to pay a fine must be given notice of the action by certified mail or personal service. If mailed, the notice must be mailed to the address shown on the application or the last known address of the license holder. The notice must state the reasons the license was suspended, revoked, or a fine was ordered.

(a) If the license was suspended or revoked, the notice must inform the license holder of the right to a contested case hearing under chapter 14 and Minnesota Rules, parts 1400.8505 to 1400.8612. The license holder may appeal an order suspending or revoking a license. The appeal of an order suspending or revoking a license must be made in writing by certified mail or personal service. If mailed, the appeal must be postmarked and sent to the commissioner within ten calendar days after the license holder receives notice that the license has been suspended or revoked. If a request is made by personal service, it must be received by the commissioner within ten calendar days after the license holder received the order. Except as provided in subdivision 2a, paragraph (c), a timely appeal of an order suspending or revoking a license shall stay the suspension or revocation until the commissioner issues a final order.

(b)(1) If the license holder was ordered to pay a fine, the notice must inform the license holder of the responsibility for payment of fines and the right to a contested case hearing under chapter 14 and Minnesota Rules, parts 1400.8505 to 1400.8612. The appeal of an order to pay a fine must be made in writing by certified mail or personal service. If mailed, the appeal must be postmarked and sent to the commissioner within ten calendar days after the license holder receives notice that the fine has been ordered. If a request is made by personal service, it must be received by the commissioner within ten calendar days after the license holder received the order.

(2) The license holder shall pay the fines assessed on or before the payment date specified. If the license holder fails to fully comply with the order, the commissioner may issue a second fine or suspend the license until the license holder complies. If the license holder receives state funds, the state, county, or municipal agencies or departments responsible for administering the funds shall withhold payments and recover any payments made while the license is suspended for failure to pay a fine. A timely appeal shall stay payment of the fine until the commissioner issues a final order.

(3) A license holder shall promptly notify the commissioner of human services, in writing, when a violation specified in the order to forfeit a fine is corrected. If upon reinspection the commissioner determines that a violation has not been corrected as indicated by the order to forfeit a fine, the commissioner may issue a second fine. The commissioner shall notify the license holder by certified mail or personal service that a second fine has been assessed. The license holder may appeal the second fine as provided under this subdivision.

(4) Fines shall be assessed as follows: the license holder shall forfeit $1,000 for each determination of maltreatment of a child under section 626.556 or the maltreatment of a vulnerable adult under section 626.557; the license holder shall forfeit $200 for each occurrence of a violation of law or rule governing matters of health, safety, or supervision, including but not limited to the provision of adequate staff-to-child or adult ratios, and failure to submit a background study; and the license holder shall forfeit $100 for each occurrence of a violation of law or rule other than those subject to a $1,000 or $200 fine above. For purposes of this section, "occurrence" means each violation identified in the commissioner's fine order.

(5) When a fine has been assessed, the license holder may not avoid payment by closing, selling, or otherwise transferring the licensed program to a third party. In such an event, the license holder will be personally liable for payment. In the case of a corporation, each controlling individual is personally and jointly liable for payment.

Subd. 4. Adoption agency violations. If a license holder licensed to place children for adoption fails to provide services as described in the disclosure form required by section 259.37, subdivision 2, the sanctions under this section may be imposed.

HIST: 1987 c 333 s 7; 1989 c 282 art 2 s 80; 1990 c 568 art 2 s 45; 1992 c 513 art 9 s 11,12; 1994 c 631 s 6,31; 1995 c 207 art 2 s 14; 1997 c 248 s 26,27; 2000 c 327 s 6; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 14 s 21; 2002 c 375 art 1 s 13,14; 2002 c 379 art 1 s 113; 2002 c 396 s 2,3; 2004 c 288 art 1 s 18-20