Title 5
Businesses and Professions

Chapter 44

R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-44-19

§ 5-44-19. Procedure for discipline.

(a) When a sworn complaint is filed with the board charging a person with being guilty of any of the actions specified in § 5-44-18, the department shall immediately investigate those charges, or, the board, after investigation, may institute charges.

(b)(1) If the investigation reveals reasonable grounds for believing that the applicant or psychologist is guilty of the charges, the board shall fix a time and place for a hearing, and shall serve a copy of the charges, together with a notice of the time and the place fixed for the hearing, personally upon the accused at least twenty (20) days prior to the time fixed for the hearing.

(2) The board may investigate and render a decision on any disciplinary complaint against anyone practicing psychology regardless of whether he or she was licensed at the time of the alleged complaint or that his or her license has subsequently been surrendered, revoked, or not renewed.

(3) The board, at its discretion, may dismiss or suspend a complaint without a finding as delineated in the rules and regulations so that a person who is the subject of the complaint may participate in a colleague-assistance program acceptable to the board. The board may suspend a complaint contingent upon the person complying with directions issued by the board. The board may reinstate any suspended complaint at any time it deems that the person is not in compliance with the directions of the board.

(4) When personal service cannot be effected and that fact is certified by oath by any person authorized to make service, the board shall publish once, in each of two (2) successive weeks, a notice of the hearing in a newspaper published in the county where the accused last resided according to the records of the board and shall mail a copy of the charges and of the notice to the accused at his or her last known address.

(5) When publication of notice is necessary, the date of the hearing shall not be less than twenty (20) days after the last date of publication of the notice.

(c)(1) At the hearing, the accused has the right to appear personally or by counsel, or both, to produce witnesses and evidence on his or her behalf; to cross-examine witnesses; and to have subpoenas issued by the administrator of professional regulation.

(2) The attendance of witnesses and the production of books, documents, and papers at the hearing may be compelled by subpoenas issued by the department, which shall be served in accordance with law.

(3) The department shall administer oaths as necessary for the proper conduct of the hearing.

(4) The board is not bound by the strict rules of procedure or by the laws of evidence in the conduct of its proceedings, but the determination shall be based upon sufficient legal evidence to sustain it.

(5) The board has the authority to delegate a hearing to a hearing officer.

(d) If the accused is found guilty of the charges, the board may refuse to issue a registration to the applicant, or may revoke or suspend his or her license, or discipline that person.

(e) Upon the revocation or suspension of any license, the license holder shall surrender the license to the department which shall indicate same in the licensure verification database.

(f) A revocation or suspension of license may be reviewed at the discretion of the board, or at the initiative of the department which may order a rehearing of the issue if it finds cause.

History of Section.
P.L. 1969, ch. 233, § 2; P.L. 1992, ch. 469, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 303, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 416, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 41, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 76, § 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 36, § 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 42, § 1.