Dozens of professionals in Texas are regulated by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). By statute, the TDLR is mandated to investigate and resolve complaints received against licensees of the programs it administers.
Complaints against TDLR licensees can come from a number of places. The three major sources are consumer complaints, internal referrals from routine inspections, and criminal background investigations of applicants and licensees. Consumer complaints and department complaints are both investigated by the TDLR.
TDLR Enforcement Division
The TDLR’s Enforcement Division receives a large volume of complaints from consumers and the public, as well as from TDLR staff.
- Consumer Complaints are complaints filed by consumers of a service provided by a licensee or by a member of the general public against a licensee.
- Department Complaints are complaints from TDLR staff.
The TDLR’s intake and investigation procedures are applied to complaints from consumer complaints and a portion of department complaints.
Standard Procedures for Processing Complaints
When the Enforcement Division receives a complaint from a consumer or certain department complaints, the complaint is assigned to the intake section for review. If during intake it is determined that the TDLR has legal jurisdiction and there is reason to believe a violation may have occurred, then a case is opened for investigation.
An opening letter is then issued to the complainant (unless the complaint was filed anonymously) and the respondent, the licensee against whom the complaint was filed. As a standard practice, the investigator will then conduct telephone or in-person interviews of the respondent, complainant, and pertinent witness, and gather copies of any documents and other relevant evidence relevant to the case. The investigator then submits a detailed report of the facts to a TDLR prosecuting attorney, who will determine the appropriate resolution of the case.
Specialized Procedures for Certain Department Complaints
Texas statue created specialized, abbreviated procedures for some categories of Department Complaints. These specialized procedures vary from one statute to another and from one TDLR program to another, but are generally designed to eliminate unnecessary steps and bring the complaint to resolution more quickly.
For example, there is a specialized procedure for processing Cosmetology cases arising from TDLR inspections of salons conducted by TDLR employees of the Field Operations Division. When an inspection reveals evidence of violations that rise to a certain level of seriousness, the Field Operations Division will refer the matter to the Enforcement Division as a complaint. An investigator will not be assigned to the case, because the violations are proven through the observations of the Field Operations inspector. Such a complaint will be assigned directly to a TDLR prosecutor who will proceed with appropriate steps to resolve the case.
Hire an Experienced License Defense Attorney
If you have been notified of a complaint filed against you with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, BERTOLINO LLP can help. We are experienced TDLR license defense attorneys and we know how to navigate the Agency’s complaint process. We are prepared to represent you at any legal hearing or proceeding regarding your professional license.
Our Firm believes that immediately consulting an experienced TDLR license defense attorney to review allegations of misconduct helps ensure the most favorable outcome in your case. Our results speak for themselves.
BERTOLINO LLP represents licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. If you are facing disciplinary action from a professional licensing board or state agency, contact us today or call (512) 476-5757 and schedule a case evaluation.