The Texas Funeral Service Commission licenses and regulates funeral homes, funeral directors, embalmers, crematories, and certain cemeteries. It is also the regulatory agency that oversees compliance and investigates complaints made against those it licenses.
The funeral home industry in Texas must adhere to a strict set of rules and regulations. There are a number of duties of a funeral establishment codified in the Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 23. Further, the Commission has a duty to inspect funeral establishments. 22 Tex. Admin. Code §201.2.
Unless otherwise exempt, "a licensed cemetery, crematory, or funeral establishment shall be inspected at least once every two years by an agent of the commission[.]" Tex. Occ. Code §651.157(a). If the Commission finds a violation of the Health and Safety Code, then it shall inspect the offending establishment annually until the Commission determines that no violations are occurring. Tex. Occ. Code §651.157(b). All inspections are unannounced. 22 Tex. Admin. Code §203.44(a)(2).
Texas Funeral Service Commission Finds 63 Funeral Establishments to Have Health & Safety Code Deficiencies
As reported in the Texas Funeral Service Commission FY19 – 3rd Quarter Newsletter, March 2019 – June 2019, during the second quarter of Fiscal Year 2019, the compliance division:
- Conducted 184 inspections of its licensed facilities.
- 163 funeral homes,
- 7 commercial embalming facilities, and
- 13 crematories.
Of the 184 facilities inspected, the Commission found 63 of the entities to have deficiencies. This means fully one-third of licensed funeral service facilities inspected were found to be in violation of at least one health and safety code or other duties of funeral establishments.
These offending facilities will now be inspected annually until the Commission determines that the establishment is free of violations.
The FY19 – 3rd Quarter Newsletter further reported that during FY 2019 second quarter the commission received 32 new complaints. It resolved 33 complaints, and of those, 18 of the investigations resulted in disciplinary action. Over half of the licensed funeral service facilities that were subject of complaints were ultimately disciplined by the Texas Funeral Service Commission.
Texas Funeral Service Commission & Administrative Penalties
The Commission is authorized to impose administrative penalties for violations. Tex. Occ. Code §651.151. The amount of the penalty cannot be less than $100 or more than $5,000 for each violation. Tex. Occ. Code §651.152(a). In determining the amount of the administrative penalty to be assessed, the Commission shall base its decision on:
- The seriousness of the violation;
- The threat the violation poses to health and safety;
- The history of previous violations;
- The amount necessary to deter a future violation;
- Efforts made to correct the violation;
- The guidelines adopted under Section 651.5515; and
- any other matter that justice requires.
Tex. Occ. Code §651.152(b). If during an inspection the Commission finds a code violation, or if someone files a formal complaint against your funeral home, embalming facility, or crematory, your career, livelihood, and reputation are in jeopardy.
Texas Funeral Service License Defense
Complaints need to be faced head-on. It is important to mount a strong defense from the start. Our Firm believes that immediately consulting a Texas Funeral Service License Defense Attorney as soon as you are notified of a complaint helps ensure the most favorable outcome in your case. Our results speak for themselves.
You have the right to an attorney during all stages of the Texas Funeral Service Commission resolution of the complaints process. Exercise your right. At BERTOLINO LLP, our Texas Funeral Service license defense attorneys can work with you to get your complaint dismissed and prove you did nothing wrong. We have a strong track record and know what it takes to set the record straight and make sure professionals like yourself maintain your Funeral Service License in Texas.
We proudly represent licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. To best serve our clients, we have offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. If you are facing licensure issues or disciplinary action from a professional licensing board or state agency, contact us today or call 512-717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.
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