The funeral home industry in Texas must adhere to a strict set of rules and regulations. People rely on you during one of the most challenging times in their lives. They trust you to handle the funeral of a loved one professionally and with dignity. We understand therefore you take your work seriously.
If someone files a formal complaint against you or your funeral home, your career, livelihood, and reputation are in jeopardy. 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.
Texas Funeral Service Commission Reviews Complaints
The Texas Funeral Service Commission (TFSC) 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 licensees. The Commission's mission is "to protect the public from deceptive practices in the funeral and death care industry through a process of impartial enforcement, inspection, licensing and education in order to guarantee every citizen’s final disposition is conducted professionally and ethically."
If a complaint is filed against you alleging that you violated death care industry laws or regulations, the Commission will open an investigation and review the complaint to determine if it has jurisdiction and if a violation of a statue or rule occurred.
You will be notified of the complaint and asked to provide documentation. You will be given 15 days to respond. The Commission will take statements and gather evidence in furtherance of its investigation.
The investigator will summarize evidence and information in an Investigative Report (IR). The TFSC Executive Director will assesses the administrative action or a penalty. The disciplinary actions, sanctions, and fines for certain violations are set by the TFSC Administrative Penalties and Sanctions Schedule. 22 Tex. Admin. Code § 203.43(c)(4).
The Investigative Report will be sent to you and you will be given 30 days to respond by either agreeing with it and accepting the penalty or requesting dispute settlement. If you accept the Investigative Report penalty, then you and the TFSC Executive Director will sign an Agreed Order and the case will be closed. Otherwise, the case will move into settlement negotiations.
During settlement negotiations it is highly advisable to have your Funeral Service license defense attorney by your side through the process. At this stage the sanctions or penalties may be rescinded, lowered, or left unchanged by the Commission. If a settlement cannot be reached, then the case will be set for a formal hearing at the Texas State Office of Administrative Hearing (SOHA).
An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will conduct the SOAH hearing. You and the Commission will each have the opportunity to present your cases, offer evidence, and questions witnesses. After the hearing concludes, the ALJ will issue a Proposal for Decision (PFD).
The Texas Funeral Service Commission will then put the PFD on a Commission meeting agenda and provide notice to you. After the meeting, the Commission will accept or modify the PFD. A letter will then be sent to you asking for your final action: you can either accept the Commission Order or file for judicial review.
Texas Funeral Service License Defense
You have the right to an attorney during all stages of the TFSC resolution of 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 represent licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. Our honest, experienced attorneys will fight aggressively on behalf of your license and reputation. Contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.
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