Understand the Funeral Service Commission disciplinary process
The Commission will review the complaint brought against you to verify jurisdiction and the validity of the allegations. As part of the process, you will be notified of the complaint and can submit response documentation. FSC has one of the tightest deadlines of the Texas regulatory agencies – you will have just 15 days to respond. This means it is critical to retain an experienced attorney immediately to help you respond quickly and appropriately.
The Commission may decide the complaint does not warrant further action, in part based on your response. In this case, the Commission can dismiss the complaint. In the event the Commission decides a violation occurred, you will receive an Investigative Report with a disciplinary recommendation. Once you are notified of the decision and recommendation, you have 30 days to submit a response.
At this stage, you have rights and options. An experienced license defense attorney can help you negotiate those choices. You can elect to accept the penalty recommended by the Commission or you can negotiate a settlement at a formal or informal conference. If a negotiated settlement cannot be reached, the matter will proceed to an administrative hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) at the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH).
The ALJ considers evidence and arguments from both sides, then issues a Proposal for Decision (PFD). FSC Commission still has the final authority to accept or modify the ALJ decision, including imposition of further penalties. Once you receive the ruling of the Commission, you have the right to appeal the decision for judicial review at the district court level.