A recent case involving revocation of a nurse’s license illustrates the importance of keeping licensing authorities updated with your current mailing address and checking your mail regularly. All legal proceedings involve deadlines. If a deadline passes without you taking necessary action your legal rights may be severely limited and serious consequences may result.
In Hansen v. Board of Registered Nursing the issue was whether Hansen could challenge a decision of the Board to revoke her nursing license. Unfortunately, the general facts are not uncommon – Hansen failed to notify the Board of her current mailing address and, as a result, she was not timely notified of administrative proceedings against her license or of the Boards decision to revoke it. The result: Hansen’s license was revoked and she was prevented from challenging that decision. Continue reading
An employee that has a wage claim against an employer may file a claim with the Labor Commissioner or may file a suit for breach of contract in Superior Court. Claims adjudicated by the commissioner do not provide for attorney fees. If either party is unsatisfied with the commissioner’s decision, an appeal may be taken to the Superior Court.
However, Labor Code section 98.2, subdivision (c) provides that if a party files an appeal in the superior court seeking review of the Labor Commissioner’s decision and is unsuccessful, the court shall determine the reasonable attorney fees and costs incurred by the other parties to the appeal and assess that amount as a cost upon the party filing the appeal. The subsection specifically provides that an employee is successful on appeal if the court awards an amount greater than zero.
What is the rule when an employee appeals and the appeal is dismissed on jurisdictional grounds because the appeal was not timely and the employee did not, therefore, achieve an award greater than zero in the Superior Court? Continue reading
A tenured school teacher, who had been charged in an accusation with conduct meriting dismissal, denied the conduct and requested a hearing which the school district scheduled. Later, the Commission on Professional Competence which was to hear the matter, dismissed the accusation at the request of the district, over the objection of the teacher, without a determination that the teacher should not be dismissed. A finding that the teacher should not be dismissed would have entitled the teacher to his reasonable attorney’s fees and costs. Continue reading
In Sulla v. Board of Registered Nursing (May 8, 2012, A132699) __Cal.4th __ , a nurse was convicted of a misdemeanor after he caused a single-car accident. He had been driving with a blood alcohol level in excess of the legal limit. Sulla was charged with unprofessional conduct. Specifically, that he used alcoholic beverages to an extent dangerous to himself or the public; or was convicted of a criminal offense involving alcohol. The superior court had reversed a disciplinary action taken by the Board of Registered Nursing on the ground that Sulla’s conduct and his resulting conviction were not “substantially related to the qualifications, functions or duties” of a nurse. Continue reading