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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.

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Prosecution Services

Consumer Services Section

Prosecution Services

The Prosecution Services Unit (PSU) is responsible for providing legal services in the regulation of all health care boards and councils.

Attorneys review the investigative report to recommend a course of action which may include:
  • Emergency Order
  • Expert Review
  • Closing Order
  • Administrative Complaint

Emergency Orders are issued by the Department’s State Surgeon General against licensees who pose an immediate threat to the health, safety, and welfare of the people of Florida.

A Quick Guide: Emergency Orders

Probable Cause Panel (PCP) - The PCP is a panel of two or three board members, usually one or two licensed health care professionals and a consumer member.

A Quick Guide: Probable Cause Panels
  • Closing Order - A closing order is recommended if the investigation and/or the expert opinion does not support the allegation(s). The subject and the complainant are notified of the panel's discussion. When a case is closed, the complainant may provide additional information to the Department which may be relevant to the panel's decision within sixty (60) days after closure.

    Note: The complaint and all information obtained pursuant to the investigation by the Department in cases closed with no finding of probable cause are confidential and are not available through a public records request.

  • An Administrative Complaint - An Administrative Complaint is recommendedecommended when the investigation and/or the expert opinion supports the allegation(s). The subject is entitled to a copy of the complete case prior to the probable cause panel meeting.

  • When an Administrative Complaint is filed with the Department of Health’s Agency Clerk, the subject has the right to choose one of the following:
  • Hearings Involving Disputed Issues of Material Fact - The subject disputes the facts in the Administrative Complaint and elects to have a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) with the Division of Administrative Hearings. If this occurs, , the subject and the Department will present evidence to the ALJ, including documentary evidence or witness testimony, The ALJ will make findings of fact and conclusions of law regarding the allegations in the Administrative Complaint and submit a recommended order to the board or Department for final action.
  • Settlement Agreement - The subject enters into an agreement to be presented before the board or Department. Terms of this agreement may impose penalties negotiated between the subject or the subject’s attorney and the Department’s attorney.
  • Hearings Not Involving Disputed Issues of Material Fact - The subject of the complaint does not dispute the facts in the Administrative Complaint. The subject elects to be heard before the board or Department. At that time, the subject will be permitted to give oral and/or written evidence in mitigation or in opposition to the agency action
  • Voluntary Relinquishment of License - The subject of the Administrative Complaint elects to surrender the license and to cease practice.

  • Final Action - Cases (includes all of the above, as well as cases where the subject fails to respond to the Administrative Complaint) are presented before the board or Department for final agency action. The subject may be required to appear before the board or Department. The complainant is notified of the date and location where the case will be heard and may attend.

    If the subject is entitled to and appeals the final decision, the PSU attorney defends the final order before the appropriate appellate court.