CHAPTER 144

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 340

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1 AND SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 24 AND 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO EMPLOYEES, INVESTIGATIONS AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES FOR REGULATORY BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Paragraph (7), subsection (a), Section 1730, Chapter 17, Title 24, Delaware Code by deleting paragraph (7) in its entirety and by renumbering the remaining paragraphs 7 through 16.

Section 2. Amend Section 1905, Chapter 19, Title 24, Delaware Code by deleting the first sentence of the section.

Section 3. Amend Section 1906, Chapter 19, Title 24, Delaware Code by deleting subsections 14, 15, and 16 in their entirety and renumbering the remaining subsections 14 through 18.

Section 4. Amend Section 2904, Chapter 29, Title 24, Delaware Code by deleting the first sentence of the section.

Section 5. Amend Section 2905, Chapter 29, Title 24, Delaware Code by deleting subsections 8, 9, and 10 In their entirety.

Section 6. Amend Section 8810(a), Chapter 88, Title 29 of the Delaware Code by adding the word "exclusive" before the word "investigative" and striking the word "support" after the word "investigative".

Section 7. Further Amend Section 8810(a), Chapter 88, Title 29, of the Delaware Code by inserting between the word "agencies" and the colon (:) at the end of the second sentence thereof the following:

", with the exception that the Secretary of the Department of Administrative Services shall not be precluded from entering Into a memorandum of understanding with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services for the purpose of allowing employees of the Department of Health and Social Services to function as Inspectors, investigators and administrative support for the Board of Pharmacy."

Section 8. Further amend Section 8810, Title 29 of the Delaware Code, by adding thereto a new subsection (I) to read as follows:

"(i) The following procedure for the investigation of complaints by the Division of Professional Regulation for boards, commissions and agencies regulated pursuant to this Chapter shall apply:

1) A practitioner or member of the public desiring to file a complaint against a practitioner and/or licensee regulated by the Boards, Commissions and agencies covered under this Chapter shall file a written complaint with the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation who shall mail a certified copy, return-receipt requested of the complaint to the respective commission, board or agency which regulates the practitioner or licensee named in the complaint.

(2) The Division's staff shall within fifteen days of receipt of the complaint fill out a complaint card, assign a complaint number, and log the complaint In the Division's records. A record of each complaint shall be kept for a period of five years.

(3) The Division shall thereafter mall a copy of the complaint to the named practitioner or licensee. Said mailed copy of the complaint shall constitute notice of the pending complaint against the practitioner. The practitioner may respond in-Writing to the Division to the complaint's allegations within twenty days of the receipt of the complaint by the practitioner or licensee.

(4) The Division shall then assign a Division investigator to investigate the complaint. At the commission, board or agency's next regularly scheduled meeting It may assign a member to assist the Division with the investigation of the complaint in an advisory capacity with the technical aspects of the complaint.

Said investigator shall recuse himself or herself from the board, commission or agency's deliberations on the complaint at any hearing held regarding the complaint. The assisting board member shall not communicate any issue of law or fact regarding the investigation to any fellow board members. The Division's Investigator shall direct the investigation of the complaint and shall be responsible for issuing a final written report at the conclusion of the investigation.

(5) The complainant shall also be notified in writing within thirty days of receipt of the complaint that the Division of Professional Regulation has received the complaint and it has been referred to be investigated by a Division investigator.

(6) Following the Investigator's written report, the Division may forward the complaint and report to the Attorney General's Office for a review by a Deputy Attorney General who, if warranted, may file a formal complaint against the practitioner and/or licensee. Otherwise, the initial written complaint shall be used In any future hearings in the proceedings.

(7) The Division Director or his designee is empowered to issue subpoenas for witnesses, documents, physical evidence or any other source of evidence needed during the investigation of a complaint filed under this Chapter.

(8) This Chapter does not preclude a commission, board, or agency under the jurisdiction of §8810 of this Chapter from, if its enabling legislation so provides, revoking or immediately suspending a practitioner's license if the Board finds the health, welfare and safety of the public is in immediate or imminent danger.

(9) If any section or subsection of this Chapter shall be declared invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the invalidity shall not affect other provisions of the Chapter which can be given effect without the invalid provision or, to this end, are severable from any invalid section.

(10) This Chapter shall supersede any provisions of any commission, board, or agency's procedures named in §8810 except the Board of Medical Practice of this Chapter for handling complaints against practitioners prior to the effective date of this Chapter.

(11) This Chapter shall be effective when signed by the Governor of the State of Delaware."

Section 9. Amend Section 10161, Chapter 101, Title 29, Delaware Code by adding new subsections, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41 and 42 to read as follows:

"(35) Board of Cosmetology;

(36) Commission on Adult Entertainment Establishments;

(37) Board of Physical Therapy;

(38) Real Estate Commission;

(39) Board of Funeral Services;

(40) Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators;

(41) Delaware Gaming Control Board;

(42) Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission."

Approved July 20, 1989.