OCCUPATIONS AND PROFESSIONS
EMBALMERS AND FUNERAL DIRECTORS
325:32-a Reciprocal Discipline.
I. Upon receipt of a final order from the licensing authority of another jurisdiction which imposes disciplinary sanctions against a licensee or a person applying for a license, the board may issue an order directing the licensee or applicant to appear and show cause why similar disciplinary sanctions or, in the case of an applicant, license denial or restriction, should not be imposed in this state. In any such proceeding, the decision of the foreign licensing authority may not be collaterally attacked, but the licensee or applicant shall be given the opportunity to demonstrate why a lesser sanction should be imposed.
II. The board may commence a formal or informal investigation, or an adjudicative hearing, concerning allegations of misconduct and other matters within the scope of this chapter on its own motion whenever it has a reasonable basis for doing so, and the type of procedure chosen shall be a matter reserved to the discretion of the board. Formal or informal investigations may be conducted on an ex parte basis.
III. The board may administer oaths or affirmations, preserve testimony, and issue subpoenas for witnesses and for documents during any formal investigation or adjudicatory hearing, and as provided by paragraph IV of this section. Subpoenas not addressed in paragraph IV shall be served in accordance with the procedures and fee schedules established by the superior court, except that:
(a) Board licensees shall not be entitled to a witness fee or mileage expenses for travel within the state.
(b) Witness fees and mileage expenses need not be tendered in advance if the subpoena is annotated "Fees Guaranteed by the New Hampshire Board of Registration of Funeral Directors and Embalmers."
(c) The respondent shall be allowed at least 48 hours to comply.
IV. The board may at any time subpoena the professional records of its licensees and relevant health care records from physicians, hospitals, and other health care providers or facilities licensed or certified by this state. Such subpoenas shall be served by certified mail or by personal delivery to the address provided to the board pursuant to paragraph VI, and no witness or other fee shall be necessary for valid service. A minimum of 15 days' advance notice shall be allowed for complying with a subpoena duces tecum issued under this chapter.
V. A person holding or applying for licenses or other privileges granted by the board shall keep the board informed of such person's current business and residence addresses, and shall furnish written notice to the board of any change in such address within 30 days from the date the change occurs. A licensee or applicant shall have received adequate notice of any hearing or other action taken under this chapter if notice is mailed in a timely fashion to the most recent home or business address furnished under this paragraph.
VI. (a) Complaints of licensee misconduct shall be in writing, and shall be treated as requests for the commencement of a disciplinary hearing to which the time limitations of RSA 541-A:29 shall not apply.
(b) A complaint which fails to state a cause of action may be dismissed or summarily denied in whole or in part.
(c) The board shall fairly investigate all complaints to the extent warranted by the allegations and the resources available to the board. Following an investigation, the board shall have discretion to decline to prosecute or to defer prosecution on allegations made in any complaint based upon the board's assessment of the seriousness of the alleged misconduct and the resources and priorities of the board. Board decisions deferring misconduct prosecutions shall be final and shall not be subject to judicial review.
(d) Some or all of the allegations in a complaint may be consolidated with another complaint or with issues which the board wishes to investigate or hear on its own motion.
(e) The board may at any time settle misconduct allegations made in a complaint without the consent of the complainant, provided that material facts are not in dispute and the complainant is given an opportunity to comment in writing upon the terms of the proposed settlement.
VII. The board may issue any disciplinary sanction or take any action with regard to any pending application pursuant to this section otherwise permitted by this chapter, including sanctions or actions which are more stringent than those imposed by the foreign jurisdiction.
VIII. The board may adopt summary procedures for handling proceedings brought under this chapter, but shall furnish the respondent at least 10 days' written notice and a reasonable opportunity to be heard. The board may require a licensee to suspend practice in this state as a condition of postponing a hearing date established for allegations brought under this section.
Source. 1996, 283:11, eff. Jan. 1, 1997.