Article 130 General Provisions
Subarticle 4, Unauthorized Acts
§6512 Unauthorized practice a crime. | §6513 Unauthorized use of a professional title a crime. | §6514 Criminal proceedings. | §6515 Restraint of unlawful acts. | §6516 Civil enforcement proceedings and civil penalties.
- Anyone not authorized to practice under this title who practices or offers to practice or holds himself out as being able to practice in any profession in which a license is a prerequisite to the practice of the acts, or who practices any profession as an exempt person during the time when his professional license is suspended, revoked or annulled, or who aids or abets an unlicensed person to practice a profession, or who fraudulently sells, files, furnishes, obtains, or who attempts fraudulently to sell, file, furnish or obtain any diploma, license, record or permit purporting to authorize the practice of a profession, shall be guilty of a class E felony.
- Anyone who knowingly aids or abets three or more unlicensed persons to practice a profession or employs or holds such unlicensed persons out as being able to practice in any profession in which a license is a prerequisite to the practice of the acts, or who knowingly aids or abets three or more persons to practice any profession as exempt persons during the time when the professional licenses of such persons are suspended, revoked or annulled, shall be guilty of a class E felony.
- Anyone not authorized to use a professional title regulated by this title, and who uses such professional title, shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
- Anyone who knowingly aids or abets three or more persons not authorized to use a professional title regulated by this title, to use such professional title, or knowingly employs three or more persons not authorized to use a professional title regulated by this title, who use such professional title in the course of such employment, shall be guilty of a class E felony.
- All alleged violations of sections sixty-five hundred twelve or sixty-five hundred thirteen of this article shall be reported to the department which shall cause an investigation to be instituted. All alleged violations of section sixty-five hundred thirty-one of the education law shall be reported to the department of health which shall cause an investigation to be instituted. If the investigation substantiates that violations exist, such violations shall be reported to the attorney general with a request for prosecution.
- The attorney general shall prosecute such alleged offenses in the name of the state, provided, however, in the event of alleged violations of article one hundred fifty-five of this title, a district attorney may prosecute such alleged offenses in the name of the state provided, however, that any district attorney may prosecute such offenses where they are incidental to a criminal prosecution instituted by him under other statutes.
- All criminal courts having jurisdiction over misdemeanors are hereby empowered to hear, try and determine alleged violations under this title, which constitute misdemeanors, without indictment and to impose applicable punishment of fines or imprisonments or both. It shall be necessary to prove in any prosecution under this title only a single prohibited act or a single holding out without proving a general course of conduct.
- A proceeding before a committee on professional conduct shall not be deemed to be a criminal proceeding within the meaning of this section.
Where a violation of this title is alleged to have occurred, the attorney general, the department or, in the event of alleged violations of article one hundred fifty-five of this title occurring in cities having a population of one million or more, the corporation counsel may apply to the supreme court within the judicial district in which such violation is alleged to have occurred for an order enjoining or restraining commission or continuance of the unlawful acts complained of. The remedy provided in this section shall be in addition to any other remedy provided by law or to the proceedings commenced against a licensee under this title.
- Issuance of cease and desist order. Whenever the department has reasonable cause to believe that any person has violated any provision of section sixty-five hundred twelve or sixty-five hundred thirteen of this article, the department may issue and serve upon such person a notice to cease and desist from such violation. Such cease and desist order shall be served personally by the department. If personal service can not be made after due diligence and such fact is certified under oath, a copy of the order shall be made by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the person's last known address by the department.
- Contents of cease and desist order. The cease and desist order shall be in writing and shall describe with particularity the nature of the violation, including a reference of the specific provision or provisions of law alleged to have been violated and an order to the respondent to cease any unlawful activity. The cease and desist order shall advise the respondent (a) of the right to contest the order by requesting a hearing within thirty days of the service of the cease and desist order before a hearing officer designated by the department (b) of the right to request a stay of the cease and desist order at the time a hearing is requested and (c) shall set forth the respondent's rights at such a hearing pursuant to subdivision five of this section.
- Civil penalties. Civil penalties up to five thousand dollars may be imposed for each violation and the respondent may be ordered to make restitution to any person who has an interest in any money or property, either real or personal, acquired by the respondent as a result of a violation. Whenever the department concludes that civil penalties and/or restitution may be warranted because of the egregiousness of the unlawful activity, it may serve, along with the cease and desist order, a notice of a hearing on the allegations of unlawful activity and the department's intention to order the respondent to make restitution and/or impose a civil penalty. The notice should specify the civil penalty sought for each violation.
- Request for hearing. If the respondent to a cease and desist order contests the cease and desist order, the respondent shall request a hearing conducted by the department within thirty days of the receipt of the cease and desist order. Such a hearing shall be scheduled, and the requesting party notified of the date, within fifteen days of the receipt of the request for a hearing. If the respondent requests a stay of the cease and desist order, the hearing officer shall determine whether the cease and desist order should be stayed in whole or in part within five working days of the request for a stay. The respondent may file a written answer to the cease and desist order prior to the hearing. A stenographic record of the hearing shall be made.
- Conduct of hearing. The evidence in support of the cease and desist order shall be presented by an attorney for the department. The respondent may appear personally and may be represented by counsel at the hearing, may produce witnesses and evidence in his or her behalf at the hearing, may cross-examine witnesses and examine evidence produced against him or her at the hearing, and may issue subpoenas in accordance with section three hundred four of the state administrative procedure act. The hearing officer shall not be bound by the rules of evidence, but his or her determination that a violation of section sixty-five hundred twelve or sixty-five hundred thirteen of this article has occurred shall be based on a preponderance of the evidence. A hearing which has been initiated shall not be discontinued because of the death or incapacity of the hearing officer. In the event of a hearing officer's death or incapacity to serve, a new hearing officer shall be designated by the department to continue the hearing. The new hearing officer shall affirm in writing that he or she has read and considered evidence and transcripts of the prior proceedings.
- Results of hearing. The hearing officer designated by the department shall render a written report which shall include (a) findings of fact, (b) a determination on each violation alleged in the cease and desist order, (c) a determination as to whether to accept, reject, or modify any of the terms of the cease and desist order in whole or in part, and (d) the civil penalty imposed, if any. A copy of the hearing officer's written report shall be served upon the respondent with a notice setting forth the respondent's rights to an administrative appeal within ten days of the conclusion of the hearing.
- Appeals. The decision of the hearing officer shall be final, except that it may be appealed to a regents review committee within twenty days of the receipt of the hearing officer's report. The initiation of an appeal shall not in and of itself affect the validity or terms of the cease and desist order. The regents review committee shall consist of three members, at least one of whom shall be a regent. The review shall be based on the transcript and the report of the hearing officer. The respondent may appear at the meeting, and the regents review committee may require the respondent to appear. The respondent may be represented by counsel. The department shall notify the respondent at least ten days before the meeting (a) of the time and place of the meeting, (b) of the right to appear, (c) of the right to be represented by counsel, (d) whether or not the respondent is required to appear, and (e) of such other information as may be considered appropriate. After the meeting, the regents review committee shall transmit a written report of its review to the board of regents. The board of regents (i) shall consider the transcript, the report of the hearing officer, and the report of the regents review committee, (ii) shall decide whether the respondent has violated each charge in the cease and desist order, (iii) shall decide what penalties, if any, to impose as prescribed in this section, and (iv) shall issue an order to carry out its decisions. Such decisions shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the board of regents. The order shall be served upon the respondent personally or by certified mail to the respondent's last known address and such service shall be effective as of the date of the personal service or five days after mailing by certified mail. The decisions of the board of regents under this section may be reviewed in a proceeding pursuant to article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules brought in the supreme court, Albany county. Such decisions shall not be stayed or enjoined except upon application to such supreme court pursuant to article sixty-three of the civil practice law and rules with notice to the department and to the attorney general.
- General enforcement of cease and desist order. In any case where the cease and desist order is confirmed by the board of regents or where the respondent does not request an administrative hearing within the allotted time or does not appeal the decision of the hearing officer within the allotted time, an action or proceeding may be filed in the name of the state of New York seeking a restraining order, injunction, appropriate writ, or judgment against any person who violates the terms of the cease and desist order.
- Special enforcement of civil monetary penalties. Provided that no appeal is pending on the imposition of such civil penalty, in the event such civil penalty imposed by the department remains unpaid, in whole or in part, more than forty-five days after written demand for payment has been sent by first class mail to the address of the respondent, a notice of impending default judgment shall be sent by first class mail to the respondent. The notice of impending default judgment shall advise the respondent: (a) that a civil penalty was imposed on the respondent; (b) the date the penalty was imposed; (c) the amount of the civil penalty; (d) the amount of the civil penalty that remains unpaid as of the date of the notice; (e) the violations for which the civil penalty was imposed; and (f) that a judgment by default will be entered in the supreme court, Albany county unless the department receives full payment of all civil penalties due within twenty days of the date of the notice of impending default judgment. If full payment shall not have been received by the department within thirty days of mailing of the notice of impending default judgment, the department shall proceed to enter with such court a statement of the default judgment containing the amount of the penalty or penalties remaining due and unpaid, along with proof of mailing of the notice of impending default judgment. The filing of such judgment shall have the full force and effect of a default judgment duly docketed with such court pursuant to the civil practice law and rules and shall in all respects be governed by that chapter and may be enforced in the same manner and with the same effect as that provided by law in respect to execution issued against property upon judgments of a court of record. A judgment entered pursuant to this subdivision shall remain in full force and effect for eight years notwithstanding any other provision of law.