CHILD SUPPORT DEFAULT/DELINQUENCY NOTICE
The Texas State Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners has the authority to proceed against a Podiatric Physician for violations of its statues and rules concerning the practice of Podiatric Medicine, Texas Occupations Code, §202.501 Board Disciplinary Powers; Administrative Procedure.
Should the Board receive information from the Office of the Attorney General (OAG; Title IV-D agency; principle authority) indicating that you have defaulted on payment of your Child Support obligations, you will be investigated.
The TSBPME (i.e. “licensing authority”) and the OAG are committed to ensuring families receive their court-ordered Child Support payments; in a timely manner. Texas Family Code Chapter 231 & Chapter 232 and OAG Rules 1 TAC 3 Chapter 55, in part, require that the OAG and Texas licensing authorities work together to “Revoke, Deny, or Suspend” licenses, permits and certifications to individuals with delinquent Child Support payments.
► Statutory & Rule Authority Provisions
Texas Family Code §231.001 “Designation of Title IV-D Agency” provides that: “The Office of the Attorney General is designated as the state's Title IV-D agency.”
Texas Family Code §232.003 “Suspension of License” provides that: “(a) A court or the Title IV-D agency may issue an order suspending a license as provided by this chapter if an individual who is an obligor: (1) owes overdue child support in an amount equal to or greater than the total support due for three months under a support order; (2) has been provided an opportunity to make payments toward the overdue child support under a court-ordered or agreed repayment schedule; and (3) has failed to comply with the repayment schedule. (b) A court or the Title IV-D agency may issue an order suspending a license as provided by this chapter if a parent or alleged parent has failed, after receiving appropriate notice, to comply with a subpoena. (c) A court may issue an order suspending license as provided by this chapter for an individual for whom a court has rendered an enforcement order under Chapter 157 finding that the individual has failed to comply with the terms of a court order providing for the possession of or access to a child.”
Texas Family Code §232.008 “Order Suspending License for Failure to Pay Child Support” provides that: “(a) On making the findings required by Section 232.003, the court or Title IV-D agency shall render an order suspending the license unless the individual: (1) proves that all arrearages and the current month's support have been paid; (2) shows good cause for failure to comply with the subpoena or the terms of the court order providing for the possession of or access to a child; or (3) establishes an affirmative defense as provided by Section 157.008(c). (b) The court or Title IV-D agency may stay an order suspending a license conditioned on the individual's compliance with: (1) a reasonable repayment schedule that is incorporated in the order; (2) the requirements of a reissued and delivered subpoena; or (3) the requirements of any court order pertaining to the possession of or access to a child. (c) An order suspending a license with a stay of the suspension may not be served on the licensing authority unless the stay is revoked as provided by this chapter. (d) A final order suspending license rendered by a court or the Title IV-D agency shall be forwarded to the appropriate licensing authority by the clerk of the court or Title IV-D agency. The clerk shall collect from an obligor a fee of $5 for each order mailed. (e) If the court or Title IV-D agency renders an order suspending license, the individual may also be ordered not to engage in the licensed activity. (f) If the court or Title IV-D agency finds that the petition for suspension should be denied, the petition shall be dismissed without prejudice, and an order suspending license may not be rendered.”
Texas Family Code §232.009 “Default Order” provides that: “The court or Title IV-D agency shall consider the allegations of the petition for suspension to be admitted and shall render an order suspending the license of an obligor without the requirement of a hearing if the court or Title IV-D agency determines that the individual failed to respond to a notice issued under Section 232.006 by: (1) requesting a hearing; or (2) appearing at a scheduled hearing.”
Texas Family Code §232.011 “Action by Licensing Authority” provides that: “(a) On receipt of a final order suspending license, the licensing authority shall immediately determine if the authority has issued a license to the individual named on the order and, if a license has been issued: (1) record the suspension of the license in the licensing authority's records; (2) report the suspension as appropriate; and (3) demand surrender of the suspended license if required by law for other cases in which a license is suspended. (b) A licensing authority shall implement the terms of a final order suspending license without additional review or hearing. The authority may provide notice as appropriate to the license holder or to others concerned with the license. (c) A licensing authority may not modify, remand, reverse, vacate, or stay an order suspending license issued under this chapter and may not review, vacate, or reconsider the terms of a final order suspending license. (d) An individual who is the subject of a final order suspending license is not entitled to a refund for any fee or deposit paid to the licensing authority. (e) An individual who continues to engage in the business, occupation, profession, or other licensed activity after the implementation of the order suspending license by the licensing authority is liable for the same civil and criminal penalties provided for engaging in the licensed activity without a license or while a license is suspended that apply to any other license holder of that licensing authority. (f) A licensing authority is exempt from liability to a license holder for any act authorized under this chapter performed by the authority. (g) Except as provided by this chapter, an order suspending license or dismissing a petition for the suspension of a license does not affect the power of a licensing authority to grant, deny, suspend, revoke, terminate, or renew a license. (h) The denial or suspension of a driver's license under this chapter is governed by this chapter and not by the general licensing provisions of Chapter 521, Transportation Code. (i) An order issued under this chapter to suspend a license applies to each license issued by the licensing authority subject to the order for which the obligor is eligible. The licensing authority may not issue or renew any other license for the obligor until the court or the Title IV-D agency renders an order vacating or staying an order suspending license.”
Texas Family Code §232.012 “Motion to Revoke Stay” provides that: “ (a) The obligee, support enforcement agency, court, or Title IV-D agency may file a motion to revoke the stay of an order suspending license if the individual who is subject of an order suspending license does not comply with: (1) the terms of a reasonable repayment plan entered into by the individual; (2) the requirements of a reissued subpoena; or (3) the terms of any court order pertaining to the possession of or access to a child. (b) Notice to the individual of a motion to revoke stay under this section may be given by personal service or by mail to the address provided by the individual, if any, in the order suspending license. The notice must include a notice of hearing. The notice must be provided to the individual not less than 10 days before the date of the hearing. (c) A motion to revoke stay must allege the manner in which the individual failed to comply with the repayment plan, the reissued subpoena, or the court order pertaining to possession of or access to a child. (d) If the court or Title IV-D agency finds that the individual is not in compliance with the terms of the repayment plan, reissued subpoena, or court order pertaining to possession of or access to a child, the court or agency shall revoke the stay of the order suspending license and render a final order suspending license.”
Texas Family Code §232.013 “Vacating or Staying Order Suspending License” provides that: “(a) The court or Title IV-D agency may render an order vacating or staying an order suspending an individual's license if: (1) the individual has: (A) paid all delinquent child support or has established a satisfactory payment record; (B) complied with the requirements of a reissued subpoena; or (C) complied with the terms of any court order providing for the possession of or access to a child; or (2) the court or Title IV-D agency determines that good cause exists for vacating or staying the order. (b) The clerk of the court or Title IV-D agency shall promptly deliver an order vacating or staying an order suspending license to the appropriate licensing authority. The clerk shall collect from an obligor a fee of $5 for each order mailed. (c) On receipt of an order vacating or staying an order suspending license, the licensing authority shall promptly issue the affected license to the individual if the individual is otherwise qualified for the license. (d) An order rendered under this section does not affect the right of the child support agency or obligee to any other remedy provided by law, including the right to seek relief under this chapter. An order rendered under this section does not affect the power of a licensing authority to grant, deny, suspend, revoke, terminate, or renew a license as otherwise provided by law.”
Texas Family Code §232.0135 “Denial of License Renewal” provides that: “ (a) A child support agency, as defined by Section 101.004, may provide notice to a licensing authority concerning an obligor who has failed to pay child support for six months or more that requests the authority to refuse to accept an application for renewal of the license of the obligor. (b) A licensing authority that receives the information described by Subsection (a) shall refuse to accept an application for renewal of the license of the obligor until the authority is notified by the child support agency that the obligor has: (1) paid all child support arrearages; (2) established with the agency a satisfactory repayment schedule or is in compliance with a court order for payment of the arrearages; (3) been granted an exemption from this subsection as part of a court-supervised plan to improve the obligor's earnings and child support payments; or (4) successfully contested the denial of renewal of license under Subsection (d). (c) On providing a licensing authority with the notice described by Subsection (a), the child support agency shall send a copy to the obligor by first class mail and inform the obligor of the steps the obligor must take to permit the authority to accept the obligor's application for license renewal. (d) An obligor receiving notice under Subsection (c) may request a review by the child support agency to resolve any issue in dispute regarding the identity of the obligor or the existence or amount of child support arrearages. The agency shall promptly provide an opportunity for a review, either by telephone or in person, as appropriate to the circumstances. After the review, if appropriate, the agency may notify the licensing authority that it may accept the obligor's application for renewal of license. If the agency and the obligor fail to resolve any issue in dispute, the obligor, not later than the 30th day after the date of receiving notice of the agency's determination from the review, may file a motion with the court to direct the agency to withdraw the notice under Subsection (a) and request a hearing on the motion. The obligor's application for license renewal may not be accepted by the licensing authority until the court rules on the motion. If, after a review by the agency or a hearing by the court, the agency withdraws the notice under Subsection (a), the agency shall reimburse the obligor the amount of any fee charged the obligor under Section 232.014. (e) If an obligor enters into a repayment agreement with the child support agency under this section, the agency may incorporate the agreement in an order to be filed with and confirmed by the court in the manner provided for agreed orders under Chapter 233. (f) In this section, "licensing authority" does not include the State Securities Board.”
Texas Family Code §232.015 “Cooperation Between Licensing Authorities and Title IV-D Agency” provides that: “(a) The Title IV-D agency may request from each licensing authority the name, address, social security number, license renewal date, and other identifying information for each individual who holds, applies for, or renews a license issued by the authority. (b) A licensing authority shall provide the requested information in the form and manner identified by the Title IV-D agency. (c) The Title IV-D agency may enter into a cooperative agreement with a licensing authority to administer this chapter in a cost-effective manner. (d) The Title IV-D agency may adopt a reasonable implementation schedule for the requirements of this section. (e) The Title IV-D agency, the Comptroller, and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission shall by rule specify additional prerequisites for the suspension of licenses relating to state taxes collected under Title 2, Tax Code. The joint rules must be adopted not later than March 1, 1996.”
Texas Family Code §232.016 “Rules, Forms, and Procedures” provides that: “The Title IV-D agency by rule shall prescribe forms and procedures for the implementation of this chapter.”
The OAG Rules are located at Texas Administrative Code; Title 1; Part 3; Chapter 55. Further information/resources can be obtained from the OAG’s Child Support Division website at: http://www.oag.state.tx.us/cs/index.shtml.
► Requisite TSBPME Investigation/Action – “Notice of Complaint Allegation”
Again, should the Board receive information from the Office of the Attorney General (OAG; Title IV-D agency) indicating that you have defaulted on payment of your Child Support obligations, you will be investigated to “Revoke, Deny, or Suspend” licenses, permits and certifications for delinquent Child Support payments.
In accordance with the provisions of the Texas Family Code, the Board’s Laws/Rules and the notification from the Office of the Attorney General, your license to practice Podiatric Medicine in the State of Texas is subject to “Revocation, Denial, Suspension” from the date of the Attorney General’s Order. By operation of law, your license will remain “Revoked, Denied, Suspended” until notification of a stay is received from the Office of the Attorney General – Child Support Division.
Upon “Revocation, Denial, Suspension” you thereby will be prohibited from practicing Podiatric Medicine in the State of Texas in accordance with the provisions of the Texas Family Code, the Board’s Laws/Rules and the Attorney General’s Order. Any evidence of “Practicing Without License” will require the Board to report the activity to Law Enforcement for Criminal Prosecution.
A copy of the Attorney General’s Order will be attached with the subsequent Board notification to you. You can NOT appeal/contest an OAG Title IV-D Order to the Board; that process must be undertaken with the Office of the Attorney General.
Once more, in accordance with the provisions of the Texas Family Code, the Board’s Laws/Rules and the Attorney General’s Order, failure to meet Child Support obligations will result in the following actions:
- Your podiatry license will be Suspended/Revoked.
- The renewal of your podiatry license will be Denied.
- Other “Disciplinary Actions” may be enforced (i.e. probation, administrative fines, etc.).
Failure to meet Child Support payment obligations is a serious matter. However, repayment/compliance options are available to licensees by contacting the Office of the Attorney General’s Child Support Division. It is your responsibility to contact the OAG to resolve arrears/defaults/delinquencies.
It is “Recommended” by the Board that licensees ensure compliance with any and all Child Support obligations as failure to do so will result in a “Revocation, Denial, Suspension” of one’s license to practice podiatric medicine in the State of Texas. It is imperative that licensees in such a situation contact the Office of the Attorney General’s Child Support Division to avoid future financial hardship.
► Terms of “License Suspension” (& Criminal Penalty)
Board Rule §376.19 “Conditions of Suspension of License” provides that:
“(a) Suspension of a license means that the office of the licensee is to be closed for the purposes of receiving, diagnosing, treating, or consulting with patients, and the licensee may not participate for income in any professional activity that is directly related to diagnosis or treatment of a patient or activities that involve consultation services related to management of a practice. The licensee may refer patients to another practitioner for treatment or consultation during the period of the suspension, but the licensee shall not derive any income from such referrals. The licensee may allow another practitioner to see the licensee's patients during the period of the suspension the licensee's office or other practitioner's office, but the licensee shall derive no income from the other practitioner by way of referral fees, or the like.
(b) The licensee's office may remain open for the purposes of administrative work, including making future appointments, arranging referrals, handling mail, processing accounts, billing, and insurance matters, and other similar matters not directly related to the diagnosis and treatment of patients.
(c) If the suspended licensee shares offices with another practitioner, the other practitioner shall be allowed to continue to practice, but the suspended licensee shall not share income with the other practitioner, including any income derived in any way from the diagnosis or treatment of patients. The board may, through unannounced visits or by requesting documentation, check on the business arrangement that the suspended practitioner has with the other practitioner(s) regarding the renting of equipment, rental of business facilities, referral fees or any other negotiated arrangement so as to be sure that the suspended practitioner is not deriving any monies from the practice of podiatric medicine.
(d) If a license suspension is probated, the Board may require the licensee to: (1) report regularly to the Board on matters that are the basis of the probation; (2) limit practice to the areas prescribed by the Board; or (3) continue or review continuing professional education until the licensee attains a degree of skill satisfactory to the Board in those areas that are the basis of the probation.”
Texas Occupations Code §202.251 “License Required” provides that:
“A person may not practice podiatry or hold the person out as a podiatrist unless the person is licensed under this chapter.”
Texas Occupations Code §202.303 “Practice Without Renewing License” provides that:
“A person who practices podiatry without an annual renewal certificate for the current year is considered to be practicing without a license and is subject to all the penalties of the practice of podiatry without a license.”
Texas Occupations Code §202.605 “General Criminal Penalty: Practicing Without License” provides that:
“A person commits an offense if the person professes to be a podiatrist or practices or assumes the duties incident to the practice of podiatry without holding a license to practice podiatry. An offense under this section is punishable by: (1) a fine of not less than $50 or more than $500; (2) confinement in the county jail for not less than 30 days or more than six months; or (3) both the fine and confinement.”