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    How do I file a complaint? 

    To submit a complaint, please use the complaint link above. Please be aware that the licensee/certificate holder may be informed of the complaint and asked to respond to the allegation. Anonymous complaints are not accepted. Complaints concerning fee disputes are not considered by the Board.

    What is the complaint process?

    Complaints are initially reviewed by the Disciplinary Review Committee (“DRC”) of the Board. The DRC may recommend the following actions:

    1) Dismiss the complaint;
    2) Take informal disciplinary action; or
    3) Refer the complaint for investigation.

    The Board votes whether to accept, modify, or reject the DRC’s recommendations. 

    If the Board votes to dismiss a complaint, the complainant and the licensee will be notified.

    The Board may vote to issue informal disciplinary action.  Informal disciplinary action may consist of a letter of education or an advisory letter.  Informal disciplinary actions are confidential and are not available to the public.  Only licensees/certificate holders may receive notice of informal disciplinary action.

    If the Board votes to refer the complaint for investigation, it will assign the matter to the Board investigator. A thorough investigation of the facts must precede the Board making a charge against a licensee/certificate holder. The investigator will gather information and present it to the Board. If the Board has a reasonable basis to conclude that a potential violation of the Maryland Professional Counselor and Therapist Act (the “Act”) or other applicable laws has occurred, it will vote on whether to refer the matter to the Office of the Attorney General for charges against the licensee/certificate holder. 

    If charges are issued, the licensee/certificate holder is given the opportunity to attend a Case Resolution Conference (“CRC”).  The CRC is attended by a Board member, Board Counsel, the Administrative Prosecutor, the licensee/certificate holder, and his/her attorney, if applicable. The CRC is an informal meeting where the parties state their respective positions and attempt to resolve the matter. 

    A Board member who attended the CRC will make a recommendation to the full Board as to how the complaint should proceed. The Board may accept, modify, or reject the CRC recommendation. 

    If the parties were unable to come to an agreement at the CRC, the licensee/certificate holder then has the opportunity to defend himself/herself at an administrative hearing before the Board. If the Board determines that the licensee/certificate holder has violated the Act, or other applicable laws and regulations, it will issue its finding in a public order. Under the Act, the Board has the authority to, among other things, issue a reprimand, probation, suspension, or revocation of a license. In addition, under certain circumstances, the Board may impose a monetary fine. The public order will be posted on the Board’s website and reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank, if applicable. 

    If the licensee/certificate holder does not agree with the Board’s decision after the administrative hearing, the licensee/certificate holder may pursue other remedies pursuant to Maryland law.


    How long does the complaint process take?

    The length of the complaint process depends on the facts and circumstances of a particular case. Many complaints can be resolved quickly in an informal manner.  Some cases require more extensive investigations.  When an investigation results in the Board bringing formal charges, the process takes longer. The Board strives to resolve all complaints within 18 months. However, in many cases it may take longer. 

    Many financial and interpersonal issues that are important to consumers do not fall within the Board's jurisdiction because no violation of the Professional Counselors Act is present. The Board cannot help a client sue a provider for money or settle fee disputes. If your Complaint is related to billing, you may wish to contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Attorney General. They can be reached at (410) 528-8662 or visit their website: https://www.marylandattorneygeneral.gov.

    Tony W. Torain, J.D., D.Min.,
    Executive Director
    Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists
    4201 Patterson Ave., Baltimore, MD 21215
    Fax: (410) 358-1610