36-34-18. Complaints--Investigation--Disciplinary proceedings--Evidence not subject to discovery or disclosure--Testimony.

The board shall process a complaint regarding a practitioner as set forth in chapter 36-1C. The board shall maintain a record of each complaint.

Notwithstanding any provision of chapter 36-1C, a member, agent, or appointee of the board may investigate a complaint to determine whether the practitioner committed the alleged violation. The investigator, if a member of the board, may dismiss the complaint if it appears to the member, in consultation with the board president, that the practitioner did not commit a violation. If the investigator is an agent or appointee of the board, only the board president may dismiss the complaint. If an investigator and a practitioner agree upon a disposition of a complaint, the disposition must be approved by the board.

The board must conduct any disciplinary proceeding in accordance with chapter 1-26. Any decision of the board entered in a contested proceeding may be appealed to the circuit court within thirty days. A certificate or license remains in effect during the pendency of an appeal, unless suspended under § 36-34-24.

Testimony or documentary evidence of any kind obtained by the board during the investigation of a complaint is not subject to discovery or disclosure under chapter 15-6, or any other provision of law, and is not admissible as evidence in any legal proceeding, unless the complaint becomes a contested case under chapter 1-26. No person who has participated in the investigation of a complaint on behalf of the board may testify as an expert witness or be compelled to testify for any party in any civil action, if the subject matter of the investigated complaint is a basis for the civil action.

Source: SL 2004, ch 253, § 19; SL 2013, ch 183, § 18; SL 2021, ch 168, § 44; SL 2023, ch 140, § 8.