GROUNDS FOR DISCIPLINARY ACTION
There are several possible violations of the law. The Board of Funeral Service Examiners is authorized to discipline a licensee or registrant if evidence shows that one of the following occurred:
- Fraud or deceit in obtaining a license.
- Conviction of a felony crime.
- Violation of public health laws, FTC laws, medical waste disposal laws.
- False, misleading, unethical advertising, failure to follow other advertising regulations.
- Taking of undue advantage of consumers.
- Solicitation of business.
- Permitting an unlicensed person to practice funeral service.
- Employment of "cappers," "steerers," or "solicitors."
- Employment of persons to direct business to a particular funeral home.
- Buying of Business for purposes of securing business.
- Gross immorality.
- Substance abuse.
- Violation of confidentiality (except in cases of abuse or neglect).
- Embalming without permission.
- Failure to employ a Funeral Director in Charge.
HOW TO FILE A COMPLAINT
Anyone can file a complaint if he or she believes a licensee has violated the law. Complaints are received by consumers, law enforcement and other licensees. It is the policy of the Board to require written complaints which can be in the form of a letter or an official form provided by the Board. Official complaint forms can be obtained from this site.
All complaints are referred initially to the Executive Director and then to the Complaint Committee for consideration after all evidence or documents have been received.
Please be aware that the person filing the complaint may be asked to provide a statement to an investigator or to testify at a hearing, if the respondent requests a hearing. The Complaint Committee, consisting of two persons, meets three or four times each year to review and act on complaints. Complaint Committee recommendations are then presented to the full Board for its decision.
The Board is authorized to take action on license issues only. Occasionally a complaint is filed that deals with issues that are not within the Board’s legal authority to investigate. If this occurs, the complaint will be referred to the appropriate agency.
TYPICAL INVESTIGATION PROCEDURES
The following is the typical process for investigating complaints. Please note that investigations can not always be conducted in the same manner every time based on the circumstances of individual cases. However, we do strive to collect all pertinent information in an efficient manner at all times.
We ask for patience, as investigations can take several months to complete. If you have questions regarding the progress of the case, please contact the investigator at the phone number he provided you or contact the Board’s office at (304) 558.0302 or email email@example.com
Once a complaint is filed, the investigator is assigned the case within five (5) business days. A copy of the complaint is also mailed to the funeral establishment or funeral director in charge of the funeral establishment or other funeral director involved in the complaint.
- The funeral establishment or funeral director in charge of the funeral establishment or other funeral director is given an opportunity to either submit a written response to the allegations within fourteen (14) days or schedule an appointment with the investigator for an interview.
- The investigator will then review the original complaint and any response filed by the funeral establishment or funeral director in charge of the funeral establishment or other funeral director and begin taking statements from: the complainant, the funeral establishment or funeral director in charge of the funeral establishment or other funeral director, and any potential witnesses for both parties.
- Once these initial interviews are conducted, the investigator will schedule follow-up interviews with the complainant and the funeral establishment or funeral director in charge of the funeral establishment or other funeral director. Information from previous interviews will be shared during this follow-up interview and parties will be given the chance to respond to that information.
- At this point, the investigator will determine if there is enough evidence to present his final report to the Board’s Complaint Committee. He will conduct additional interviews until he is satisfied that there is no further evidence to uncover and there is enough evidence to present to the Complaint Committee.
- The investigator will then present his findings to the Complaint Committee, at which time the committee will determine if disciplinary action is warranted.
- The Committee will provide all parties with information regarding the resolution of the case at this point.