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WEBSITE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Interim Secretary of Health

South Dakota Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology

Filing a Complaint about a Speech-Language Pathologist

  1. All complaints must be filed in writing with the Board office. There is not a specific form that should be utilized to file a complaint with the Board office. Complainants should provide a written statement that outlines their formal complaint (please be sure to include the statute or ethical violation that has occurred). The complaint should include the name of the individual that you are filing the complaint against, their place of employment, and your contact information. All complaints should be dated and signed by the person initializing the complaint.
  2. The Board's complaint investigator shall act as the Board's Investigator (Investigator) on all complaints against a Speech-Language Pathologist.  Only the Investigator, and not other Board members, is to receive the complaint.  The Investigator shall log each complaint against a Speech-Language Pathologist by recording:
    • the name, home address, and telephone number of the speech-language pathologist;
    • the name, address, and telephone number of the speech-language pathologist’s employing facility;
    • the name, address, and telephone number of the complainant;
    • the date of the complaint; and
    • a brief statement of the complaint.  The ultimate disposition on the complaint must be recorded when the matter is concluded.
  3. The investigator shall send a form letter to the complainant which:
    • acknowledges receipt of the complaint;
    • identifies the Investigator;
    • informs the complainant that the allegations against the speech-language pathologist will be provided to the speech-language pathologist;
    • notifies the complainant that a medical release or release of information may be sought from the speech-language pathologist’s client to aid in the investigation; and
    • informs the complainant that disposition on the complaint will be reported to the complainant.
  4. The Investigator shall conduct a preliminary investigation of all complaints.  The Investigator shall contact the Speech-Language Pathologist.  The Investigator must inform the speech-language pathologist that the Board has received a complaint against the speech-language pathologist and inform the speech-language pathologist of the substance of the complaint.  The Investigator shall contact the complainant for additional information.
  5. After conducting a preliminary investigation, the Investigator must determine whether a hearing is warranted, the complaint should be dismissed for lack of sufficient evidence, or the matter should be resolved by an agreed disposition.
    • A Hearing is Warranted.   If the Investigator finds that there is reason to believe that the speech-language pathologist has violated any of the provisions of SDCL chapter they are licensed under or ARSD, then the Investigator must submit to the Board, during a closed meeting if the information to be presented is derogatory pursuant to SDCL 1-26-2, reasons and a recommendation for pursuing the matter at a hearing.
      If the Board agrees, by majority vote of members present, with the Investigator's recommendation, the President of the Board, or the President's designee, shall promptly notify legal counsel for the Board of the Board's decision to commence a contested case hearing proceeding.

      The Notice of Hearing shall be prepared, pursuant to SDCL Ch. 1-26, by legal counsel for the Board, signed by the President, and sent to the speech-language pathologist.  Noticing the matter for hearing does not preclude a subsequent Agreed Disposition.

    • Dismissal for Lack of Sufficient Evidence.   If the Investigator believes that the complaint should be dismissed for lack of sufficient evidence, then the Investigator must submit to the Board, during a closed meeting if the information to be presented is derogatory pursuant to SDCL 1-26-2, reasons and a recommendation for the dismissal.

      If the Board agrees, by majority vote of members present, with the Investigator's recommendation, the President of the Board, or the President's designee, shall promptly send a dismissal letter to the complainant and the speech-language pathologist.

      If a majority of the Board members present do not agree to dismiss the complaint, the matter shall be noticed for hearing pursuant to 4(a) of this Procedure.

    • Agreed Disposition.   If the Investigator believes that the matter should be resolved by an agreed disposition between the Board and the speech-language pathologist, then the Investigator must submit, in writing, to the Board the proposed disposition with supporting reasons.

      If the Board agrees, by majority vote by members present, with the Investigator's proposed disposition, then an Agreed Disposition and Waiver of Hearing shall be signed by the speech-language pathologist and President. After the Agreed Disposition and Waiver of Hearing are signed by the speech-language pathologist and President, the President shall send a letter to the complainant concerning the agreed disposition of the complaint.
  6. All final Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Orders, Decisions, and Agreed Dispositions are available for public inspection pursuant to SDCL 1-26-2.