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Due process complaint dismissed without prejudice for lack of service.

Topic: Special Education, Decided by Judge Howells 
Docket Number: ***** , Decision Date: 2014-04-18 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Plaintiff, a parent filing a due process request under the Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA), did not comply with the Department of Education’s rule, which provides that the initiating party must provide a copy of the complaint to the school district’s superintendent at the [..] Read More..

Character witnesses’ knowledge of applicant’s good character insufficient to overcome previous surrender of classification.

Topic: Judge Howells

The Georgia Real Estate Appraisers Board (Board) properly denied Petitioner’s certified residential real property appraiser application on the grounds that Petitioner surrendered her appraiser classification in 2006 during an ongoing investigation into rule violations.  Although this surrender is sufficient grounds for denial, Petitioner could still [..] Read More..

Insurance license granted given former felon’s personal transformation.

Topic: Insurance, Decided by Judge Howells 
Docket Number: 1426909 , Decision Date: 2014-02-18 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The denial of Petitioner’s application for a non-resident agent insurance license was reversed.  While the Commissioner of Insurance has the discretion to refuse to grant an insurance license to persons with felony convictions, denial is inappropriate given Petitioner’s age at the time he committed the [..] Read More..

Must cease and desist from offering or performing electrical contracting without a license.

Topic: Professional Licensing, Decided by Judge Howells 
Docket Number: 1422681 , Decision Date: 2014-02-18 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Stipulated agreement is an alternative to revoking community placement.

Topic: Juvenile Justice, Decided by Judge Howells 
Docket Number: ***** , Decision Date: 2014-02-17 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Petitioner’s hearing request was dismissed following the submission of a stipulated agreement to the Court, providing an alternative plan to revoking Petitioner’s community placement.  The agreement included electronic monitoring at his home prior to screening for placement followed by Multi-Systemic Therapy.  A violation of the [..] Read More..

Probation and fine of ambulance service provider that provided service outside of its designated zone was affirmed.

Topic: Health Law, Decided by Judge Howells 
Docket Number: 1311102 , Decision Date: 2013-01-17 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision on appeal. 

The Superior Court of Fulton County affirmed OSAH’s decision, which had been adopted by the Department’s agency reviewer, to place Petitioner, a licensed ambulance service provider, on probation and to fine it for providing ambulance services outside of its designated zone.  The Superior Court also [..] Read More..

Personal Care Home fined and denied an increase in capacity because of serious rule violations.

Topic: Health Law, Decided by Judge Howells 
Docket Number: 1409962 , Decision Date: 2014-01-10 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The Healthcare Facility Regulation Division of the Department of Community Health (DCH) correctly fined a personal care home (PCH) for three rule violations posing serious threats to one or more residents.   First, the PCH had an exterior door that required a key to open from [..] Read More..

Outdoor advertisements only allowed on property primarily used and zoned for commercial activity.

Topic: Outdoor Advertising, Decided by Judge Howells 
Docket Number: 1410364 , Decision Date: 2013-12-06 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The Department of Transportation correctly denied Petitioner’s application for an outdoor advertising permit.  The outdoor advertisement would have shared the property with a residential apartment complex.  While the property may have been zoned for commercial activity, the apartment complex had been grandfathered in.  Permits may [..] Read More..

Failing rigorous magnet school classes does not render child eligible for IDEA.

Topic: Special Education, Decided by Judge Howells 
Docket Number: ***** , Decision Date: 2013-12-05 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

School District did not violate Plaintiff’s rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  Plaintiff asserted that his rights had been violated by the school district’s failure to identify him as “a child with a disability,” evaluate him, provide him with a Free and [..] Read More..

Child appropriately mainstreamed where balanced need for special education with placement in the general education setting for select classes.

Topic: Special Education, Decided by Judge Howells 
Docket Number: ***** , Decision Date: 2013-12-23 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Plaintiff, a child receiving special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA), was not denied a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment.  Plaintiff, who has been diagnosed with Down’s syndrome, has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) [..] Read More..

Two-year statute of limitations bars untimely IDEA claims where parents had reason to know of facts giving rise to claim.

Topic: Special Education, Decided by Judge Howells 
Docket Number: ***** , Decision Date: 2013-10-30 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Claims arising under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) were barred by the running of the two-year statute of limitations period. IDEA claims must be brought within two years of when the family knew or should have known of the underlying facts. Parents are [..] Read More..

School District may decide the physical location of an IEP.

Topic: Special Education, Decided by Judge Howells 
Docket Number: ***** , Decision Date: 2013-06-26 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Petitioner, a student, is not entitled to dictate the choice of school where IDEA services will be implemented.

Voluntary payment doctrine does not apply to tax indebtedness.

Topic: Tax Court, Decided by Judge Howells 
Docket Number: 1013267 , Decision Date: 2010-02-23 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision on appeal. 

The Georgia Supreme Court reversed and remanded the decision of the Superior Court, which had determined that settlement with one responsible party for unpaid taxes precludes collecting from a second responsible party under the voluntary payment doctrine.  The Supreme Court held that the voluntary payment [..] Read More..

Outdoor advertising permits denied because property was not commercial or industrial.

Topic: Outdoor Advertising, Decided by Judge Howells 
Docket Number: 1338996 , Decision Date: 2013-09-10 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Petitioner’s outdoor advertising permit applications were properly denied because the property was not zoned for commercial or industrial use, nor could it be considered an unzoned commercial or industrial area because the property was not used for such activity.  Georgia law does not categorize railroad [..] Read More..

Emergency closure of family day care home following infant’s death.

Topic: Early Care & Learning, Decided by Judge Howells 
Docket Number: 1406422 , Decision Date: 2013-08-23 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Petitioner’s licensed family day care home was subject to emergency closure for twenty-one days following the death of an infant in her care to allow the Department of Early Care and Learning to investigate the cause of death in light of the related rule violations.

Skilled nursing hours reduced based upon a lack of medical necessity.

Topic: Health Law, Decided by Judge Howells 
Docket Number: ****** , Decision Date: 2013-08-09 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Petitioner’s skilled nursing hours in the Georgia Pediatric Program (GAPP) were reduced from forty hours to thirty-two hours because the additional hours were not necessary to maintain Petitioner’s condition.  However, his hours could not be reduced to twenty-four hours on the basis of the GAPP [..] Read More..

Nurse’s license revoked for failure to report a felony drug conviction.

Topic: Professional Licensing, Decided by Judge Howells 
Docket Number: 1323993 , Decision Date: 2013-03-18 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The nurse pled guilty to possession of Meperidine, a controlled substance. The nurse failed to disclose her plea to the licensing board within 10 days. The judge upheld the revocation because the nurse was “convicted”, even though she was afforded first offender treatment.

Hazardous Site Remediation Act: Judge upholds director’s administrative order.

Topic: Environmental Law, Decided by Judge Howells 
Docket Number: 1319286 , Decision Date: 2013-04-09 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The Director of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, pursuant to his authority under Georgia’s Hazardous Site Remediation Act (“HSRA”), sought to enforce a previously-issued administrative order requiring Georgetown Athens, LLC to submit a compliance status report and a corrective action plan. Georgetown Athens disputed that [..] Read More..

The following decision reported in Vol. 1, No.1 March 2013© was affirmed by Hon. Sidney Barrett, Appeals Reviewer, Georgia Department of Public Health.

Topic: Health Law, Decided by Judge Howells 
Docket Number: 1311102 , Decision Date: 2013-01-17 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision on appeal. 

Petitioner, a licensed ambulance service provider, appeals the Department of Public Health’s decision to place its service license on probation and impose a fine. Emergency medical service in Georgia is zoned and providers are designated to certain geographic areas. The City of Kennesaw chose Petitioner [..] Read More..

Judge affirms the Professional Standards Commission’s sanction of a teacher for her behavior during administration of the CRCT.

Topic: Educators, Decided by Judge Howells 
Docket Number: ***** , Decision Date: 2013-02-07 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Petitioner, a sixth grade math teacher, administered the CRCT to her classroom after attending training on how to administer the test. During the training, the Test Examiner’s Manual is reviewed. The Manual explicitly states that the administrator may only clarify directions but may not suggest [..] Read More..

Judge suspends medical license until Respondent complies with a Board ordered mental/physical examination.

Topic: Professional Licensing, Decided by Judge Howells 
Docket Number: 1304265 , Decision Date: 2012-10-20 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The Board sought to suspend Respondent’s medical license until he complies with the Board ordered mental/physical exam. Respondent operated a solo psychiatry practice for 30 years. In 2009, Respondent treated a patient for bipolar disorder.  The patient sought help for multiple issues, including her inappropriate [..] Read More..

Judge denies real estate license to Petitioner convicted of felony deposit account fraud after bouncing checks.

Topic: Real Estate, Decided by Judge Howells 
Docket Number: 1308371 , Decision Date: 2012-10-26 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Petitioner appeals the denial of his application for a real estate salesperson’s license. In 2007, Petitioner built custom homes and bounced several checks to contractors. Subsequently, he was charged with felony deposit account fraud and pled nolo contendere to the charges. Petitioner was sentenced to [..] Read More..

Judge suspends real estate license after guilty plea to 2 felony counts of selling marijuana and other related charges.

Topic: Real Estate, Decided by Judge Howells 
Docket Number: 1308333 , Decision Date: 2012-10-30 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The Commission sought to revoke Respondent’s real estate license. In April 2012, Respondent pled guilty to two felony counts to selling marijuana, one felony count of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and two misdemeanor counts of possession of a drug related object for [..] Read More..

Judge denies insurance agent license to Petitioner who pled guilty to two shoplifting charges in 1996 and 2001.

Topic: Professional Licensing, Decided by Judge Howells 
Docket Number: 1307722 , Decision Date: 2012-10-26 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Petitioner appeals Respondent’s denial of her application for a resident insurance agent’s license. Petitioner pled guilty to a felony shoplifting charge in 1996 when she was 20 years old. In 2001, Petitioner again pled guilty to a separate felony shoplifting charge. She was successfully discharged [..] Read More..

Judge affirms probation and fine of ambulance service provider that provided service outside of its designated zone.

Topic: Health Law, Decided by Judge Howells 
Docket Number: 1311102 , Decision Date: 2013-01-17 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Petitioner, a licensed ambulance service provider, appeals the Department of Public Health’s decision to place its service license on probation and impose a fine. Emergency medical service in Georgia is zoned and providers are designated to certain geographic areas. The City of Kennesaw chose Petitioner [..] Read More..

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