Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health
Agency 35. Department of Behavioral Health And Developmental Services
Chapter 115. Regulations to Assure the Rights of Individuals Receiving Services from Providers Licensed, Funded, or Operated by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services

12VAC35-115-210. State Human Rights Committee appeals procedures.

A. Any party may appeal to the SHRC if he disagrees with any of the following:

1. An LHRC's final findings of fact, conclusions, and recommendations following a hearing;

2. A director's final action plan following an LHRC hearing;

3. An LHRC's final decision regarding the capacity of an individual to consent to treatment, services, or research or to authorize disclosure of information; or

4. An LHRC's final decision concerning whether consent or authorization is needed for the director to take a certain action.

The steps for filing an appeal are provided in subsections B, C, and D of this section.

B. Appeals shall be filed in writing with the SHRC by a party within 10 working days of receipt of the final decision or action plan.

1. The appeal shall explain the reasons for disagreement with the final decision or action plan.

2. The human rights advocate or any other person may help in filing the appeal. If the individual chooses a person other than the human rights advocate to help him, he and his chosen representative may request the human rights advocate's help in filing the appeal.

3. The party appealing shall give a copy of the appeal to the other party, the human rights advocate, and the LHRC.

4. If the director is the party appealing, he shall first request and get written permission to appeal from the commissioner or governing body of the provider, as appropriate. If the director does not get this written permission and note the appeal within 10 working days, his right to appeal is waived.

C. If the director is appealing, the individual may file a written statement with the SHRC within five working days after receiving a copy of the appeal. If the individual is appealing, the director shall file a written statement with the SHRC within five working days after receiving a copy of the appeal.

D. Within five working days of noting or being notified of an appeal, the director shall forward a complete record of the LHRC hearing to the SHRC. The record shall include, at a minimum:

1. The original petition or information filed with the LHRC and any statement filed by the director in response;

2. Parts of the individual's services record that the LHRC considered and any other parts of the services record submitted to, but not considered by, the LHRC that either party considers relevant;

3. All written documents and materials presented to and considered by the LHRC, including any independent evaluations conducted;

4. A tape or transcript of the LHRC proceedings, if available;

5. The LHRC's findings of fact, conclusions, and recommendations;

6. The director's action plan, if any; and

7. Any written objections to the action plan or its implementation.

E. The SHRC shall hear the appeal at its next scheduled meeting after the chairperson receives the appeal.

1. The SHRC shall give the parties at least 10 working days' notice of the appeal hearing.

2. The SHRC shall notify the Office of the State Inspector General (§ 2.2-308 of the Code of Virginia) of the appeal.

3. The following rules govern appeal hearings:

a. The SHRC shall not hear any new evidence.

b. The SHRC is bound by the LHRC's findings of fact unless it makes a determination that those findings of fact are clearly wrong or that the hearing procedures of the LHRC were inadequate.

c. The SHRC shall limit its review to whether the facts, as found by the LHRC, establish a violation of this chapter and a determination of whether the LHRC's recommendations or the action plan adequately address the alleged violation.

d. All parties and their representatives shall have the opportunity to appear before the SHRC to present their positions and answer questions the SHRC may have.

4. If the SHRC decides that the LHRC's findings of fact are clearly wrong or that the hearing procedures employed by the LHRC were inadequate, the SHRC may:

a. Send the case back to the LHRC for another hearing to be completed within a time period specified by the SHRC; or

b. Conduct its own fact-finding hearing. If the SHRC chooses to conduct its own fact-finding hearing, it may appoint a subcommittee of at least three of its members as fact finders. The fact-finding hearing shall be conducted within 30 working days of the SHRC's initial hearing.

In either case, the parties shall have 15 working days' notice of the date of the hearing and the opportunity to be heard and to present witnesses and other evidence.

F. Within 20 working days after the SHRC appeal hearing, the SHRC shall submit a decision containing its findings of fact, if applicable, and its conclusions and recommendations to the commissioner and to the provider's governing body, with copies to the parties, the LHRC, and the human rights advocate.

G. Within 10 working days after receiving the SHRC's decision, in the case of appeals involving a state facility, the commissioner shall submit an outline of actions to be taken in response to the SHRC's recommendations. In the case of appeals involving CSBs and private providers, the director shall outline in writing the action or actions that will be taken in response to the recommendations of the SHRC. They shall also explain any reasons for not carrying out any of the recommended actions. Copies of their responses shall be forwarded to the SHRC, the LHRC, the director, the human rights advocate, and the individual.

H. If the SHRC objects in writing to the commissioner's or director's proposed actions, their actions shall be postponed. The commissioner or director shall meet with the SHRC at its next regularly scheduled meeting to attempt to arrange a mutually agreeable resolution.

I. Final determination regarding the action plan shall be as follows:

1. In the case of services provided directly by the department, the commissioner's action plan shall be final and binding on all parties. However, when the SHRC believes the commissioner's action plan is incompatible with the purpose of this chapter, it shall notify the board, the protection and advocacy agency, and the Office of the State Inspector General (§ 2.2-308 of the Code of Virginia).

2. In the case of services delivered by all other providers, the action plan of the director shall be reviewed by the commissioner. If the commissioner determines that the provider has failed to develop and carry out an acceptable action plan, the commissioner shall notify the protection and advocacy agency and shall inform the SHRC of the sanctions the department will impose against the provider.

J. Upon completion of the process outlined in this section, the SHRC shall notify the parties and the human rights advocate of the final outcome of the complaint.

Statutory Authority

§§ 37.2-203 and 37.2-400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 3, eff. November 21, 2001; amended, Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 25, eff. September 19, 2007; Volume 31, Issue 1, eff. October 8, 2014; Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. February 9, 2017.

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