The Minnesota Board of Barber Examiners has a Complaint Committee as provided in Minnesota Statutes Chapter 214.
Following is a general description of the complaint resolution process:
The Board generally has authority to act on a complaint that is jurisdictional. In other words, if the complaint alleges a violation of law in Minnesota Statutes Chapter 154 or rule in Minnesota Rules Chapter 2100. If the complaint is not within the jurisdiction of the Board, it is dismissed and the file closed. If it is determined that another state agency has jurisdiction, the complaint will be forwarded to that agency.
If jurisdiction is established and the Committee determines to proceed with an investigation, the respondent (shop, school, or individual complained about) will receive a letter detailing the allegations against them, applicable statutes and rules, information about their rights, and a timeline to submit a response to the complaint. Additional investigation may be conducted by Board staff such as inspections or requests for additional information. The Committee may request that the respondent (and, if applicable, respondents' attorney) meet with the Committee to discuss the complaint.
Once the investigation is complete, the information gathered is reviewed and evaluated by the Committee to determine if there is sufficient information to prove that a statute or rule within the Board's jurisdiction has been violated and whether enforcement action would be in the public interest. Factors considered include but, are not limited to:
- Evidence available to substantiate a violation of statute(s) and/or rule(s) in the Board's jurisdiction.
- Protection of public health and safety.
- Any corrective action taken by the respondent.
- History of previous enforcement actions regarding the same respondent and similar situations.
Based on this review, the Committee may dismiss and close the complaint (for reasons such as, but not limited to, inability to substantiate a violation of statute or rule, or corrective actions taken) or attempt to resolve the matter through education, conciliation, or a written settlement agreement.
Depending upon the facts and applicable law, the Committee may propose enforcement action in a settlement agreement with the respondent. A settlement agreement may include, but is not limited to:
- Civil Penalty (up to $2,000.00 per violation).
- Cease and Desist Order requiring an unregistered respondent to cease and desist from unauthorized practice or holding out as being able to perform services that require registration by the Board.
- Stipulation and Order with a respondent who is registered by the Board and may include actions such as censure or reprimand of the registration, revocation or suspension, denial of registration application or placing conditions on the registration.
If the Complaint Committee and a registered respondent cannot reach a settlement, then the Committee may decide to initiate a contested case hearing at the Office of Administrative Hearings before an Administrative Law Judge. A contested case hearing requires specific procedures to assure due process. Once the hearing is completed, the Administrative Law Judge issues a report to the Board and a recommendation to the Board on whether disciplinary action should be taken or not. If the respondent is not registered by the Board, the Committee may decide to issue a Cease and Desist Order against the respondent. The Cease and Desist Order provides the respondent an opportunity to request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.
Minnesota Statutes Chapter 14 provides a method for a respondent to appeal an Order of the Board on an enforcement matter at the conclusion of the contested case to the Minnesota Court of Appeals within a specific time period and following a specific procedure. If the Committee receives information adequately demonstrating that an Order of the Board following a contested case has been violated, a case in District Court may be initiated for enforcement of the Board's Order.
The Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, found in Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 13, sets rules of how the Board maintains data on complaints and prohibits the Board from disclosing certain information related to complaints. Depending upon who is requesting the information, the type of information requested, and the stage in the complaint resolution process, the Board may or may not be able to release information requested.
Each step of the complaint resolution process takes time and, therefore, it may take several months for a final resolution of a complaint.