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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I file documents with the Adjudicative Service Unit?

You can file documents by mail or fax. We do not accept filings by email.       

Mailing address:       

Department of Health     
Adjudicative Service Unit      
PO Box 47879      
Olympia, WA 98504-7879    

Fax:      (360) 586-2171

Do I need an attorney to represent me in this matter?

No. You have a right to hire an attorney to represent you, but it is not required. If you do hire an attorney, the attorney must file a Notice of Appearance with the Adjudicative Service Unit.

How do I respond to a Statement of Charges?

You must file an Answer to Statement of Charges within 20 days of the date it was served on you.
(An answer form was sent with the Statement of Charges.) After the answer is received, we will issue a Scheduling Order.  

Can I ask for more time to file my answer to the Statement of Charges?

You may ask for an extension of the deadline by sending us a written request explaining why you need more time. You must send your request within 20 days of the date the Statement of Charges was served on you. Send your request to:     

Adjudicative Service Unit    
PO Box 47879    
Olympia WA 98504-7879

What is a scheduling conference?

The scheduling conference is a meeting between you, your lawyer if you have one, the state's attorney and the Health Law Judge. The purpose of the conference is to set the hearing date and all relevant case deadlines. The conference is usually conducted by telephone. We will issue a Scheduling Order shortly after the conference that lists the dates set during the conference.

What are discovery, protective orders, and ex parte communication?

Discovery is the process of sharing information between the parties. Discovery must be completed by the deadline listed in the Scheduling Order. A protective order states that parties cannot share information they receive with anyone other than their attorneys or expert witnesses.

Ex parte communication is a rule that forbids a judge from talking to one party without the other party being present. Judges may communicate at scheduled conferences where both parties are present or in writing if a copy is sent to each side.  

How do I get evidence before the judge or other decision maker?

You can present evidence in writing (through exhibits) and orally (through witnesses at hearing). All exhibits and witness lists should be filed with the Adjudicative Service Unit with a copy sent to the opposing party

How public is the process and decision?

The adjudicative process is an open process. Most information is subject to discovery or public disclosure. Hearings are generally open to the public. Decisions are public records. Health Profession discipline decisions are posted on the Provider Credential Search page.

Whom do I contact to discuss the possibility of settling (resolving) my case?

In health profession discipline cases, a staff attorney is assigned to each case. You can contact the staff attorney to discuss possible settlement of the case.    

If your case is not a health profession discipline case, you can contact the Assistant Attorney General assigned to your case to discuss the possibility of settlement.  

How long will it take to resolve my case?

It typically takes 230 days. See WAC 246-14-090.  

Do service members (or their dependents) have any protections if there are disciplinary charges pending?

Yes.  If their actual service time affects their (or their dependent’s) ability to appear in the case, they have protections from default judgments.  (This is a decision entered when a party fails to answer or defend.)

They can seek a delay (or stay) in a disciplinary proceeding until they are able to appear. The application for such a stay must include:

  • A letter stating that their military duty materially affects their ability to appear.  The letter must provide a date when they could be available; and
  • communication from their commanding officer confirming that military duty prevents their appearance.  It must say that military leave is unauthorized at that time.

Eligible service members (under 10 U.S.C. 101(a)(5)) include the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Commissioned Officers of the Public Health Service or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Marine Corps, and Navy.  Eligible service members (under RCW 38.42.050) include National Guard members and military reserve members called to active duty for a period of more than 30 straight days.

For more information, see the Federal Service Member’s Civil Relief Act (50 U.S.C. App. sections 501-593) and the Washington Service Member’s Civil Relief Act, Chapter 38.42 RCW.