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Sanchez v. State, Department of Health

Florida Court of Appeals, First District

August 28, 2017

JUAN FRANCISCO SANCHEZ, R.D.H., Petitioner,
v.
STATE OF FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, Respondent.

         NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE MOTION FOR REHEARING AND DISPOSITION THEREOF IF FILED

         Petition to Review Non-Final Agency Action-Original Jurisdiction.

          Ronald W. Chapman and Juan C. Santos of Chapman Law Group, Sarasota, for Petitioner.

          Sarah Young Hodges, Chief Appellate Counsel, Department of Health, Tallahassee, for Respondent.

          OSTERHAUS, J.

         Juan Francisco Sanchez petitions for review of emergency agency action restricting his license to practice as a dental hygienist. We deny Mr. Sanchez's petition because the Department's order is facially sufficient.

         I.

         Pursuant to § 120.60(6), Florida Statutes, the Department entered an emergency order restricting Mr. Sanchez's license to practice as a dental hygienist. In the order, the Department made specific and detailed factual findings of sexual misconduct by Mr. Sanchez against five female patients during dental appointments over the span of three months of his working at a new dental hygienist job. We needn't elaborate the details of the multiple incidents here. Suffice it to say, the Department alleged that Mr. Sanchez repeatedly had violated §§ 456.072(1)(v) and 456.063(1) by committing sexual misconduct against multiple women in the course of his work as a dental hygienist; that there was a significant likelihood that Mr. Sanchez would cause harm to female patients in the future due to "his repeated and continuous disregard for the laws and regulations governing dental hygienist[s]"; and that there existed an immediate, serious danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the citizens of the State of Florida. Based upon these allegations, the Department decided that an emergency restriction was necessary and fair under the circumstances to adequately protect the public: "[n]othing short of the immediate restriction of Mr. Sanchez's license [would] protect the public from the dangers created by Mr. Sanchez's continued practice of dental hygiene on female patients." And so, it restricted Mr. Sanchez's license to practice immediately by prohibiting him from seeing female patients until a full hearing could take place in the matter.

         II.

         Section 120.60(6) authorizes a state agency to take emergency disciplinary action against a state licensee under the following circumstances:

If the agency finds that immediate serious danger to the public health, safety, or welfare requires emergency suspension, restriction, or limitation of a license, the agency may take such action by any procedure that is fair under the circumstances if:
(a) The procedure provides at least the same procedural protection as is given by other statutes, the State Constitution, or the United States Constitution;
(b) The agency takes only that action necessary to protect the public interest under the emergency procedure; and
(c) The agency states in writing at the time of, or prior to, its action the specific facts and reasons for finding an immediate danger to the public health, safety, or welfare and its reasons for concluding that the procedure used is fair under the circumstances. The agency's findings of ...

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