Minnesota Health and Human Services Licensing

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES LICENSING

Arneson & Geffen represents individuals and facilities in matters involving the Minnesota Department of Health (“MDH”) and the Minnesota Department of Human Services (“DHS”).  Arneson & Geffen has successfully represented clients in cases involving alleged maltreatment, disqualifications, set-asides and more.  We help clients in administrative appeals, and appeals before district court and the court of appeals.

Jon Geffen published an article with Hamline Law School Journal of Public Law and Policy addressing how licensing laws impact employees.  The article analyzes the role of regulators such as MDH and DHS and how their decisions have dramatic and life-changing effects on individuals’ employment.  You can read this article beginning in the spring of 2010 at http://law.hamline.edu/jplp/index.html.

In February 2010, Jon Geffen received a favorable decision from the Minnesota Court of Appeals reversing a DHS decision to deny a client the right to a hearing to determine if he was disqualified.  The court agreed with Mr. Geffen’s argument that an individual has a constitutional right to a hearing when disqualified from employment.

Examples of recent successful cases:

Finger in the Door:  Obtained a reversal of a DHS decision that a child care provider committed maltreatment when she accidently closed a door on a child’s finger causing some minor harm.  After a hearing and briefing, the administrative law judge ruled the injury was an accident and overturned DHS’s finding.  The client quickly returned to her position

Finger in the Door #2:  Obtained a reversal of a DHS decision that a child care provider committed maltreatment when she accidently closed a door on a child’s finger causing some minor harm.  After a hearing and briefing, the administrative law judge ruled that the incident was an accident and overturned DHS’s finding of maltreatment.

Maltreatment by Kit-Kat:  Obtained a reversal of a DHS decision that child care facility committed maltreatment against a minor when a staff member ignored policy rules and fed a child with a peanut allergy a candy bar that was made in a facility that used peanuts.  After a contested case hearing, the judge ruled that the facility followed state laws and the employee, despite training, deviated from that policy.  The judge overturned DHS’s finding that the facility committed maltreatment against a minor.

Permanent Disqualification Reversal:  Obtained a reversal of a DHS decision that a nurse’s aide was permanently disqualified from working in her field based on a non-conviction that occurred 15 years ago in another state.  In reaching its original determination, DHS concluded that although she was not convicted of the crime, the police reports indicated that based on the preponderance of the evidence, the client committed second degree assault.  After numerous communications with DHS, it reversed its decision and client continued to work in her chosen field.

Constitutional Violation:  Obtained a decision from the Minnesota Court of Appeals reversing DHS’s decision to deny client a hearing.  Client was never convicted of a crime, but DHS concluded based on 10 year old police records that the preponderance of the evidence illustrated client committed a crime that disqualified him from working as a social worker for 15 years.  We are awaiting a trial to prove client did not commit a crime.   This decision is available at http://www.lawlibrary.state.mn.us/archive/ctappub/1002/opa091061-0223.pdf