Filing a Notice of Defense is the first step in defending your license to operate a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly. You must file a Notice of Defense before certain deadlines, so don’t wait to the last minute to preserve your right to an Administrative hearing.
You will receive 2 copies of the Notice of Defense with the Accusation. (An Accusation is a document that gives you notice of CDSS’s administrative action to revoke your license.) You will receive the Accusation by personal service or regular mail, and the method of delivery will determine the deadline for filing the Notice of Defense.
The instructions for completing and submitting the Notice of Defense are contained in the document itself. In short, you will complete the document and deliver it to the address specified. If you are mailing the document be sure it arrives before the deadline.
While filing the Notice of Defense is fairly easy, what follows often requires the services of an attorney. Representation at the prehearing conference and settlement negotiations often leads to better outcomes than if clients represent themselves. Furthermore, notice of representation in the Notice of Defense itself sends a clear message to DSS’s Legal Division that their case will require additional work, preparation and time. In turn, attorney representation before the Notice of Defense is filed can lead to effective settlement negotiations and continued operation without the need for a formal administrative hearing.