Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
What do I do if I receive a Formal Complaint, Order of Summary Suspension, or Notice and Order to Cease and Desist alleging a violation of the law?
You may wish to consult with an attorney to fully understand your legal rights and responsibilities. The Bureau cannot provide you with legal advice, but you may call the division at 517-241-9590 with procedural questions.
Read the document(s) carefully, and respond in writing to the Bureau within the time frame(s) requested or required by law.
It is your obligation to promptly update your address on file with the Bureau. Updating your address with the Secretary of State or with the U.S. Postal Service does not notify the Bureau of your change of address.
If you do not respond within the time frame(s) requested, the order could become final by operation of law, and you could be assessed administrative costs in addition to fines and other licensing penalties if a formal hearing is required.
What is a Compliance Conference?
If the law entitles you to request a compliance conference, you will receive notice of that opportunity together with the document(s) you receive.
This is an informal meeting with an attorney on behalf of the Bureau where you can either demonstrate that you were in compliance with the law at all relevant times or negotiate a settlement with the Bureau.
You may bring an attorney to this meeting.
What is a Formal Hearing? What Happens if I Don’t Appear at the Hearing?
If you elect not to participate in a compliance conference, if a resolution is not reached at a compliance conference, or if the law does not entitle you to a compliance conference, you may submit a written request for a formal administrative hearing also referred to as a “contested case proceeding.”
If a formal hearing is required before the Bureau Director or relevant Board or Commission may issue a final order, the Bureau will request a hearing date. If no one appears on your behalf at the hearing, a default could be entered against you. A default means that all of the allegations against you are found true, and, depending on the statute under which you were charged, you could be assessed administrative costs of the proceeding on top of a fine and other licensing sanctions.
An administrative law judge (ALJ) employed by the Michigan Administrative Hearing System presides over a formal hearing, and the Bureau is represented in the proceeding by an attorney. You may also be represented by an attorney. You and the Bureau are the “parties” to the proceeding.
The Michigan Administrative Hearing System mails all notices of hearing to the parties to the proceeding using your address on file with the Bureau. It does not use or accept motions or briefs filed by email.
Both parties may call witnesses and introduce documentary evidence during the formal hearing. The ALJ will set deadlines, schedule any additional hearing dates, and rule on any objections. You will not know the outcome of the formal hearing, until the ALJ issues either a “Proposal for Decision” or a “Hearing Report.”
What Happens After a Formal Hearing?
Either a Proposal for Decision or Hearing Report is mailed by the Michigan Administrative Hearing System and sets forth the ALJ’s findings of fact and conclusions of law. Both parties will receive a copy generally within 90 days after the formal hearing date.
Under most of the laws administered by the Bureau, a Proposal for Decision is issued with proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law that may be modified by the Bureau Director in a Final Order. A Proposal for Decision also allows both parties to file written “exceptions” to it and a response to the exceptions within a short time frame specified in the Proposal for Decision.
Under the Unarmed Combat Regulatory Act and the Occupational Code, a Hearing Report is issued containing findings of fact and conclusions of law reviewed by the Unarmed Combat Commission or the Board of Mortuary Science Examiners. Neither may modify the findings of fact or conclusions of law, but they must determine the appropriate licensing penalties. Please note that the Board of Mortuary Science Examiners only meets two times per year, and the Unarmed Combat Commission only meets four times per year.
What Happens After a Settlement is Reached?
Stipulations or Consent Orders are settlement agreements between you and the Bureau that may be negotiated at or following a compliance conference or just before a formal hearing date.
Stipulations concerning violations of the Unarmed Combat Regulatory Act or the Occupational Code must be reviewed and either accepted or rejected by the relevant Commission or Board.
If a Stipulation is rejected, a formal hearing will be requested. If a Stipulation is accepted, a Final Order will be issued following the next Commission or Board meeting.
Stipulations and Consent Orders concerning violations of the other statutes the Bureau administers are approved or rejected by either the Bureau Director or the Cemetery Commissioner. Similarly, a Final Order incorporating the terms of the Stipulation or Consent Order is issued if it is approved, and a formal hearing is scheduled if it is rejected.
Final Orders and Publication to the Bureau’s Website
An order may either become final by operation of law after a designated period of time, following a settlement and issuance of a final order, or following a formal hearing.
If a settlement was reached or a formal hearing held, you will receive a “Final Order” in the mail after the Bureau Director, the Cemetery Commissioner, or the relevant Commission or Board reviews the matter.
The Bureau’s monthly reports of disciplinary actions taken listed by occupation or profession: http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-61343_35395_77138---,00.html.
Most of the disciplinary and denial orders issued under the Michigan Uniform Securities Act since mid-2016 are posted at the above link under “Securities Reports.” Disciplinary history and other licensing information may also be searched via BrokerCheck, https://brokercheck.finra.org, or the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website, https://adviserinfo.sec.gov/IAPD/Default.aspx.
License status and disciplinary history search page: www.michigan.gov/licenselookup.
Who Do I Contact After a Final Order is Issued? How is a Final Order Enforced?
Compliance with final order terms and conditions is monitored by the Bureau’s Securities & Audit Division – Final Order Monitoring, 517-241-9180. Once a fine or administrative costs is overdue for six months, the Bureau generally refers the debt to the Michigan Department of Treasury for collection action.
Depending on the terms of the final order, your license or registration may also be automatically suspended or revoked based on non-compliance. And, even after you demonstrate late compliance with a final order, you may have to file a written petition with the Bureau Director, the Cemetery Commissioner, or the relevant Board or Commission to lift such a suspension or reinstate a revoked license or registration before a relicensure or reinstatement application is approved.
Some statutes allow the Bureau or another government regulator to seek disciplinary action against other licenses it administers based on non-compliance with a final order issued against the original license. Under some statutes, the Bureau may also seek injunctive relief in state circuit court to enforce the terms of the order.
Some statutes contain criminal provisions that the Bureau uses to make referrals to the appropriate law enforcement agency for criminal violations of the statute.