Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Forman v. South Carolina Department of Labor

Court of Appeals of South Carolina

November 9, 2016

Karen A. Forman, Appellant,
v.
South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, State Board of Social Work Examiners, Respondent. Appellate Case No. 2014-000285

          Heard November 10, 2015

         Appeal From The Administrative Law Court S. Phillip Lenski Administrative Law Judge John D. McLeod Administrative Law Judge

         AFFIRMED

          Thomas Franklin McDow, IV, and Erin K Urquhart, both of McDow and Urquhart, LLC, of Rock Hill, for Appellant.

          Prentiss Counts Shealey and Megan Joan Flannery, of Columbia, for Respondents.

          HUFF, J.

         Karen Forman appeals the decision of the Administrative Law Court (ALC) affirming the order of the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, State Board of Social Work Examiners (Board) prohibiting her from working as a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) and barring her from all independent social work practice. We affirm.

         FACTS/PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Forman has a master's degree in social work and became a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) in the early 1990s. At the time of the Board's action, she also had become a Licensed Independent Social Worker-Clinical Practice (LISW-CP). She primarily worked as a GAL and has served on over 150 cases. On August 19, 2009, the Board served Forman with a Notice of Charges (Notice) alleging she had engaged in misconduct in violation of the Social Work Examiners Practice Act.[1]The Notice was based upon Forman's work as a GAL in two family court private custody actions. The Notice alleged Forman made recommendations to the family court without interviewing all of the parties involved, conducting a full investigation of all relevant documents and allegations that may be relevant, or supporting her conclusions with a full report. In addition, the Notice alleged Forman failed to disclose to the family court the Board had placed her license on probation, she had billed for services she had not performed, and she had failed to disclose potential conflicts of interest.

         In responding to the Notice, Forman asserted that in Case I, she followed the GAL statute and had done nothing wrong. For Case II, she stated she believed the mother was mentally unstable and "was angry at me because she has no one left to target her anger toward." Forman filed a motion to dismiss contending she was not providing social work services and only the family court has authority over actions taken as a GAL.

         After a hearing, the Board determined Forman had committed fraud in violation of South Carolina Code Regulation 110-20(8) (2012) by representing she had performed services she had not performed. It also found Forman had represented herself as a LMSW without disclosing she had been placed in a probationary status.[2] The Board ordered Forman to no longer work as a GAL. It prohibited her from all independent practice and provided she may "engage only in supervised practice, within a recognized, organized setting such as social, medical, and governmental agencies." It required her to submit to the Board semi-annually written reports from her supervisors for two years.

         Forman appealed to the ALC. In its final order, the ALC rejected Forman's arguments she was entitled to quasi-judicial immunity and the Board lacked authority to discipline her for her work as a GAL. The ALC found substantial evidence supported the Board's decision she had violated section 40-63-110(B)(9) of the South Carolina Code (2011) and Regulation 110-20(8) by representing to the Board that she had performed services in the two family court cases that she did not perform. It reversed the Board's finding Forman was required to disclose her prior discipline in her GAL affidavit. Because it found the Board's order was unclear whether this finding affected the sanctions, the ALC remanded the matter to the Board for reconsideration of the sanctions.

         On remand, the Board found Forman's failure to disclose the previous disciplinary action "played little, if any, role in its decision for the sanctions imposed." Accordingly, it imposed the same sanctions as in the original order. The ALC affirmed this order. This appeal followed.

         ISSUES

I. Does quasi-judicial immunity apply to professional disciplinary proceedings?
II. Are the Board's findings of fact supported by substantial evidence?
III. Does the Board have subject matter jurisdiction to discipline Forman for her actions as a GAL and to prohibit her from serving as a GAL?

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Judicial review of agency decisions is governed by section 1-23-380 of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) (Supp. 2015). Osman v. S.C. Dep't of Labor, Licensing & Regulation, 382 S.C. 244, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.