Administrative Law

Daniel R.E. Jordan, Esquire

Agency conducts de novo review of other agency decisions. State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts v. Trueblood, M.D., 368 S.W.2d 259 (Mo. App. W.D., 2012), Ahuja, P.J.

Agency issued a license subject to probation. On appeal to Administrative Hearing Commission (“AHC”), AHC determined both whether statutes allow probation and duration of probation.

Held: Affirmed.
Statutes provide that, on appeal from agency to AHC, AHC conducts de novo review of the matters pleaded, making its own findings of facts and conclusions of law anew, on the record made before the AHC by contested case procedure. AHC owes no deference to agency and whether the agency committed error is not relevant. Instead, the AHC’s authority includes the agency’s authority, with the same degree of discretion. 

Action became justiciable while on appeal. Mercy Hospitals East Communities, f/k/a St. John’s Mercy Health System v. Missouri Health Facilities Review Committee, et al., 362 S.W.3d 415 (Mo. banc 2012).

Declaratory judgment was not ripe when circuit court dismissed action, because agency had not yet applied regulation, so circuit court dismissed action but ruled on regulation’s validity anyway.

Held: Affirmed as modified
. Statutes on declaratory judgment provided that economic competition gave appellant standing. Challenge became ripe when agency applied regulation during appeal.

No standing to appeal without participation in circuit court. Underwood v. St. Joseph Board of Zoning Adjustment, et al., 368 S.W.3d 204 (Mo. App. W.D., 2012), King Mitchell, P.J.

Appellant was not a party to circuit court judgment. Statutes generally provide that any person aggrieved may seek judicial review of agency decisions, and specifically may appeal board of adjustment decision to circuit court.

Held: Dismissed.
Only a party to circuit court judgment may appeal the judgment to court of appeals so appellant has no standing to appeal to court of appeals. Court of appeals declines to treat notice of appeal as a petition for an extraordinary writ because appellant lacks standing for that action, too.

Board members liable for reckless lapse in duty. Edwards v. Gerstein, et al., 363 S.W.3d 155 (Mo. App. W.D., 2012), Holliger, J.

Board members had a duty to licensee to conduct investigation thoroughly and impartially before filing a complaint with the Administrative Hearing Commission (“AHC”). Statutes provide that licensing board members are liable for “gross negligence,” which means recklessness. Damages for breach of duty included attorney fees.

Held: Affirmed.