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Kim Rachel Hansen v. Board of Registered Nursing

August 16, 2012

KIM RACHEL HANSEN, PLAINTIFF AND APPELLANT,
v.
BOARD OF REGISTERED NURSING, DEFENDANT AND RESPONDENT.



(Super. Ct. No. 37-2011-00091583-CU-WM-CTL) APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of San Diego County, Lisa Foster, Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Irion, J.

CERTIFIED FOR PUBLICATION

Affirmed.

Kim Rachel Hansen filed a petition for writ of administrative mandate (Code Civ. Proc., § 1094.5) to challenge the decision of the Board of Registered Nursing (the Board) to revoke her registered nurse license (hereafter license). On the Board's demurrer, the trial court ruled the petition was untimely; and after Hansen did not amend within the time allotted, the court entered a judgment dismissing the petition with prejudice. Hansen appeals, contending she did not learn of the revocation until after the limitations period for filing the petition had expired. We affirm.

I

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Hansen obtained a license from the Board in 1987. During a hospitalization in 2009, she spoke to a representative of the Board and agreed to participate in a diversion program for nurses and other professionals having problems with alcohol consumption. Hansen, however, refused to enroll in the program.

Following her refusal to participate in the diversion program, the Board filed an accusation against Hansen charging her with unprofessional conduct and seeking suspension or revocation of her license. The Board alleged Hansen engaged in unprofessional conduct by failing to participate in the diversion program and by using alcohol to an extent dangerous to herself or others.

The Board sent a copy of the accusation to Hansen at her address of record by certified mail on October 1, 2010. Hansen, however, had moved from that address in July 2009, but had not notified the Board of her new address. As a result, Hansen did not receive the copy of the accusation.

Resolution of the accusation proceeded by way of default. The Board issued a decision and order (hereafter decision) in which it found the allegations of the accusation true and revoked Hansen's license effective January 24, 2011.

The Board sent a copy of the decision to Hansen at her address of record by certified mail on December 22, 2010. Again, because she had moved but not notified the Board of her new address, Hansen did not receive the copy of the decision.

On February 27, 2011, while viewing the Board's Web site for an unrelated reason, Hansen learned for the first time that the Board had revoked her license.*fn1 On March 7, 2011, Hansen filed a motion with the Board asking it to vacate or reconsider its decision. In a letter dated May 9, 2011, the Board informed Hansen it could not grant her motion because the revocation had become final.

On May 20, 2011, Hansen petitioned the trial court for relief. She complained that the Board denied her notice and an opportunity for a fair hearing and abused its discretion in revoking her license. Hansen sought a writ of administrative mandate directing the Board to vacate its decision revoking her license and to hear the matter on the merits.

The Board demurred on the ground the petition was untimely. According to the Board, Government Code section 11523 required Hansen to file the petition within 30 days of the effective date of her license revocation, i.e., within 30 days of January 24, 2011. Because she did not do so, ...


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