Complaint Disclosure Policy
Enforcing the laws governing veterinary medicine in California is one of the Veterinary Medical Board's (VMB) principal functions. Although the Board supports maximum public information disclosure, legal restrictions sometimes limit information availability. The following is an outline of the Board's disclosure policy:
- Complaint Information Disclosure
The complaint review process consists of gathering evidence from all parties. The raw evidence is unsubstantiated allegations that must be reviewed and analyzed by impartial consultants in order to make a determination. At the complaint review stage, legal restrictions and due process considerations prohibit information disclosure to the public. Disclosure at this stage would be prejudicial and would compromise the investigation; therefore, complaint information is exempt from the Public Information Act and not available to the general public.
- Disciplinary Actions - Information Disclosure
In cases where an investigation reveals a potentially serious violation, the Board forwards the complaint information, along with the initial findings, either to the Division of Investigation (DOI) or to the Attorney General's office for action. If a DOI investigation is required, an expert witness reviews the original complaint and the investigative report and then, based on the expert review, the file is either closed, referred to citation and fine, or referred to the Office of the Attorney General for disciplinary action. Once a file is transferred to the Attorney General for action, the public is given the following information even before any written documentation is available:
"An investigation has been conducted and the case has been forwarded to the Attorney General's Office for consideration of possible action. At this time, there has been no determination of wrong-doing."
An "accusation" is the first public document in any case. The accusation is prepared and filed by the Deputy Attorney General (DAG). If the accusation results in a final order/decision, the final decision is also available to the public.
- License Status Information
The Board maintains licensing information records for all past and present license holders. The following information is available to the public upon request (a nominal preparation fee is charged for written confirmation):
- Name of the licensee;
- License number;
- Address of record;
- Original licensure date;
- Expiration or termination date, and if applicable, the basis for termination;
- Information regarding disciplinary actions (copy of accusation and decision/order)
Any questions regarding this policy should be directed to the Board's Legislation and Regulations Unit at (916) 263-2610.