On November 14, 2007, the Board of Registration in Medicine issued a Statement of Allegations, ordering the Respondent, Lorraine Hurley, M.D. to show cause why she should not be disciplined because she has continued to practice medicine after her registration lapsed and committed an offense against the provisions of a law of the Commonwealth relating to the practice of medicine. The Respondent, who does not hold a valid license to practice medicine in Massachusetts, filed an Answer, through her husband, on January 30, 2008.
Pursuant to 801 CMR 1.01(10)(a), a pre-hearing conference was scheduled for January 17, 2008 at 2:00 P.M. At that time, the Respondents' husband telephoned DALA and wrote to the Petitioner that, due to a current family emergency, the Respondent would not be able to attend '"the scheduled hearing" on January 17, 2008. He requested a continuance.
A second pre-hearing conference was then scheduled for February 7, 2008 at 2:00 P.M. The Respondent's husband telephoned the Board of Medicine on that day and informed Complaint Counsel that the Respondent was still involved in a family emergency and would not be attending the conference. DALA was neither contacted nor notified at that time.
An Order to Show Cause issued on February 7, 2008. Neither the Respondent nor her husband responded to the Order to Show Cause in writing in an effort to justify the second continuance or to more fully explain the "family emergency" or why the Respondent has been indisposed to respond to the Notices and Order herself. Rather, the Respondent's husband telephoned the Administrative Magistrate on February 14, 2008 and left an ex parte voice mail message wherein he stated that his wife was involved in a family emergency and would not be available to respond to the Statement of Allegations until March 2008 "if she chose to" at that time.
The response to the Order to Show Cause was not in writing, in violation of the Order and the Standard Adjudicatory Rules. Further, no sufficient explanation has been provided as to the nature of a "family emergency" that has allegedly lasted from January 17, 2008 through at least early March 2008. Finally, there has been no explanation for the Respondent's failure to respond herself or through counsel to the Notices of Pre-hearing Conferences.
The Respondent's blatant disregard of the DALA hearing process, Order to Show Cause and the authority of the Board of Registration in Medicine implies either her lack of intent to zealously defend herself against the Board's action, or a furtive attempt to delay the process. Thus, pursuant to G.L. c. 30A s. 10(2), the Respondent is defaulted.
As a consequence of the default, each of the allegations contained in the Statement of Allegations is deemed to be true.
Accordingly, I recommend that the Board of Registration in Medicine impose appropriate sanctions against the Respondent.
Division of Administrative Law Appeals,
DATED: February 26, 2008