Mass. General Laws c.112 § 128

Psychologists; investigations; revocation, suspension, or cancellation of license; notice, hearing, order, review

This is an unofficial version of a Massachusetts General Law. For more information on this topic, please see law about professional licensure.

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Amended by St.2022, c.127, §16, effective July 29, 2022

Section 128

The board shall investigate all complaints relating to the proper practice of psychology by any person licensed under sections one hundred and eighteen to one hundred and twenty-nine A, inclusive; provided, however, that notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, no person shall be subject to discipline by the board, including the revocation, suspension or cancellation of the certificate of registration or reprimand, censure or monetary fine, for providing or assisting in the provision of reproductive health care services or gender-affirming health care services, as those terms are defined in section 11I½ of chapter 12, or for any judgment, discipline or other sanction arising from such health care services if the services as provided would have been lawful and consistent with the standard of conduct adopted by the board by regulation if they occurred entirely in the commonwealth; provided further, that the board shall not take adverse action on an application for registration of a qualified psychologist based on a criminal or civil action or disciplinary action by a licensing board of another state that arises from such health care services that, as provided, would have been lawful and consistent with the standard of conduct adopted by the board by regulation if they occurred entirely in the commonwealth.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to regulate the practice of psychology in any other state.

The board may, after a hearing in accordance with the provisions of chapter thirty A, revoke, suspend or cancel the license, or reprimand, censure or otherwise discipline a psychologist licensed under said sections one hundred and eighteen to one hundred and twenty-nine A, inclusive, upon proof satisfactory to a majority of the board that said psychologist:

(a) fraudulently procured said license;

(b) is guilty of an offense against any provision of the laws of the commonwealth relating to the practice of psychology or any rule or regulation adopted thereunder;

(c) is guilty of conduct that places into question the psychologist's competence to practice psychology, including but not limited to gross misconduct in the practice of psychology or of practicing psychology fraudulently, or beyond its authorized scope, or with gross incompetence, or with gross negligence on a particular occasion or negligence on repeated occasions;

(d) is guilty of practicing psychology while the ability to practice was impaired by alcohol, drugs, physical disability or mental instability;

(e) is guilty of being habitually drunk or being or having been within a reasonable period of time addicted to, dependent on, or a habitual user of narcotics, barbiturates, amphetamines, hallucinogens, or other drugs having similar effects;

(f) is guilty of knowingly permitting, aiding or abetting an unlicensed individual to perform activities requiring a license for purposes of fraud, deception or personal gain, excluding activities permissible under any provision of laws of the commonwealth or rules or regulations of the board;

(g) has been convicted of a criminal offense which reasonably calls into question his ability to practice psychology; or

(h) is guilty of violating any rule or regulation of the board governing the practice of psychology.

The board shall, after proper notice and hearing, adopt rules and regulations governing the practice of psychology in order to promote the public health, welfare, and safety and to implement the provisions of this section.

No person filing a complaint or reporting or providing information pursuant to this section or assisting the board at its request in any manner in discharging its duties and functions shall be liable in any cause of action arising out of the receiving of such information and assistance; provided, however, that the person making the complaint or reporting or providing said information or assistance does so in good faith and without malice.

If the psychologist is found not to have violated any of the provisions set forth in this section, the board shall forthwith order a dismissal of the charges.

Notice in writing of a contemplated revocation or suspension of a license, or the cause therefor in sufficient particularity, and of the date of hearing thereon, shall be sent by registered or certified mail to the licensee at his last known address at least fifteen days before the date of such hearing. The psychologist against whom a charge is filed shall have a right to appear before the board in person or by counsel, or both, may produce witnesses and evidence on his behalf, and may question witnesses. No license shall be revoked or suspended without such hearing, but the nonappearance of the licensee, after notice, shall not prevent such hearing. All matters upon which the decision is based shall be introduced in evidence at the proceeding. The licensee shall be notified in writing of the board's decision. The board may make such rules and regulations as it deems proper for the filing of charges and the conduct of hearings.

After issuing an order or revocation or suspension the board may also file a petition in equity in the superior court in a county in which the respondent resides or transacts business, or in Suffolk county, to ensure appropriate injunctive relief to expedite and secure the enforcement of its order, pending the final determination.

Any decision the board makes pursuant to this section shall be subject to review in superior court in accordance with the provisions of chapter thirty A.

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Last updated: July 29, 2022

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