Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 3. Uniform Professional Licensing and Regulation Procedures

Unprofessional Conduct -- Complaint -- Investigation -- Immunity -- Exceptions

37-1-308. Unprofessional conduct -- complaint -- investigation -- immunity -- exceptions. (1) Except as provided in subsections (4) and (5), a person, government, or private entity may submit a written complaint to the department charging a licensee or license applicant with a violation of this part and specifying the grounds for the complaint.

(2) (a) If the department receives a written complaint or otherwise obtains information that a licensee or license applicant may have committed a violation of this part, the department may, with the concurrence of a member of the screening panel established in 37-1-307, investigate to determine whether there is reasonable cause to believe that the licensee or license applicant has committed the violation.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (2)(c), if the written complaint or information that a licensee or license applicant may have violated a requirement of this part is based on the licensee or license applicant's exercise of rights protected under the free exercise clause or the free speech clause of the Montana constitution or the United States constitution, then the investigation of the licensee or license applicant must cease immediately, and the complaint must be dismissed.

(c) If the complaint alleges an activity by a licensee whose free speech rights are protected under 50-4-1106, the department or licensing board receiving the complaint must comply with the notification requirements of 50-4-1106.

(3) A person or private entity, but not a government entity, filing a complaint under this section in good faith is immune from suit in a civil action related to the filing or contents of the complaint.

(4) A person under legal custody of a county detention center or incarcerated under legal custody of the department of corrections may not file a complaint under subsection (1) against a licensed or certified provider of health care or rehabilitative services for services that were provided to the person while detained or confined in a county detention center or incarcerated under legal custody of the department of corrections unless the complaint is first reviewed by a correctional health care review team provided for in 37-1-331.

(5) A board member may file a complaint with the board on which the member serves or otherwise act in concert with a complainant in developing, authoring, or initiating a complaint to be filed with the board if the board member determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that a particular statute, rule, or standard has been violated.

History: En. Sec. 8, Ch. 429, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 475, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 375, L. 1999; amd. Sec. 9, Ch. 492, L. 2001; amd. Sec. 7, Ch. 381, L. 2023.