37-1-307. Board authority. (1) A board may:
(a) hold hearings as provided in this part;
(b) issue subpoenas requiring the attendance of witnesses or the production of documents and administer oaths in connection with investigations and disciplinary proceedings under this part. Subpoenas must be relevant to the complaint and must be signed by a member of the board. Subpoenas may be enforced as provided in 2-4-104.
(c) authorize depositions and other discovery procedures under the Montana Rules of Civil Procedure in connection with an investigation, hearing, or proceeding held under this part;
(d) establish a screening panel to determine whether there is reasonable cause to believe that a licensee has violated a particular statute, rule, or standard justifying disciplinary proceedings. A screening panel shall specify in writing the particular statute, rule, or standard that the panel believes may have been violated. The screening panel shall also state in writing the reasonable grounds that support the panel's finding that a violation may have occurred. The assigned board members may not subsequently participate in a hearing of the case. The final decision on the case must be made by a majority of the board members who did not serve on the screening panel for the case.
(e) grant or deny a license and, upon a finding of unprofessional conduct by an applicant or license holder, impose a sanction provided by this chapter.
(2) Each board is designated as a criminal justice agency within the meaning of 44-5-103 for the purpose of obtaining confidential criminal justice information, as defined in 44-5-103, regarding the board's licensees and license applicants and regarding possible unlicensed practice, but the board may not record or retain any confidential criminal justice information without complying with the provisions of the Montana Criminal Justice Information Act of 1979, Title 44, chapter 5.
(3) A board may contact and request information from the department of justice, which is designated as a criminal justice agency within the meaning of 44-5-103, for the purpose of obtaining criminal history record information regarding the board's licensees and license applicants and regarding possible unlicensed practice.
(4) (a) A board that is statutorily authorized to obtain a criminal background check as a prerequisite to the issuance of a license shall require the applicant to submit fingerprints for the purpose of fingerprint checks by the Montana department of justice and the federal bureau of investigation.
(b) The applicant shall sign a release of information to the board and is responsible to the department of justice for the payment of all fees associated with the criminal background check.
(c) Upon completion of the criminal background check, the department of justice shall forward all criminal history record information, as defined in 44-5-103, in any jurisdiction to the board as authorized in 44-5-303.
(d) At the conclusion of any background check required by this section, the board must receive the criminal background check report but may not receive the fingerprint card of the applicant. Upon receipt of the criminal background check report, the department of justice shall promptly destroy the fingerprint card of the applicant.
[(5) Each board shall require a license applicant to provide the applicant's social security number as a part of the application. Each board shall keep the social security number from this source confidential, except that a board may provide the number to the department of public health and human services for use in administering Title IV-D of the Social Security Act.] (Bracketed language terminates on occurrence of contingency--sec. 1, Ch. 27, L. 1999.)
History: En. Sec. 7, Ch. 429, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 22, Ch. 552, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 230, L. 1999; amd. Sec. 8, Ch. 492, L. 2001; amd. Sec. 16, Ch. 467, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 389, L. 2007.