In the Matter of the License of Herman Thompson, M.Eq., L.P. License No. LP2769
Minnesota Board of Psychology File No. OAH 71-0907-34423
E. Reed, Minneapolis, Minnesota (for relator Herman Thompson)
Ellison, Attorney General, Nicholas Lienesch, Assistant
Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota (for respondent
Minnesota Board of Psychology)
Considered and decided by Johnson, Presiding Judge; Hooten,
Judge; and Klaphake, Judge. [*]
Minnesota Board of Psychology is authorized to commence and
maintain a disciplinary proceeding against, and to impose
discipline on, a psychologist whose license no longer is
valid because it was not renewed, so long as the license has
not been terminated.
There is no limit on the time in which the Minnesota Board of
Psychology may commence a disciplinary proceeding against a
licensed psychologist if the complaint alleges the type of
sexual misconduct described in section 148.941, subdivision
7(b)(2), of the Minnesota Statutes. The seven-year limitation
period in section 148.941, subdivision 7(a), does not apply
to such a complaint.
Minnesota Board of Psychology revoked Herman Thompson's
license to practice psychology based on a finding that he
engaged in sexual misconduct toward a patient. Thompson
argues that the board did not have authority to discipline
him because his license had expired, that the board's
disciplinary proceeding is barred by a statute of limitation,
and that the board's decision is not supported by
substantial evidence. We reject each of his arguments and,
was first licensed by the board as a psychotherapist in 1985.
He thereafter renewed his license at two-year intervals.
Between August 2003 and May 2005, Thompson treated a patient,
J.W., who was between the ages of 16 and 17 years old. In
2016, when J.W. was 28 years old, the board received two
complaints that Thompson had sexually abused J.W. while he
was a patient and shortly after the therapeutic relationship
ended. One complaint was filed by J.W.'s then-current
therapist; the other complaint was filed by a sergeant with
the Minneapolis Police Department.
board conducted an investigation. On May 30, 2017, the
board's complaint-resolution committee served a notice of
contested-case hearing on an attorney who had been
communicating with the board on Thompson's behalf.
Thompson did not make any attempt to renew his license by
June 30, 2017, the last day on which the license was valid.
August 2, 2017, the attorney who was representing Thompson
appeared before the board and asserted that Thompson had not
authorized him to accept service of the notice and that the
board's complaint-resolution committee should serve the
notice on Thompson personally. The board's
complaint-resolution committee did so two days later.
Thompson and his attorney made several attempts to dismiss
the disciplinary proceeding without an evidentiary hearing.
In August 2017, he moved to dismiss on two grounds: (1) that
the board lacks jurisdiction over him because his license had
expired and he had retired, and (2) that the disciplinary
proceeding is time-barred. An administrative-law judge (ALJ)
denied the motion. Thompson filed a motion for
reconsideration and amended findings, which the ALJ denied.
In April 2018, Thompson filed a motion for summary
disposition based on the same grounds as his motion to
dismiss. The ALJ denied that motion for the same reasons. In
May 2018, Thompson petitioned this court for a writ of
prohibition or a writ of mandamus to require the dismissal of
the disciplinary proceeding. This court denied the petition.
In re License of Thompson, No. A18-0710 (Minn.App.
May 15, 2018) (order).
conducted a three-day evidentiary hearing in July and August
of 2018. The board called seven witnesses, including J.W. and
Thompson, and introduced six exhibits. Thompson called one
witness, J.W.'s foster parent in 2003, and introduced one
exhibit, his records of J.W.'s treatment.
October 2018, the ALJ issued a 30-page report and memorandum
with findings of fact, conclusions of law, and a
recommendation. The ALJ concluded that the board's
complaint-resolution committee had satisfied its burden of
proof with respect to its factual allegations. The ALJ
recommended that the board take disciplinary action against
December 2018, the board held a hearing at which the
attorneys for the board's complaint-resolution committee
and for Thompson presented oral arguments and responded to
questions from the board. Later that month, the board issued
an order in which it adopted the ALJ's findings of fact
and conclusions of law in their entirety and revoked
Thompson's license to practice psychology. Thompson
appeals by way of a writ of certiorari.
the board of psychology have authority to discipline Thompson
in light of the fact that his license to practice psychology