THIS SECTION WAS AMENDED BY ACT 2018-506 IN THE 2018 REGULAR SESSION, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2018. THIS IS NOT IN THE CURRENT CODE SUPPLEMENT.

Terms Used In Alabama Code 34-43-15

  • Allegation: something that someone says happened.
  • Appeal: A request made after a trial, asking another court (usually the court of appeals) to decide whether the trial was conducted properly. To make such a request is "to appeal" or "to take an appeal." One who appeals is called the appellant.
  • circuit: means judicial circuit. See Alabama Code 30-3D-608
  • Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
  • Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
  • Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
  • following: means next after. See Alabama Code 30-3D-608
  • Fraud: Intentional deception resulting in injury to another.
  • Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
  • Nolo contendere: No contest-has the same effect as a plea of guilty, as far as the criminal sentence is concerned, but may not be considered as an admission of guilt for any other purpose.
  • person: includes a corporation as well as a natural person. See Alabama Code 30-3D-608
  • Plea: In a criminal case, the defendant's statement pleading "guilty" or "not guilty" in answer to the charges, a declaration made in open court.
  • Probable cause: A reasonable ground for belief that the offender violated a specific law.
  • United States: includes the territories thereof and the District of Columbia. See Alabama Code 30-3D-608
  • writing: includes typewriting and printing on paper. See Alabama Code 30-3D-608

(a) Any person may file with the board a written and signed complaint regarding an allegation of impropriety by a licensee, establishment, or person. Complaints shall be made in the manner prescribed by the board. Complaints received by the board shall be referred to a standing investigative committee consisting of a board member, the Executive Director, the board attorney, and the board investigator. If no probable cause is found, the investigative committee may dismiss the charges and prepare a statement, in writing, of the reasons for the decision.

(b) If probable cause is found, the board shall initiate an administrative proceeding. Upon a finding that the licensee has committed any of the following instances of misconduct, the board may suspend, revoke, or refuse to issue or renew a license or impose a civil penalty after notice and opportunity for a hearing pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act:

(1) The license was obtained by means of fraud, misrepresentation, or concealment of material facts, including making a false statement on an application or any other document required by the board for licensure.

(2) The licensee sold or bartered or offered to sell or barter a license for a massage therapist or a massage therapy establishment.

(3) The licensee has engaged in unprofessional conduct that has endangered or is likely to endanger the health, safety, and welfare of the public, as defined by the rules of the board. As used in this subdivision, unprofessional conduct includes, but is not limited to, allowing any individual to remain in a massage therapy establishment overnight.

(4) The licensee has been convicted of a felony or of any crime arising out of or connected with the practice of massage therapy.

(5) The licensee has violated or aided and abetted in the violation of this chapter.

(6) The licensee is adjudicated as mentally incompetent by a court of law.

(7) The licensee uses controlled substances or habitually and excessively uses alcohol.

(8) The licensee engaged in false, deceptive, or misleading advertising.

(9) The licensee engaged in or attempted to or offered to engage a client in sexual activity, including but not limited to genital contact, within the client-massage therapist relationship.

(10) The licensee has knowingly allowed the massage therapy establishment to be used as an overnight sleeping accommodation.

(11) The licensee had a license revoked, suspended, or denied in any other territory or jurisdiction of the United States for any act described in this section.

(c)(1) A person governed by this chapter who has a reasonable belief that another massage therapist has engaged in or attempted to or offered to engage a client in sexual activity, as provided in subdivision (9) of subsection (b), shall inform the board in writing within 30 calendar days from the date the person discovers this activity. Upon finding that a person has violated this subsection, the board may do any of the following:

a. Impose an administrative fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

b. Suspend or revoke the person’s license to practice massage therapy.

(2) Upon a finding that a person has violated this subsection three or more times, the board shall impose a mandatory license suspension for a period of no less than three years and a fine of ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

(d) Any person who has been convicted of, or entered a plea of nolo contendere to, a crime or offense involving prostitution or other sexual offenses is ineligible to hold a license as a massage therapist for a period of at least three years after the entry of the conviction or plea. The board retains the right to revoke a license indefinitely if the licensee is proven guilty of a crime or of sexual misconduct. Reinstatement of licensure is contingent upon proof of weekly counseling by a licensed professional counselor.

(e) Any person who has been convicted of, or entered a plea of nolo contendere to, an offense involving prostitution or any other type of sexual offense may not receive a license for a massage therapy establishment for a period of three years after the date of conviction or entry of the plea. The board shall revoke the establishment license of any establishment which the board determines is a sexually oriented business. The board may revoke an establishment license if a person is convicted of, or enters a plea of nolo contendere to, any crime involving prostitution or any other sexual offense against a client which occurred on the premises of the establishment.

(f)(1) Upon finding a person, governed by this chapter, performing massage therapy without having obtained a license, the board may do any of the following:

a. Impose an administrative fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

b. Issue a cease and desist order.

c. Petition the circuit court of the county where the act occurred to enforce the cease and desist order and collect the assessed fine.

(2) Any person aggrieved by any adverse action of the board must appeal the action to the Circuit Court of Montgomery County in accordance with the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act.

(g) The board shall present any incident of misconduct to the local district attorney for review and appropriate action.

(h) The board may adopt rules to implement and administer this section.

(Acts 1996, No. 96-661, p. 1060, §15; Act 2000-704, p. 1430, §1; Act 2018-506, §11.)