(a) Except as otherwise provided by law, in any order issued in resolution of a disciplinary proceeding before any board within the department or before the Osteopathic Medical Board, upon request of the entity bringing the proceeding, the administrative law judge may direct a licentiate found to have committed a violation or violations of the licensing act to pay a sum not to exceed the reasonable costs of the investigation and enforcement of the case.
(b) In the case of a disciplined licentiate that is a corporation or a partnership, the order may be made against the licensed corporate entity or licensed partnership.
(c) A certified copy of the actual costs, or a good faith estimate of costs where actual costs are not available, signed by the entity bringing the proceeding or its designated representative shall be prima facie evidence of reasonable costs of investigation and prosecution of the case. The costs shall include the amount of investigative and enforcement costs up to the date of the hearing, including, but not limited to, charges imposed by the Attorney General.
(d) The administrative law judge shall make a proposed finding of the amount of reasonable costs of investigation and prosecution of the case when requested pursuant to subdivision (a). The finding of the administrative law judge with regard to costs shall not be reviewable by the board to increase the cost award. The board may reduce or eliminate the cost award, or remand to the administrative law judge if the proposed decision fails to make a finding on costs requested pursuant to subdivision (a).
(e) If an order for recovery of costs is made and timely payment is not made as directed in the board’s decision, the board may enforce the order for repayment in any appropriate court. This right of enforcement shall be in addition to any other rights the board may have as to any licentiate to pay costs.
(f) In any action for recovery of costs, proof of the board’s decision shall be conclusive proof of the validity of the order of payment and the terms for payment.
(g) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), the board shall not renew or reinstate the license of any licentiate who has failed to pay all of the costs ordered under this section.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the board may, in its discretion, conditionally renew or reinstate for a maximum of one year the license of any licentiate who demonstrates financial hardship and who enters into a formal agreement with the board to reimburse the board within that one-year period for the unpaid costs.
(h) All costs recovered under this section shall be considered a reimbursement for costs incurred and shall be deposited in the fund of the board recovering the costs to be available upon appropriation by the Legislature.
(i) Nothing in this section shall preclude a board from including the recovery of the costs of investigation and enforcement of a case in any stipulated settlement.
(j) This section does not apply to any board if a specific statutory provision in that board’s licensing act provides for recovery of costs in an administrative disciplinary proceeding.
(k) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the Medical Board of California shall not request nor obtain from a physician and surgeon, investigation and prosecution costs for a disciplinary proceeding against the licentiate. The board shall ensure that this subdivision is revenue neutral with regard to it and that any loss of revenue or increase in costs resulting from this subdivision is offset by an increase in the amount of the initial license fee and the biennial renewal fee, as provided in subdivision (e) of Section 2435.
(Amended (as amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 674) by Stats. 2006, Ch. 223, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2007. Note: This section originated in Stats. 1992, Ch. 1289.)