After a licensing board has issued an order revoking a license, the very next step to keep the license valid and the licensed practice or business running can be to seek a stay from the agency or from a Superior Court judge. A “stay” is an order to stop the license revocation order from taking effect. Stay orders can also be used to stop license probation from starting, or to delay a license suspension.
Seeking a stay is an essential part of asking a licensing agency to reconsider its decision, or asking a Superior Court judge to issue a writ of administrative mandamus setting aside the discipline. A stay can be requested when a petition for reconsideration is filed with a licensing agency under Government Code section 11521. A stay for reconsideration is usually short – only 10 days. A stay for a court to consider a petition for writ of administrative mandamus is usually longer, perhaps several months or more.
The short stay of up to 10 days for a board or agency to reconsider its decision is sometimes easy to get, because it is so short. The purpose is to give the board or agency head days to decide a petition for reconsideration. A Superior Court stay can be more difficult to get, because the attorney seeking the stay must usually persuade the court that the licensee is likely to win on appeal and the public interest will not suffer due to the stay. Although strictly speaking not a part of the law, a judge may also consider the hardship upon the licensee, the effect upon a business, how serious the disciplinary case was, and whether an order short of revocation can adequately protect the public. This calculation can be complicated, and is best presented by an attorney experienced with writs of administrative mandamus.
A stay can provide a valuable lifeline to remain at a job or in business while a licensee fights harsh or unjust board or agency discipline. Even if an appeal is ultimately unsuccessful, a stay can provide valuable time to prepare one’s finances or business for the fallout from a license revocation. A business might be sold or passed to a partner or family member, a past career resuscitated, or a spouse might be given time to get back into the workforce to cushion the blow. Ray & Bishop, PLC, has won many stays for clients in the very difficult aftermath of an order of license revocation. Contact us to see if we can help you at rayandbishop.com.