The Accusation is the legal document that initiates the formal disciplinary proceedings against a California licensee. I always tell my clients that it is analogous to a criminal complaint which, once filed, starts the criminal proceedings against the accused.
The Accusation gives the licensee notice of what the licensing agency is seeking and why. The Government Code tells us that an accusation is a written statement which sets forth in ordinary and concise language the acts or omissions with which the licensee has been charged, to the end that the licensee will be able to prepare his defense. Generally, however, the language is not plain or simple. It is intimidating legalese written by lawyers for lawyers.
The Accusation does set out the agency’s theory of the case. It tells why the agency has jurisdiction or the power to discipline based on the alleged conduct. It also frames the disciplinary case.
The Accusation is also public record. My clients often ask me if their accusation can be seen and read by others. The answer is yes. That can be a scary prospect as the conduct alleged can be inflammatory and the story told there is definitely one-sided.