The Notice of Defense is a legal document that comes with an accusation or denial. Licensees and some license applicants may submit it to their licensing board to preserve their right to a hearing after receiving an accusation or denial. If the Notice of Defense is not filed timely the licensing agency can take the licensee or the license applicant’s default. A default means the harshest sanction possible – a revocation or a license denial – is imposed.
Government Code section 11506 sets forth the functions of the Notice of Defense. Per the Code, the Notice of Defense is a request for hearing and a general denial of all of the allegations in the accusation. The Notice of Defense is a form provided by the licensing agency with the accusation, and in the case of a license denial, with the Statement of Issues.
A Notice of Defense calls for an acknowledgment of receipt of the Accusation (or Statement of Issues), Statement to Respondent, a copy of certain Government Code sections, Complainant’s Request for Discovery, and two copies of the Notice of Defense. It also has a series of blanks for name, signature, mailing address, phone, fax and, email. Lastly, there are boxes to check where you specify if you want a hearing, to be considered for a stipulated settlement, or to surrender your license. Your attorney’s information is also to be provided, or, if you do not have an attorney you can notify them of that as well.
The Notice of Defense should not be ignored. You have 15 days from the date of service to respond. That is the date the agency mails out the Notice of Defense to you, not the date you receive it. Some licensees or license applicants mistakenly believe that the 15 days start to run upon receipt of the Notice of Defense. However, this is incorrect and could lead to default.