Case Details

In the case of Elf v. Department of Public Health, a home daycare provider appealed a decision by the public health department to revoke her license. The daycare provider claimed that the department was absent of a legitimate legal basis and lacked substantial evidence. By law, a court cannot overturn an administrative decision, such as the one made by the department of health, if the record affords a basis of fact from which the department’s decision to revoke her license could be reasonably inferred.

The daycare provider had been a licensed operator for about fifteen years and operated a family daycare home in the basement of her home. Department investigators made a surprise inspection visit to the daycare provider’s home in response to an anonymous complaint alleging overcapacity. The inspectors found ten children present at a facility that could only accommodate six. The day care provider scrambled to have the additional children picked up. The inspectors also found the day care’s records incomplete. The day care provider was cited for overcapacity and incomplete records.

In response, the day care provider called the police, who in turn arrested her for disorderly conduct. Subsequently, the day care provider’s license was suspended, and then permanently revoked.

The Court’s Decision

The court affirmed the judgment revoking the day care provider’s license. Although the parties’ accounts of the altercation varied greatly, the administrative law judge’s credibility determinations were entitled to deference, and there was no evidence indicating she was biased. Substantial evidence that the provider refused to permit an inspection was grounds enough in itself to warrant revocation. The provider’s due process rights were also not violated. There was no impropriety in allowing an agency to conduct its own adjudications, and she was clearly provided with notice and an opportunity to be heard.

Source:  Elf v. Dep’t of Pub. Health, 784 A.2d 979, 66 Conn. App. LEXIS 504 (Conn. App. June 12, 2001)

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