Michigan Licensure Complaints Against Three Practitioners

Evan Anderson filed this request with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs of Michigan.

It is a clone of this request.

Tracking #

2018-05714

Status
Completed

Communications

From: Evan Anderson


To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

A copy of all complaints against Eileen Aveni (6801020495), Mary Ellen Bertling-Safford (6401007799), and Sean Edward Burns (6301010834).

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 5 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Evan Anderson

From: Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

Dear Mr. Anderson:

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has received your request for public records and has processed it under the provisions of the Michigan Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 1976 PA 442, MCL 15.231 et seq.

Your request has been granted in part and denied in part. Portions of your request are exempt from disclosure based on provisions set forth in the Act. Please see comments below.

Comments:
As to the partial grant, non-exempt documents responsive to your request are attached.

As to the partial denial, the records/information requested have been redacted because: they contain information of a personal nature (home address, driver's license number, DOB) which, if released, would constitute in an invasion of an individual's privacy (MCL 15.243(1)(a)), disclose an individual's social security number (MCL 15.243(1)(w)), and they are subject to medical/religious client privileges (MCL 15.243(1)(h)) and the medical/psychological counseling facts/evaluations would reveal an individual's identity (MCL 15.243(1)(l)). "Because the privilege of confidentiality belongs solely to the patient, it can only be waived by the patient . . . the privilege precludes the disclosure of treatment histories and even the names of patients . . . [and it] prohibits disclosure even when the patient's identity is redacted." Meier v Awaad, 299 Mich App 655, 666, 667 (2013.) (Internal citations omitted.)

Additionally, some of the records/information you requested are specifically described as exempt from disclosure by another agency statute (MCL 15.243(1)(d)): MCL 333.16231(7) provides that the identity of a person who had submitted an allegation is confidential until disciplinary proceedings are initiated.

Finally, to the best of the LARA's knowledge, information, and belief, under the information provided by you or by any other description reasonably known to LARA, the public records regarding Bertling-Safford or Burns do not exist (MCL 15.235(5)(b)).

As to the denial of your request, under section 10 of the FOIA, MCL 15.240, LARA is obligated to inform you that you may do the following:

1) Appeal this decision in writing to Director Shelly Edgerton, Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, P.O. Box 30004, Lansing, MI 48909. The writing must specifically state the word "appeal" and must identify the reason or reasons you believe the denial [partial denial] should be reversed. The head of the Department or her designee must respond to your appeal within 10 business days of its receipt. Under unusual circumstances, the time for response to your appeal may be extended by 10 business days.

2) Commence an action in the Court of Claims within 180 days after the date of the final determination to deny the request. If you prevail in such an action, the court is to award reasonable attorney fees, costs, and disbursements, and possible damages.

Sincerely,

LARA FOIA Office
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From: Evan Anderson

Hi there,

Thank you for providing these documents, and so quickly! I really appreciate it. I was wondering if there might be more documents available. For instance, there is mention of a previous complaint lodged against Aveni in 1995 - are there any documents related to that complaint? Is the most recent complaint, filed this past January, still under investigation? Also, I noticed that the complaint summary references an attachment, but I don't see it here. Was that withheld?

Sincerely,
Evan

From: Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

Dear Mr. Anderson:

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has received your request for public records under the provisions of the Michigan Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 1976 PA 442, MCL 15.231 et seq., on 5/21/2018.

In order to determine the existence of any records/information that might be responsive to your request we require additional time to search for and retrieve records; review and examine any found records to separate exempt from nonexempt material; and to determine any allowable processing costs. For these reasons, it is necessary to extend the time for response to 6/12/2018.

If you have questions concerning this matter, please feel free to contact the LARA FOIA Office at LARAFOIAInfo@michigan.gov<mailto:LARAFOIAInfo@michigan.gov>.

To review a copy of the LARA's written public summary, procedures, and guidelines, go to www.michigan.gov/lara<http://www.michigan.gov/lara>.

Sincerely,

LARA FOIA Office
sf

From: Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

Thank you for contacting us for clarification. The answers to your questions are below.

- The complaint regarding Aveni in 1995 is no longer available. It was destroyed as required by LARA's retention and disposal schedules.
- The most recent complaint is still being investigated.
- The attachment to the complaint was withheld, as it was a medical record. The exemption was provided in LARA's May 18, 2018 response.

Thank you again,
LARA FOIA Office
sf

From: Evan Anderson

Hi,

Thanks so much for your help with this request! I really appreciate it.

Sincerely,
Evan Anderson

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