Wolff v. Board of Psychologist Examiners

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Procedure
  • Date Filed: 04-19-2017
  • Case #: A156151
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Ortega, P. J. for the Court; Wilson, S.J.; & Lagesen, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under OAR 137-003-0580, summary determination is appropriate if there is no genuine issue of any material fact that is relevant to resolving a legal issue when viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.

Petitioner sought judicial review of the Board of Psychologist Examiners’ final order that suspended his license to practice. Petitioner argued the administrative law judge (ALJ) committed legal error by concluding that Petitioner mislead the public and engaged in “unprofessional and immoral conduct.” The Board responded that the ALJ did not error because Petitioner’s conduct was a matter of law, not a matter of fact. Under OAR 137-003-0580, summary determination is appropriate if there is no genuine issue of any material fact that is relevant to resolving a legal issue when viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. If there is evidence that creates a relevant issue of fact, then regardless of how strong the moving party’s evidence is, or implausible the nonmoving party’s version of facts, the nonmoving party is entitled to a hearing. Watts v. Board of Nursing, 282 Or App 705, 709, 386 P3d 34 (2016). The Court of Appeals found that summary determination was inappropriate because the evidence viewed in the light most favorable to the petitioner still had a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the Petitioners use of “PsyA,” “Master of Arts Clinical Psychology.” and “practicing psychology” was misleading or deceiving to the public. The Court concluded there remains genuine issues of material fact that stop a ruling for the board on summary determination. Therefore, the granting of summary determination by the ALJ was legal error. Reversed and remanded for further proceedings.

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