You may already be subject to an order of your licensing agency. What if you want to change it?
Most often licensees want to change a pre-existing order because of difficulties they have finding employment. Requesting an agency to change an order typically requires a “petition for exception.” Changing an order, whether mutually agreed to or imposed after a hearing, is very rarely successful. This blog post will explain what you should expect when filing a petition for exception.
Don’t Expect the Agency to Toss Out the Original Order
If you file a petition for exception requesting complete relief from the original order, you can expect to be disappointed. In the case of an agreed order, the agency will state that you entered into the order of your own free will and must be expected to meet your end of the agreement. In the case of an order administered after a hearing, the agency will state that you had an opportunity to present argument and evidence in your favor and are bound by the findings at the hearing and meeting. Either way, the agency’s position will be: this is your order, you are stuck with it.
You are much more likely to succeed by requesting that only part of an order be modified. For example, if an order requires that you be directly supervised during a probationary period, you might request that the order be modified to allow for indirect supervision instead. Likewise, if an order requires payments of an administrative penalty, you might request that the penalty payments be paid in installments.
Why the Agency Might (or Might Not) Modify an Order
An agency is not going to modify an order just because you ask nicely, even if it’s a partial modification as recommended above. The agency is least likely grant a modification if the only basis for the change is your own convenience. When an agency issues an order, it does so because it believes the order is in the best interest of Texas citizens, of the agency, and of other licensees. To the extent that the agency is concerned with your best interests, it believes the order is the best way for you to prove that you deserve a license. Thus, if you want an order modified, you’ll want to argue that the modification will benefit others, rather than arguing the modification benefits you.
The agency will be most likely to modify the order if you can prove that you simply cannot comply with the terms of the order, the agency may modify that order to give you terms that you can comply with. Using the supervision example above, imagine that the agency is requiring that you work for one year under direct supervision. Imagine also that you are unable to find employment at all. If you document your employment searches, you can attempt to prove to the agency that you are trying to meet the terms of the order, but are simply unable. This makes it most likely that the agency will modify the order in a way that makes compliance possible, such as by changing the form of the supervision, or by changing who may supervise you.
If you have any questions or comments about the material included here, please contact FosterLaw. Don’t let an arrest, conviction, or deferred adjudication threaten your livelihood.
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