Washington Legal Roundup – Division I
Douglas A. Seymour, DDS, was a dentist that was accused by his employees of violating the standard of care for dentists and overbilling his patients. The Dental Quality Commission of the Department of Health did an investigation. As part of the investigation, they conducted warrantless searches of Dr. Seymour’s office and patient files.
At an administrative hearing, Dr. Seymour was found to have violated the standard of care and to have improperly billed patients. The Court of Appeals found that the searches were unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment to the federal constitution and article 1, section 7 of the state constitution. The case was remanded for hearing without the evidence that was obtained during the warrantless and unauthorized search.
Quote of the case: “Reining in the power of the executive branch in conducting administrative searches is a primary concern of the courts…”