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Schyman v. Department of Registration

APRIL 3, 1956.

PETER B. SCHYMAN, APPELLANT,

v.

DEPARTMENT OF REGISTRATION AND EDUCATION OF STATE OF ILLINOIS, ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY, AND C. HOBART ENGLE, ET AL., APPELLEES.



Appeal from the Superior Court of Cook county; the Hon. JAMES J. McDERMOTT, Judge, presiding. Order affirmed.

JUDGE ROBSON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

Rehearing denied April 24, 1956.

This is an appeal from an order of the trial court affirming the final administrative decision of the defendant Department of Registration and Education revoking plaintiff Peter B. Schyman's license to practice medicine. The appeal was originally filed in the Supreme Court and transferred by it to this court.

Plaintiff's contentions pertaining to due process of law as guaranteed to him by Sec. 2, Art. II of the Constitution of the State of Illinois and Amendment XIV to the Constitution of the United States, cannot be passed upon by us. We must assume that the Supreme Court in transferring the case to this court decided that these issues were not material to the ultimate decision of the appeal.

The principal grounds plaintiff alleges for reversal of the order of the trial court which are properly before us are that (1) the complaint filed against plaintiff was void because of the failure to mention specifically the place where the offense charged against plaintiff was committed; (2) the evidence adduced at the hearings did not support the findings of the administrative agency; (3) certain evidence introduced involving persons and criminal charges that were not connected with or related to plaintiff or the issues at bar, constituted such error as to render the proceedings void and of no effect; and (4) the delegation to the Medical Examining Committee to pass upon purely legal questions constitutes an illegal subdelegation of power.

The complaint was in the nature of an information filed by one Marjorie Taylor who presented herself to the plaintiff for treatment of diabetes. It was amended, and as one of the principal grounds for reversal is the inadequacy of this complaint, we here quote the charges therein:

"2. That said Peter B. Schyman, on or about the 16th day of December, A.D., 1949, has held himself out as a specialist in the treatment of many human diseases and particularly diabetes, claiming to use a method for treating said disease and using a certain medicine that will aid in the treatment and cure for said disease of diabetes. The said Peter B. Schyman so holds himself out and makes such claims knowing that such claim and representation is false and of no value; that such claim as to the efficacy of said medicine and treatment is entirely contrary to all regular methods of treatment employed by members of his profession and school of training who are specialists in the treatment of diabetes;

"3. That said Peter B. Schyman, on or about the 16th day of December, A.D., 1949, recommended and prescribed to your relator, a certain liquid medicine that the said Peter B. Schyman uses in treating and curing diabetes and led relator to believe that said liquid medicine was compounded of substances of great medical value; that the said Peter B. Schyman well knew such representations were grossly inaccurate and untrue; that the said Peter B. Schyman well knew that the formula for said medicine was developed by one Charles F. Kaadt and one Peter S. Kaadt of South Whitley, Indiana, and doing business as the Kaadt Diabetic Clinic at South Whitley, Indiana; that the said Peter B. Schyman well knew that on May 4, 1948, in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana at Fort Wayne, Indiana, the said Peter S. Kaadt and Charles F. Kaadt were convicted and sentenced on the charge of shipping interstate drugs falsely claimed to cure diabetes.

"4. Relator further states that the said Peter B. Schyman, after recommending and prescribing said medicine as stated in paragraph three (3) gave relator a one gallon jug of said medicine and received from relator the sum of thirty ($30.00) dollars; that the said Peter B. Schyman gave relator full written instructions for taking said medicine."

The complaint is informal. It does not mention specifically the place where the offense charged against the plaintiff was committed and plaintiff contends that it is the law of this state that not only the time but also the place of the alleged offense must be stated in the complaint or other documents setting forth the charges. Section 60(c) of the statute governs the procedure to be taken by the Department of Registration and Education of the State of Illinois (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1953, ch. 127, secs. 58-63) in revoking a license. The pertinent part pertaining to this issue is as follows:

"Certificates may be revoked or suspended in the manner provided by this Act and not otherwise. The Department may upon its own motion and shall upon the verified complaint in writing of any person, provided such complaint or such complaint together with evidence, documentary or otherwise, presented in connection therewith shall make a prima facie case, investigate the actions of any person holding or claiming to hold a certificate. Before suspending or revoking any certificate, the Department shall issue a citation notifying the registrant of the time and place when and where a hearing of the charges shall be had. Such citation shall contain a statement of the charges or shall be accompanied by a copy of the written complaint if such complaint shall have been filed. . . ."

An examination of this section does not indicate that the allegation of the place where the offense occurred is a substantive requirement. It is the law that charges filed before an administrative agency need not be drawn with the same nice refinements and subtleties as pleadings in a court of record. Joyce v. City of Chicago, 216 Ill. 466; Davis v. Board of Registration of Medicine, 251 Mass. 283. The defendant, however, must be reasonably apprised by the complaint of the case against him so that he will be able to intelligently prepare his defense. Smith v. Department of Registration and Education, 412 Ill. 332. Plaintiff, however, contends that the construction of the Act should be highly technical and we should require set specifications for every case regardless of the particular situation. As authority for this he cites Kalman v. Walsh, 355 Ill. 341, which involved the revocation of a dentist's license. The court said, p. 346:

"While it is not necessary that charges of professional misconduct, proof of which would justify the suspension or revocation of the license of the practitioner, should be drawn with the same accuracy and certainty as an indictment or information in a criminal case, . . . yet such charges should be so drawn as to bring the alleged act of misconduct clearly within the purview of the statute and should specify the time and place when and where such prohibited act was committed. The right to proper notice and a sufficient and explicit charge is not procedural but substantive. In the absence of such charges being filed the State Board of Dental Examiners would have no jurisdiction either to proceed with the hearing against the accused or to make a decision therein." (Italics ours.)

He places great stress on the language "and should specify the time and place when and where such prohibited act was committed." It is apparent from the reading of this case that the complaint was completely inadequate in every respect. In Tarr v. Hallihan, 375 Ill. 38, the Kalman case is discussed. The court said as to the Kalman case: ". . . it is not controlling here. The basis of that decision . . . was that no charges, as a matter of fact, had been filed against the dentists involved, but that they were merely notified the department was going to conduct a hearing in the nature of an investigation by a grand jury to determine whether or not they had violated any of a number of provisions of the Dental Practice Act." Later in the same case the court said: "It is sufficient that the practitioner be fairly and reasonably apprised of the acts of misconduct with which he is charged so that he may properly prepare to defend such charges." This would seem to be a proper test for determining whether or not the complaint in the instant case is sufficient.

Is the complaint as filed in the instant case definite enough to reasonably apprise plaintiff of the charges against him even though the place of the occurrence of the prohibited act was not specified? In the case of In re Van Hyning, 257 Mich. 146, this issue was discussed. The charges against Van Hyning were as follows:

"Violation of Section 3, p. 6 of Act No. 237, Pub. Acts of 1899 as amended, `grossly unprofessional and dishonest conduct' as defined in this section, and in particular with having professional connection with and lending your name to an unlicensed individual in the person of Harry M. Hoxsey, who on March 9, 1931, examined and diagnosed an alleged physical condition in one Otto Fischel. Further that said Harry M. Hoxsey is not licensed to practice medicine in the state of Michigan."

In deciding that this was a sufficient complaint to give the board authority to revoke the physician's license, the court said at p. 148-9:

"It is claimed that these charges were not sufficiently specified. It is true that they were not stated as clearly and connectedly as they probably would have been if drafted by a lawyer. In proceedings of this kind it is not necessary that they be stated with that exactness required of court pleadings. It is sufficient if they inform the defendant with substantial certainty in what manner he has been guilty of unprofessional and dishonest conduct. . . . We think it was stated with sufficient certainty to reasonably inform him of what he was required to answer when he appeared at the hearing."

Plaintiff in the instant case was certainly afforded a more specific and more adequate complaint than was the physician in the above Michigan case. It is inconceivable that plaintiff was placed at any disadvantage by virtue of the omission complained of. The fact that the complaint did not say that this all happened in Chicago did not prevent plaintiff from understanding the charges against him or from preparing a defense. There is no question but that plaintiff was informed as to where his alleged misconduct occurred long before the hearing. Defendant's discovery deposition dated June 27, 1950 (five months before the hearing) stated that this all occurred when she visited his office. The complaint itself stated that both complainant and ...


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