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Collins v. People Ex Rel. Stephens

JANUARY 28, 1966.

DR. WALTER F. COLLINS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, EX REL. EDGAR T. STEPHENS, DEPARTMENT OF REGISTRATION AND EDUCATION OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, VERA M. BINKS, DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF REGISTRATION AND EDUCATION, FREDERICK B. SELCKE, SUPERINTENDENT OF REGISTRATION, LEO H. LOWITZ, SUPERVISOR OF COMPLAINTS, BOARD OF DENTAL EXAMINERS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Peoria County, the Tenth Judicial Circuit of Illinois; the Hon. ROBERT E. HUNT, Judge, presiding. Judgment reversed and remanded with directions.

STOUDER, J.

This is an appeal by Plaintiff, Walter F. Collins, from a judgment of the Circuit Court of Peoria County under the provisions of the Administrative Review Act affirming an order of the Department of Registration and Education of the State of Illinois revoking the license of the Plaintiff, Appellant herein, to practice dentistry in the State of Illinois.

On January 27, 1958, Edgar T. Stephens, as Relator, one of the defendants in the Circuit Court, and, one of appellees herein, filed a complaint with the Department of Registration and Education of the State of Illinois, likewise a defendant in the Circuit Court, and, an appellee herein, alleging that appellant had violated the provisions of Chapter 91, Smith Hurd Statutes, 1957, paragraphs 56 thru and including paragraph 72, being commonly referred to as, the Dental Practice Act. The complaint was referred to the Board of Dental Examiners and after several hearings the Board found appellant guilty of multiple violations of the statute and entered its order on April 3, 1959, recommending to the Department of Registration and Education that appellant's license to practice dentistry in the State of Illinois be revoked. A petition for rehearing was denied by the Department of Registration and Education on July 9, 1959 and on February 15, 1961 the Department of Registration and Education entered its order revoking the license of the appellant. Thereafter, a complaint for review under the provisions of the Administrative Review Act was filed by the appellant in the Circuit Court of Peoria County, against Edgar T. Stephens, Relator, and, the Department of Registration and Education as defendants, seeking a reversal of the order of the Department of Registration and Education. The order of the Department of Registration and Education was affirmed by the Circuit Court of Peoria County on July 1, 1964, and, it is from this judgment of the Circuit Court that this appeal followed.

No issues are raised by the parties on the pleadings or the procedure excepting that appellant makes the general contention that incompetent evidence was received and proper evidence excluded by the Board of Dental Examiners. However, since appellant does not refer to any such evidence in his brief or argument this contention shall be deemed to have been abandoned by appellant and shall not be considered by this court.

Appellant seeking a reversal of the judgment of the court below revoking his license to practice dentistry in the State of Illinois, urges; (1) that even though certain conduct on the part of a dentist may be improper this does not justify revocation of his license to practice unless the offense imparts venality, criminality, fraudulent conduct, moral turpitude or constitutes some danger to the public and (2) that the order of the Department of Registration and Education was against the manifest weight of the evidence and not supported by competent substantial evidence.

Walter F. Collins, appellant herein, was licensed to practice dentistry in the State of Illinois in 1911 and has practiced continuously in Illinois since that time. For a period of approximately 14 years prior to 1947, appellant practiced dentistry at 128 So. Jefferson, Peoria, Illinois and from 1947 to the filing of the complaint practiced at 115 So. Jefferson, Peoria, Illinois. The offices at 115 So. Jefferson, were located on the second floor and consisted of a reception room, a laboratory work room, three dental units and a storage room, and, at the time of the filing of the complaint were occupied by Walter F. Collins and the Peoria Dental Laboratory. The Peoria Dental Laboratory was owned and operated by Dr. H.H. Skolnik, prior to his death in 1953. Mrs. Ethel Skolnik, the widow and executrix of the estate of Dr. H.H. Skolnik, continued an association with the Peoria Dental Laboratory after the death of her husband. Appellant, claimed that he had purchased the dental laboratory in 1954 and Relator, claimed that the laboratory was owned and operated by Ethel Skolnik from the date of her husband's decease until the time of the filing of the complaint.

The substance of the complaint filed with the Department concerns occurrences subsequent to the death of Dr. Skolnik and prior to the date of the filing of the complaint. The complaint alleges that appellant associated himself professionally with an unlicensed person who was practicing dentistry without a license during the period in question, such unlicensed person being Ethel Skolnik, doing business as Peoria Dental Laboratory, 115 So. Jefferson, Peoria, Illinois. It also alleges that appellant advertised unlawfully, and, was holding himself out to the public as a specialist, when in fact he was not authorized to do so, and, that he was practicing dentistry under a name other than his own. Paragraph (2) of the complaint filed with the Department alleges that Mrs. Skolnik is the owner, manager and operator of a place of business where dental operations are performed, performing dental operations for a fee, offering to furnish, supply, construct, reproduce or repair prosthetic dentures or other substitutes for natural teeth directly to the user or prospective user thereof, and actually furnishing, supplying, etc. said dental appliances to the user or prospective user thereof. All of the above being in violation of Paragraph 62 of Chap 91, Smith Hurd Stat 1957 which provides that: "The department may refuse to issue the license provided for in this Act, or may revoke or suspend any license now in force or that shall be hereafter given, if issued to an individual who has, by false or fraudulent representations, obtained or sought to obtain practice, or, false or fraudulent representations, obtained or sought to obtain money or any other thing of value, or has practiced under a name other than his or her own, or for any other improper, unprofessional, or dishonorable conduct in the practice of dentistry, or is convicted of a felony, or when the licensee is found guilty of any of the following acts or offenses: The Department of Registration and Education may refuse to issue or may suspend or may revoke any license now in force or that shall be hereafter given for any one or any combination of the following causes: . . . 5. Division of fees or agreeing to split or divide the fees received for dental services with any person for the bringing or referring a patient, or assisting in the care or treatment of a patient, without the knowledge of said patient or his legal representative. . . . 6. Employing, procuring, inducing, aiding or abetting a person not licensed or registered as a dentist to engage in the practice of dentistry; provided, that the person practiced upon shall not be deemed as accomplice, employer, procurer, inducer, aider, or abettor within the meaning of this Act. 7. Making any misrepresentations or false promises, directly or indirectly, to influence, persuade or induce dental patronage. 8. Professional connection or association with, or lending his name to another for the illegal practice of dentistry by another, or professional connection or association with any person, firm or corporation holding himself, themselves, or itself out in any manner contrary to this Act. 9. Obtaining or seeking to obtain practice, money, or any other thing of value by false or fraudulent representations. 10. Practicing under a name other than his own. 11. Improper, unprofessional or dishonorable conduct. . . . 13. A violation of any provision of this Act. . . . 16. Taking impressions for or using the services of any person, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of Section 5a. 17. Except as otherwise provided in Section 18b, advertising or soliciting by himself or through another by means of handbills, posters, circulars, stereopticon slides, motion pictures, radio, newspapers or in any other manner for professional business."

At the hearings before the Board of Dental Examiners evidence was introduced showing that signs were located just inside the first floor door, at the head of the stairway and in the reception room, each with the following lettering, "PEORIA DENTAL LABORATORY, NEW TYPE PLASTIC PLATES." The reception office was shared by Walter F. Collins and the Peoria Dental Laboratory and contained a glass display case in which approximately thirty-five (35) sets of dentures were displayed together with other dentures on the top of the case. A clock on the wall listed the names of, DR. H.H. SKOLNIK and DR. WALTER F. COLLINS, together with a reference to "NEW TYPE PLASTIC PLATES." Evidence was introduced in the form of copies of pages from the 1957 classified and alphabetical telephone directories for the cities of Peoria and Pekin together with testimony of the officers of the companies in charge of such services showing that for the year 1957 classified ads had been ordered by Ethel Skolnik for publication in each of the directories.

The laboratory advertisement in the Peoria directory was a two inch, one column advertisement containing the words:

"PEORIA DENTAL LABTRY Since 1943 115 S.W. JEFFERSON 2nd FLOOR DIAL 3-5788 DENTAL PLATES Dentures Made From Impressions of Illinois Dentists Only 115 SW Jefferson . . . . . . 3-5788"

In the Pekin classified directory the laboratory advertisement contained the words:

"Dental Laboratories PEORIA DENTAL LABORATORIES 115 S. Jefferson Av. . . . . . Peoria 3-5788"

The advertisement for Appellant in the Peoria Directory was comprised of the following:

"WF Collins Practice Limited to Dentures (Plates) 2nd Floor 115 SW ...


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