CHARLES RAY JONES, M.D. v. CONNECTICUT MEDICAL EXAMINING BOARD, SC 18843
Judicial District of New Britain
Physicians; Administrative Appeals; Whether Preponderance of the Evidence or Clear and Convincing Evidence Standard of Proof Applies in Proceedings Before State Medical Examining Board. The plaintiff is a physician and surgeon licensed to practice in Connecticut. The state department of public health filed charges against him after his diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease in two children whom he had not examined. He appealed to the Superior Court from a decision of the defendant medical examining board reprimanding him, imposing a fine and placing him on probation in connection with those charges. The trial court sustained his appeal in part, and the plaintiff appealed to the Appellate Court. He claimed, among other things, that the trial court wrongly determined that the preponderance of the evidence standard of proof governed the proceedings before the defendant medical examining board. He argued that the more stringent clear and convincing evidence standard of proof that applies in attorney discipline proceedings should also apply in physician disciplinary proceedings. The Appellate Court (129 Conn. App. 575) rejected that claim, noting that, unlike the body that conducts attorney discipline proceedings, the defendant is an administrative agency for purposes of the Uniform Administrative Procedure Act (UAPA). The court held that is was bound by state Supreme Court precedent holding that, absent statutory authority to the contrary, the preponderance of the evidence standard is the appropriate standard of proof in administrative proceedings under the UAPA. The Supreme Court will now determine whether the department of public health is required to prove its case in proceedings before the Connecticut medical examining board by the preponderance of the evidence standard of proof or by the clear and convincing evidence standard.