Firm Wins at Office of Administrative Hearings

Silverman Thompson

Tots Early Learning Center had its daycare license revoked in an emergency hearing in early 2021 after the Office of Child Care (“OCC”) reported several minor infractions, all of which were quickly fixed, and attempted to inspect the facility, unannounced, during the middle of pandemic but were turned away because the facility was closed and in the process of internal cleaning. That emergency revocation was upheld by an administrative law judge (“ALJ”) after the Center was unable to secure counsel for the merits hearing, a decision remanded by the Circuit Court for Baltimore County after Silverman Thompson successfully convinced that court that the ALJ’s decision was erroneous.

On remand, and after a full merits hearing, a new ALJ determined that the OCC failed to carry its burden of showing by a preponderance of the evidence that OCC had properly revoked the Center’s license. Specifically, the ALJ found:

  • that the Revocation of the [Center’s] child care license was an abuse of discretion and not supported by evidence in the record that there was a continuing threat to the health, safety, and welfare of children to support such a harsh result. It was incumbent on the OCC to continue its investigation and make a determination to support a finding that the [Center] was incapable of continued operation in order to protect the children in its care. None of the violations with which the appellant was charged in the Revocation Notice demonstrated a serious threat to the welfare of children to justify revocation. The OCC’s revocation cannot be upheld.

Bill Sinclair, head of the firm’s business litigation group, argued the matter in the Circuit Court and tried the case at the Office of Administrative Hearings (“OAH”). Bill and the Firm have handled numerous licensure matters at the OAH and on appeal. To learn more about how the Firm might be able to help you in licensure matters, please call 410.385.2225 and ask to speak with Bill Sinclair or go to Silverman Thompson.

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