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JerrySJD, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 821
Experience:  Attorney for business formation, business sales, tax, partnerships, sole proprietors and buy/sell agreements.
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I will be glad to pay a bonus of $100 for a helpful opinion.. I

Resolved Question:

I will be glad to pay a bonus of $100 for a helpful opinion..

I am a medical doctor negotiating in pro per with the Medical Board of California to have my medical license reinstated from an interim suspension. I have received a proposed stipulated agreement with terms and conditions which are acceptable, but the culpability clause is problematic and may need to be negotiated further so I do not admit to anything that could result in an action against my federal DEA certificate. (I am also licensed to practice medicine in Florida, and my DEA certificate is registered to my Florida address, which is actually my parents' address.) So far my DEA certificate is valid (I recently renewed it...) and no action has been taken against it. I have read the DEA's manual for practitioners which states the reasons for revocation of a DEA certificate. I am also negotiating with the Florida medical board, which is reacting to the California medical license suspension, to reach a stipulated settlement agreement.

Question #1) Can you refer me to literature or codes concerning the federal DEA's processes, and what I need to do, and/or avoid doing to make certain no action is taken against my DEA certificate?

Question #2) Assuming California reinstates my medical license, (which would be a revocation and stay of revocation...), can I transfer my DEA certificate (address of record) to California with a medical license with a status of revoked/revocation stayed?

Question #3) If the Florida Medical Board and I stipulate to a revoked/revocation stayed status or a suspension/suspension stayed status while my DEA certificate address of record is in Florida, will this initiate action by the DEA against my DEA certificate?

I completed a year of law school and I am somewhat proficient in legal issues for a non-attorney, so please cite all laws, codes, and regulations.


Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  JerrySJD replied 5 years ago.

JerrySJD :

It all depends on what happened. The procedure is the DEA issues an order to show cause to revoke a registration when a doctor (respondent) has committed acts which render his/her continued registration inconsistent with the public interest. That is the standard and the procedure. Here is an example which may or may not be similar on the facts, but you can see the procedure:

JerrySJD :

Are you familiar with the DEA Diversion site? What you need to do is find a case that is like yours in the reported cases. Here is the link for all the reported cases:

JerrySJD :

If your license is revoked or suspended, the DEA may seek to revoke your certificate. It comes up when you renew your certificate. There is a question on there asking whether your medical license has been revoked or suspended. See

JerrySJD :

Your question is whether revoked/revokation medical license status in CA or FL stayed status will trigger DEA revocation is right on the line. When the license is revoked/revocation stayed, does that mean you can still practice?

JerrySJD :

The question of whether you can transfer the DEA certificate to CA is really the same analysis. The DEA will look at the same standard. This is a very fact specific inquiry. If you get your CA license reinstated, you should be ok. This may not even come up until your renewal, where they will ask if there has been any disciplinary action. You will have to say yes, but you are now in good standing. The culpability clause is key because the DEA may see that. They will look at what happened and decide.

JerrySJD :

If your license is reinstated, then you should make it through ok. I do not know exactly what happened or why you got an interim suspension, which is highly relevant. It appears that a reinstatement will carry you through with the DEA, who so far have not acted. You license was not revoked, it was suspended. You can tell the Medical Board of CA that a draconian culpability clause will effect you with the DEA, which will create a hardship for you as you need the certificate to practice effectively. If you are humble enough in dealing with them, do you think you can smooth over the culpability language. That is what the DEA will examine.

JerrySJD :

If you look through the cases I gave you, you might find one that is close. It would be a depressing undertaking though, since the DEA only presses cases that they can win. Your situation is different. You are getting your license back and you haven't been arrested or associated with criminal behaviour. Once your license is reinstated in CA, and FL remains in good standing, I see no reason why you cannot transfer you DEA certificate from FL to CA.

JerrySJD :

DEA is looking for diversion. Your situation may be different. Why was your license suspended?

JerrySJD :

Seems to me that if you resolve CA and FL before renewal time, you should be ok and you should be able to transfer your DEA certificate. If you were caught selling oxycontin or something like that, the situation would obviously be different. You have not indicated that is the case.

JerrySJD :

The main thing is to get your license reinstated as soon as possible.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I know about the website...what I need is the governing law...there must be a federal code that governs the DEA's actions...please refer me to this so I can look it up online or in a law library...


Expert:  JerrySJD replied 5 years ago.

Dear Drew,


DEA certification revocation is governed by 21 USC section 824. Here is a link to the statute:


This indicates that the DEA certificate can be revoked for a state license suspension, However, if the state license has been reinstated, then the DEA certificate may remain active. This will arise when you file the annual registration and they ask you the question, "has you license been ..." When you answer yes, they will ask for supporting documentation and you can show you are reinstated. As long as the suspension was not related to illegal sale of drugs, you should do all right. You can research for cases under this statue to find you specific situation, as I do not know what happened.


Hope this is helpful to you.






Expert:  JerrySJD replied 5 years ago.

Case for you -


Here is one case, with citations to some others. In this case, the state license was suspended when the DEA revoked certification. Your case could be different, if your license is reinstated before DEA inquires or before you file your annual registration. In your case, your license would not be suspended, it would be reinstated. If you file the annual registration while you are suspended from CA, but not Florida, you might get by, but the annual DEA registration question is probably broad enough to make you disclose and they would at least review. As I mentioned in a previous post, if you are reinstated before DEA reviews, you have a good chance of keeping your DEA certificate. Here is the case:




Expert:  JerrySJD replied 5 years ago.

The basis for every DEA certificate revocation relating to medical license suspension is that the doctor was suspended from the practice of medicine which denied them authority to prescribe drugs under state law.


Since you will be reinstated, you will regain that state authority, so at the time of DEA revocation action, you will be permitted to prescribe and dispense drugs under state law. In the above case, the DEA did not come around until one year after the doctor's license suspension. Hope this helps in your research.


The priority for you is to get reinstated, that is clear. Then you will have a good chance to keep your DEA certification. As noted, this is a fact specific inquiry. The DEA is most concerned with diversion, so a suspension and reinstatement for some other reason could be different. I would get that reinstatement in place as soon as possible.


No matter how much you research, you will find that state license suspension is a problem. If you remove the suspension, everything changes, unless the suspension related to controlled substances. Even then, a reinstatement of your state license will make a big difference.



Expert:  JerrySJD replied 5 years ago.

This case is right on point:


Here, the state license was suspended and state review was pending. DEA certification was revoke because the medical license was suspended. If you get reinstated before the DEA comes around, your state license will not be suspended. An entirely different case.


Very important to get you CA license reinstated as soon as possible if you want to keep your DEA certification. Then you have a winning argument to keep your DEA certification. Make sense?



Expert:  JerrySJD replied 5 years ago.

These cases and statutes cited will give you a starting point for further research.


Please write back if you would like further research and review.


Thank you for using JustAnswer.

Expert:  JerrySJD replied 5 years ago.

So it is 21 USC 824(a)(3) that you are after. Key is that it says:


(3) has had his State license or registration suspended, revoked, or denied by competent State authority and is no longer authorized by State law to engage in the manufacturing, distribution, or dispensing of controlled substances or a list I chemicals or has had the suspension, revocation, or denial of his registration recommended by competent State authority;


(emphasis added)


So, get that license reinstated. That is your starting point.



JerrySJD and 3 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Really great code citations and case law citations...please email me [email protected] or call me at (213) 247 - 4000 so I can reach you if I need more research...

Expert:  JerrySJD replied 5 years ago.

No problem. Make sure to get reinstated asap.


We are not supposed to have outside contact from the site. You can, however, request me. I am on all the time and will get right back to you.


Happy to help in any way I can.



Expert:  JerrySJD replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for the bonus. It really means a lot.