California Code, Health and Safety Code - HSC § 1569.481

(a)(1) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this section to authorize the department to take quick, effective action to protect the health and safety of residents of residential care facilities for the elderly and to minimize the effects of transfer trauma that accompany the abrupt transfer of residents by appointing a temporary manager to assume the operation of a facility that is found to be in a condition in which continued operation by the licensee or his or her representative presents a substantial probability of imminent danger of serious physical harm or death to the residents.

(2) A temporary manager appointed pursuant to this section shall assume the operation of the facility in order to bring it into compliance with the law, facilitate a transfer of ownership to a new licensee, or ensure the orderly transfer of residents should the facility be required to close.  Upon a final decision and order of revocation of the license, issuance of a temporary suspension, or a forfeiture by operation of law, the department shall immediately issue a provisional license to the appointed temporary manager.  Notwithstanding the applicable sections of this code governing the revocation of a provisional license, the provisional license issued to a temporary manager shall automatically expire upon the termination of the temporary manager.  The temporary manager shall possess the provisional license solely for purposes of carrying out the responsibilities authorized by this section and the duties set forth in the written agreement between the department and the temporary manager.  The temporary manager does not have the right to appeal the expiration of the provisional license.

(b) For purposes of this section, “temporary manager” means the person, corporation, or other entity appointed temporarily by the department as a substitute facility licensee or administrator with authority to hire, terminate, reassign staff, obligate facility funds, alter facility procedures, and manage the facility to correct deficiencies identified in the facility's operation.  The temporary manager has the final authority to direct the care and supervision activities of any person associated with the facility, including superseding the authority of the licensee and the administrator.

(c) The director, in order to protect the residents of the facility from physical or mental abuse, abandonment, or any other substantial threat to health or safety, may appoint a temporary manager when any of the following circumstances exist:

(1) The director determines that it is necessary to temporarily suspend the license of a residential care facility for the elderly pursuant to Section 1569.50 and the immediate relocation of the residents is not feasible based on transfer trauma, lack of available alternative placements, or other emergency considerations for the health and safety of the residents.

(2) The licensee is unwilling or unable to comply with the requirements of Section 1569.525 or the requirements of Section 1569.682 regarding the safe and orderly relocation of residents when ordered to do so by the department or when otherwise required by law.

(3) The licensee has opted to secure a temporary manager pursuant to Section 1569.525 .

(d)(1) Upon appointment, the temporary manager shall complete its application for a license to operate a residential care facility for the elderly and take all necessary steps and make best efforts to eliminate any substantial threat to the health and safety to residents or complete the transfer of residents to alternative placements pursuant to Section 1569.525 or 1569.682 .  For purposes of a provisional license issued to a temporary manager, the licensee's existing fire safety clearance shall serve as the fire safety clearance for the temporary manager's provisional license.

(2) A person shall not impede the operation of a temporary manager.  The temporary manager's access to, or possession of, the property shall not be interfered with during the term of the temporary manager's appointment.  There shall be an automatic stay for a 60-day period subsequent to the appointment of a temporary manager of any action that would interfere with the functioning of the facility, including, but not limited to, termination of utility services, attachments, or setoffs of resident trust funds, and repossession of equipment in the facility.

(e)(1) The appointment of a temporary manager shall be immediately effective and shall continue for a period not to exceed 60 days unless otherwise extended in accordance with paragraph (2) of subdivision (h) at the discretion of the department or as permitted by paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 1569.525 , or unless otherwise terminated earlier by any of the following events:

(A) The temporary manager notifies the department, and the department verifies, that the facility meets state and, if applicable, federal standards for operation, and will be able to continue to maintain compliance with those standards after the termination of the appointment of the temporary manager.

(B) The department approves a new temporary manager.

(C) A new operator is licensed.

(D) The department closes the facility.

(E) A hearing or court order ends the temporary manager appointment, including the appointment of a receiver under Section 1569.482 .

(F) The appointment is terminated by the department or the temporary manager.

(2) The appointment of a temporary manager shall authorize the temporary manager to act pursuant to this section.  The appointment shall be made pursuant to a written agreement between the temporary manager and the department that outlines the circumstances under which the temporary manager may expend funds.  The department shall provide the licensee and administrator with a copy of the accusation to appoint a temporary manager at the time of appointment.  The accusation shall notify the licensee of the licensee's right to petition the Office of Administrative Hearings for a hearing to contest the appointment of the temporary manager as described in subdivision (f) and shall provide the licensee with a form and appropriate information for the licensee's use in requesting a hearing.

(3) The director may rescind the appointment of a temporary manager and appoint a new temporary manager at any time that the director determines the temporary manager is not adhering to the conditions of the appointment.

(f)(1) The licensee of a residential care facility for the elderly may contest the appointment of the temporary manager by filing a petition for an order to terminate the appointment of the temporary manager with the Office of Administrative Hearings within 15 days from the date of mailing of the accusation to appoint a temporary manager under subdivision (e).  On the same day the petition is filed with the Office of Administrative Hearings, the licensee shall serve a copy of the petition to the office of the director.

(2) Upon receipt of a petition under paragraph (1), the Office of Administrative Hearings shall set a hearing date and time within 10 business days of the receipt of the petition.  The office shall promptly notify the licensee and the department of the date, time, and place of the hearing.  The office shall assign the case to an administrative law judge.  At the hearing, relevant evidence may be presented pursuant to Section 11513 of the Government Code .  The administrative law judge shall issue a written decision on the petition within 10 business days of the conclusion of the hearing.  The 10-day time period for holding the hearing and for rendering a decision may be extended by the written agreement of the parties.

(3) The administrative law judge shall uphold the appointment of the temporary manager if the department proves, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the circumstances specified in subdivision (c) applied to the facility at the time of the appointment.  The administrative law judge shall order the termination of the temporary manager if the burden of proof is not satisfied.

(4) The decision of the administrative law judge is subject to judicial review as provided in Section 1094.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure by the superior court of the county where the facility is located.  This review may be requested by the licensee of the facility or the department by filing a petition seeking relief from the order.  The petition may also request the issuance of temporary injunctive relief pending the decision on the petition.  The superior court shall hold a hearing within 10 business days of the filing of the petition and shall issue a decision on the petition within 10 days of the hearing.  The department may be represented by legal counsel within the department for purposes of court proceedings authorized under this section.

(g) If the licensee does not protest the appointment or does not prevail at either the administrative hearing under paragraph (2) of subdivision (f) or the superior court hearing under paragraph (4) of subdivision (f), the temporary manager shall continue in accordance with subdivision (e).

(h)(1) If the licensee petitions the Office of Administrative Hearings pursuant to subdivision (f), the appointment of the temporary manager by the director pursuant to this section shall continue until it is terminated by the administrative law judge or by the superior court, or it shall continue until the conditions of subdivision (e) are satisfied, whichever is earlier.

(2) At any time during the appointment of the temporary manager, the director may request an extension of the appointment by filing a petition for hearing with the Office of Administrative Hearings and serving a copy of the petition on the licensee.  The office shall proceed as specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (f).  The administrative law judge may extend the appointment of the temporary manager an additional 60 days upon a showing by the department that the conditions specified in subdivision (c) continue to exist.

(3) The licensee or the department may request review of the administrative law judge's decision on the extension as provided in paragraph (4) of subdivision (f).

(i) The temporary manager appointed pursuant to this section shall meet the following qualifications:

(1) Be qualified to oversee correction of deficiencies in a residential care facility for the elderly on the basis of experience and education.

(2) Not be the subject of any pending actions by the department or any other state agency nor have ever been excluded from a department-licensed facility or had a license or certification suspended or revoked by an administrative action by the department or any other state agency.

(3) Not have a financial ownership interest in the facility and not have a member of his or her immediate family who has a financial ownership interest in the facility.

(4) Not currently serve, or within the past two years have served, as a member of the staff of the facility.

(j) Payment of the costs of the temporary manager shall comply with the following requirements:

(1) Upon agreement with the licensee, the costs of the temporary manager and any other expenses in connection with the temporary management shall be paid directly by the facility while the temporary manager is assigned to that facility.  Failure of the licensee to agree to the payment of those costs may result in the payment of the costs by the department and subsequent required reimbursement of the department by the licensee pursuant to this section.

(2) Direct costs of the temporary manager shall be equivalent to the sum of the following:

(A) The prevailing fee paid by licensees for positions of the same type in the facility's geographic area.

(B) Additional costs that reasonably would have been incurred by the licensee if the licensee and the temporary manager had been in an employment relationship.

(C) Other reasonable costs incurred by the temporary manager in furnishing services pursuant to this section.

(3) Direct costs may exceed the amount specified in paragraph (2) if the department is otherwise unable to find a qualified temporary manager.

(k)(1) The responsibilities of the temporary manager may include, but are not limited to, the following:

(A) Paying wages to staff.  The temporary manager shall have the full power to hire, direct, manage, and discharge employees of the facility, subject to any contractual rights they may have.  The temporary manager shall pay employees at the same rate of compensation, including benefits, that the employees would have received from the licensee or wages necessary to provide adequate staff for the protection of clients and compliance with the law.

(B) Preserving resident funds.  The temporary manager shall be entitled to, and shall take possession of, all property or assets of residents that are in the possession of the licensee or administrator of the facility.  The temporary manager shall preserve all property, assets, and records of residents of which the temporary manager takes possession.

(C) Contracting for outside services as may be needed for the operation of the facility.  A contract for outside services in excess of five thousand dollars ($5,000) shall be approved by the director.

(D) Paying commercial creditors of the facility to the extent required to operate the facility.  The temporary manager shall honor all leases, mortgages, and secured transactions affecting the building in which the facility is located and all goods and fixtures in the building, but only to the extent of payments that, in the case of a rental agreement, are for the use of the property during the period of the temporary management, or that, in the case of a purchase agreement, come due during the period of the temporary management.

(E) Performing all acts that are necessary and proper to maintain and operate the facility in accordance with sound fiscal policies.  The temporary manager shall take action as is reasonably necessary to protect or conserve the assets or property of which the temporary manager takes possession and may use those assets or property only in the performance of the powers and duties set forth in this section.

(2) Expenditures by the temporary manager in excess of five thousand dollars ($5,000) shall be approved by the director.  Total encumbrances and expenditures by the temporary manager for the duration of the temporary management shall not exceed the sum of forty-nine thousand nine hundred ninety-nine dollars ($49,999) unless approved by the director in writing.

(3) The temporary manager shall not make capital improvements to the facility in excess of five thousand dollars ($5,000) without the approval of the director.

(l)(1) To the extent department funds are advanced for the costs of the temporary manager or for other expenses in connection with the temporary management, the department shall be reimbursed from the revenues accruing to the facility or to the licensee or an entity related to the licensee.  Any reimbursement received by the department shall be redeposited in the account from which the department funds were advanced.  If the revenues are insufficient to reimburse the department, the unreimbursed amount shall constitute grounds for a monetary judgment in civil court and a subsequent lien upon the assets of the facility or the proceeds from the sale thereof.  Pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 697.010 ) of Division 2 of Title 9 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure, a lien against the personal assets of the facility or an entity related to the licensee based on the monetary judgment obtained shall be filed with the Secretary of State on the forms required for a notice of judgment lien.  A lien against the real property of the facility or an entity related to the licensee based on the monetary judgment obtained shall be recorded with the county recorder of the county where the facility of the licensee is located or where the real property of the entity related to the licensee is located.  The lien shall not attach to the interests of a lessor, unless the lessor is operating the facility.  The authority to place a lien against the personal and real property of the licensee for the reimbursement of any state funds expended pursuant to this section shall be given judgment creditor priority.

(2) For purposes of this section, “entity related to the licensee” means an entity, other than a natural person, of which the licensee is a subsidiary or an entity in which a person who was obligated to disclose information under Section 1569.15 possesses an interest that would also require disclosure pursuant to Section 1569.15 .

(m) Appointment of a temporary manager under this section does not relieve the licensee of any responsibility for the care and supervision of residents under this chapter.  The licensee, even if the license is deemed surrendered or the facility abandoned, shall be required to reimburse the department for all costs associated with operation of the facility during the period the temporary manager is in place that are not accounted for by using facility revenues or for the relocation of residents handled by the department if the licensee fails to comply with the relocation requirements of Section 1569.525 or 1569.682 when required by the department to do so.  If the licensee fails to reimburse the department under this section, then the department, along with using its own remedies available under this chapter, may request that the Attorney General's office, the city attorney's office, or the local district attorney's office seek any available criminal, civil, or administrative remedy, including, but not limited to, injunctive relief, restitution, and damages in the same manner as provided for in Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 17200 ) of Part 2 of Division 7 of the Business and Professions Code.

(n) The department may use funds from the emergency resident contingency account pursuant to Section 1569.48 when needed to supplement the operation of the facility or the transfer of residents under the control of the temporary manager appointed under this section if facility revenues are unavailable or exhausted when needed.  Pursuant to subdivision (l), the licensee shall be required to reimburse the department for any funds used from the emergency resident contingency account during the period of control of the temporary manager and any incurred costs of collection.

(o) This section does not apply to a residential care facility for the elderly that serves six or fewer persons and is also the principal residence of the licensee.

(p) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the temporary manager shall be liable only for damages resulting from gross negligence in the operation of the facility or intentional tortious acts.

(q) All governmental immunities otherwise applicable to the state shall also apply to the state in the use of a temporary manager in the operation of a facility pursuant to this section.

(r) A licensee is not liable for any occurrences during the temporary management under this section except to the extent that the occurrences are the result of the licensee's conduct.

(s) The department may adopt regulations for the administration of this section.


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