ILNews

Judges uphold revocation of counselor’s license

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed the decision to revoke a mental health counselor’s license after she developed a personal attachment to a patient and ignored the patient’s request to leave her alone.

Elaine Williams was a licensed mental health counselor when she treated Patient A, who suffers from dissociative identity disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and schizophrenia. The evidence shows that Williams involved herself in Patient A’s personal life and continued to contact her despite Patient A’s requests to be left alone. In her emails to Patient A, Williams expressed her love for Patient A and the pain caused by Patient A’s rejection of her. Williams’ behavior caused Patient A to call the police twice, move away from her home, change her phone number, and change her email account. The situation with Williams was traumatic for Patient A and caused her to feel fear, according to the court record.

The Office of the Attorney General filed an administrative complaint against Williams, and in a hearing before the Behavioral Health and Human Services Licensing Board an AG investigator and Patient A testified. The board found that Williams had committed two violations under I.C. 25-1-9-4 and two violations under I.C.25-1-9-6.7, and revoked her license pursuant to Indiana Code section 25-1-9-9(a) (2001).

The trial court initially affirmed the board’s decision, but then reversed on Williams’ motion to correct error. Madison Circuit Judge Dennis Carroll was troubled with the board’s severe sanction of revocation, not with any determination that Williams’ conduct warranted a sanction. The judge found the board’s decision to be arbitrary and capricious and ordered with instructions to impose a lesser sanction or hold a new hearing.

In Behavioral Health and Human Services Licensing Board, Kimble L. Richardson, George Brenner, Andrew Harner, Geneva Osawe, Rex Stockton, Carla Gaff-Clark, and The State of Indiana v. Elaine Williams, 48A05-1304-PL-185, the Court of Appeals affirmed the board’s decision, finding it afforded Williams fair proceedings and acted within its authority in revoking her license. The judges also held that the trial court improperly substituted its judgment for that of the board when it determined that revocation was too severe a sanction.

“We simply cannot conclude that the proceedings before the Board were unfair or that Williams was prejudiced,” Senior Judge John Sharpnack wrote.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  2. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

  3. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  4. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  5. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

ADVERTISEMENT