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Caporale v. State Behavioral Scis. Regulatory Bd.

Court of Appeals of Kansas

November 7, 2014

JOHN CAPORALE, PH.D., Appellant,
v.
STATE OF KANSAS BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES REGULATORY BOARD, Appellee

Appeal from Shawnee District Court; FRANKLIN R. THEIS, judge.

SYLLABUS

BY THE COURT

1. The word " may" in a statute typically signals that a decision is a discretionary one, not an entitlement. Accordingly, K.S.A. 2013 Supp. 74-5315, which provides that the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board may grant reciprocal licenses, places the decision to do so within the discretion of the Board, guided by criteria set out in the statute. Even so, the Board may not arbitrarily or unreasonably deny an application.

2. Where a Kansas resident who did not qualify for a Kansas doctoral-level psychologist's license obtained a Minnesota license and sought to use it as the basis to obtain a Kansas license by reciprocity, the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board acted within its authority to deny the application where the applicant had not worked professionally in Minnesota.

Susan L. Mauch, of Cosgrove, Webb & Oman, of Topeka, for appellant.

Marty M. Snyder, assistant attorney general, for appellee.

Before LEBEN, P.J., ATCHESON and SCHROEDER, JJ.

OPINION

Page 594

Leben, J.:

John Caporale is licensed as a masters-level psychologist in Kansas, where he has practiced psychology since 1991. He obtained a doctorate degree in psychology in 2002 from a regionally accredited university in Minnesota, but the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board denied his application for a doctoral-level license because the Minnesota university's doctoral program didn't meet the Kansas Board's academic standards.

After Kansas officials denied him a doctoral-level license, Caporale obtained a doctoral-level license in Minnesota, though he continued to practice psychology only in Kansas. After he had been licensed in Minnesota for 5 years, Caporale submitted a new application for a doctoral-level license in Kansas based on reciprocity; a Kansas statute, K.S.A. 2013 Supp. 74-5315, provides that the Board " may grant" a license to a person licensed at the doctoral level in another state. But the Board denied Caporale's application because he hadn't been practicing at the doctoral level in Minnesota, where he held the doctoral-level license.

Caporale appeals, contending that the Board was required to grant his application because he had a doctoral-level license in Minnesota and had practiced while so licensed for 5 years, the length of time the Board required for reciprocal licensing. See K.A.R. 102-1-3b. But K.S.A. 2013 Supp. 74-5315 clearly gives the Board discretion when granting Kansas licenses based on reciprocity with other states, and the Kansas Board acted reasonably here. The basis for reciprocal admission is in part that a practitioner licensed in another state has successfully practiced there with no disciplinary action for some requisite period of time. There was no cause to grant Caporale a Kansas license based on 5 years without disciplinary action in Minnesota when he wasn't practicing there at all. Caporale had never practiced ...


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