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I Received an Order to Show Cause from the Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure. Now What?

Order to Show Cause - Now What

An Order to Show Cause literally is a request to explain, justify or prove (or disprove) something. If you have received an Order to Show Cause from a regulatory board of the Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure, it is essentially a complaint against an individual or a business that is licensed through the Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure. It is a serious document and should be dealt with promptly. The Order to Show Cause will identify the regulatory violations, issues with your individual license or your business license, or other complaint against you (the Licensee) or the licensed business. The Order to Show Cause may also describe in detail a complaint brought against the Licensee or the licensed business by a customer, client, patient, student of your school and requires you or the licensed business to respond with an Answer to the Order to Show Cause.

The Answer to an Order to Show Cause must filed within a specific deadline with the appropriate regulatory board within the Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure. The Order to Show Cause will identify the deadline by which you must Answer the allegations in it. Failure to respond to an Order to Show Cause will result in a essentially a default, and the regulatory board will assess penalties on the licensee or licensed business. Those penalties can include anything from a small fine, to probation, suspension, or even revocation of your individual license or the business license.

You should be extremely cautious when responding to an Order to Show Cause without an attorney. In fact, although many people have tended to respond to an Order to Show Cause and even appear at hearings before the Board without an attorney in the past, there is a growing trend of hiring an attorney to assist in these board-related license issues–especially where professional licenses and business licenses are concerned that require many years of schooling, vocational training, extensive permits and preparation or significant capital investment to satisfy the initial licensing requirements.

The Answer to an Order to Show Cause is one of the first steps in what can be a complicated process. Not only can an attorney at The Jacobs Law Law, LLC help explain what the allegations in an Order to Show Cause are or mean for your license or your business’ license, but we can prepare the Answer to the Order to Show Cause and assist in formulating a strategy for handling the Order to Show Cause.  We can discuss the allegations against you or your business with a representative of the Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure and Board Counsel, and attempt to negotiate a Consent Agreement. A Consent Agreement is similar to a settlement agreement between you or your business and the Board, and it can be an important tool in resolving the complaints against you or your business–thereby allowing you and your business to stay in business. Alternatively, The Jacobs Law, LLC can help you fight the allegations in an Order to Show Cause, attend preliminary hearings with you, and prepare for a full Board hearing in defense of the allegations in the Order to Show Cause issued against you or your business.

Once you or your business receives an Order to Show Cause, you may also be required to notify your insurance carrier. This is an important step in the process, and the notice you provide to your own insurer (whether in writing or by phone) will almost certainly be recorded. Everything you say or write to your insurance carrier can be used by your insurer to disclaim coverage (i.e. deny you or your business coverage for any liability that may arise from the allegations in the Order to Show Cause). This information could also be used against you or your business in the dispute with the Board. If your insurance policy requires you to notify your insurance carrier that an Order to Show Cause has been issued against you or your business, you cannot delay. There may be a specific deadline by which you must notify your insurance carrier, but it is generally within a reasonable time period. Any delay that prejudices you or your insurance carrier could be considered ‘unreasonable’ and may result in a denial of coverage. Therefore, it is extremely important that you contact a lawyer as soon as you receive an Order to Show Cause — your attorney will assist in and advise you throughout the process of notifying your insurance carrier.

If you have received an Order to Show Cause regarding your individual license or your business license, don’t tackle it alone. Contact us at The Jacobs Law, LLC immediately–before the deadline to Answer the Order to Show Cause expires–and one of our attorneys will be happy to help you and your business. We urge you not to say or write anything in response to an Order to Show Cause until you have had an opportunity to speak with one of our attorneys.

If you have received an Order to Show Cause from any of the Boards within the Division of Professional Licensure listed below, contact The Jacobs Law, LLC — we can help! We are “Your Attorneys for Life & Business“.

Board of Allied Health Professionals

Athletic Trainer, Occupational Therapist, Occupational Therapist Assistant, Physical Therapist, Physical Therapist Assistant, Physical Therapy Facility

Board of Allied Mental Health and Human Services Professionals

Mental Health Counselor, Marriage and Family Therapist, Rehabilitation Counselor, Educational Psychologist

Board of Architects


Board of Barbers

Barbers, Barber’s Apprentice, Master Barber, Barber Instructor, Barber Shop, Barber School

Board of Certified Health Officers

Certified Health Officer

Board of Chiropractors

Chiropractor, Chiropractic Facility

Board of Cosmetologists

Advanced Training Institute in Cosmetology, Advanced Training Institute in Aesthetics, Aesthetician, Aesthetician Instructor, Aesthetician School, Cosmetologist, Hairdresser, Cosmetology Instructor, Cosmetology School, Demonstrator, Manicuring School, Manicurist, Operator, Salon, Shop

Board of Dietitians and Nutritionists


Board of Dispensing Opticians

Dispensing Optician

Board of Electricians and Alarm System Installers

Alarm System Business, Alarm System Installer and Technician, Journeyman Electrician, Electrical Corporation or Electrical Partnership, Fire Alarm System Business, Fire Alarm System Installer and Fire Alarm System Technician, Master Electrician

Board of Electrologists

Electrologist, Electrology Instructor, Electrology

Board of Funeral Directors, Embalmers and Establishments

Embalmer, Embalmer Apprentice, Funeral Director, Funeral Establishment

Board of Hearing Instrument Specialists

Hearing Instrument Specialist, Hearing Aid Specialist

Board of Home Inspectors

Associate Home Inspector, Home Inspector

Board of Landscape Architects

Landscape Architect

Board of Massage Therapy

Massage Therapist, Massage Practitioner, Massage Therapy Salon, Massage Therapy School

Board of Operators of Drinking Water Supply Facilities

Drinking Water Supply Facility Operator

Board of Optometry


Board of Plumbers and Gas Fitters

Gas Fitter, Apprentice Gas Fitter, Journeyman Gas Fitter, Master Gas Fitter , Gasfitting Corporation or Gas Fitting Partnership, Gasfitting Inspector, Journeyman Gas Fitter Inspector, Master Gas Fitter Inspector, LP Gas Installer, Limited LP Gas Installer, Plumber, Apprentice Plumber, Journeyman Plumber, Master Plumber, Plumbing Corporation or Plumbing Partnership, Plumbing Inspector, Journeyman Plumbing Inspector, Master Plumbing Inspector

Board of Podiatry


Board of Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors

The Board currently licenses in the following disciplines: Aeronautical Engineer, Agricultural Engineer, Architectural Engineer, Chemical Engineer, Civil Engineer, Control Systems Engineer, Electrical Engineer, Environmental Engineer, Fire Protection Engineer, Heating & Ventilation Engineer, Industrial Engineer, Land Surveyor, Mechanical Engineer, Metallurgical Engineer, Mining and Mineral, Naval Architecture, Nuclear Engineer, Petroleum, Safety Engineer, Sanitary Engineer, Structural Engineer. The Board no longer, but has in the past, also licensed in the following disciplines: Aeronautical/Aerospace, Architectural Marine, Astronautical, Ceramic, Construction, Corrosion, Electronic, Engineering Physics, Geotechnical, Highway, Manufacturing, Marine, Materials, Plumbing, Quality, Railroad, Systems, Traffic, Transportation

Board of Public Accountancy

Business Corporation, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), CPA Corporation, CPA LLC, CPA LLP, CPA Partnership

Board of Psychologists


Board of Radio and Television Technicians

Registered Technician, Registered Master Technician

Board of Real Estate Appraisers

Certified General Appraiser, Certified Residential Appraiser, State Licensed Appraiser, Trainee Appraiser

Board of Real Estate Brokers & Salespersons

Real Estate Broker, Real Estate Corporation or Partnership, Real Estate LLC or LLP, Real Estate Salesperson

Board of Sanitarians


Board of Sheet Metal Workers

Sheet Metal Worker, Apprentice Sheet Metal Worker, Journeyman Sheet Metal Worker, Master Sheet Metal Worker, Sheet Metal Work Business, Sheet Metal Work School

Board of Social Workers

Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, Licensed Certified Social Worker, Licensed Social Worker, Licensed Social Worker Associate

Board of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists

Audiologist, Audiologist Assistant, Speech Pathologist, Speech Pathologist Assistant

State Racing Commission

Pari-mutual Tracks and all associated personnel

Board of Veterinary Medicine

Veterinarian, Limited Practitioner

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