The changes made by SB1439 go into effect for all complaints against psychologists submitted on or after today.
According to the new law, family court judges will no longer be allowed to shield psychologists appointed in cases from complaints. Instead, the new law allows parties to file complaints directly with the Board of Psychologist Examiners.
The new law amends ARS 32-2081. Section C now directs that:
C. A claim of unprofessional conduct brought on or after July 3, 2015 against a psychologist arising out of court-ordered services shall be independently reviewed by three members of the board, including a public member. Each of the three board members who are reviewing the claim shall independently provide the board’s executive director a recommendation indicating whether the member believes there is merit to open an investigation. If one or more of the board members who are reviewing the claim determine that there is merit to open an investigation as a complaint, an investigation shall be opened and shall follow the complaint process pursuant to this article.
The enactment of SB1439 represents another important step in making the appointees of family courts accountable for their actions.
Please feel free to contact AZCFF for help in pursuing a complaint under the new system. AZCFF will be closely monitoring the Board of Psychologist Examiners and its compliance with the new law.
If you encounter difficulty from the Board over a complaint, please contact AZCFF immediately.
Please also take a moment to thank Arizona Senator Steve Smith for sponsoring this legislative change.