131E-109. Penalties.

(a) Any person establishing, conducting, managing or operating any nursing home without a license shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall only be liable for a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) for the first offense and not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each subsequent offense. Each day of a continuing violation after conviction shall be considered a separate offense.

(b) Any person acting under the authority of the Department who gives advance notice to an operator of a nursing home of the date or time that the nursing home is to be inspected shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. The inspection of a nursing home for initial licensure shall be exempt from the prohibition of prior notice. All subsequent inspections must comply with the provisions of this subsection.

(c) The Secretary or a designee may suspend the admission of any new patients or residents at any nursing home or domiciliary home where the conditions of the nursing home or domiciliary home are detrimental to the health or safety of the patient or resident. This suspension shall remain in effect until the Secretary is satisfied that conditions or circumstances merit the removal of the suspension. This subsection shall be in addition to authority to suspend or revoke the license of the home. Any facility wishing to contest a suspension of admissions shall be entitled to an administrative hearing as provided in the Administrative Procedure Act, Chapter 150B of the General Statutes. The petition for a contested case shall be filed in the Office of Administrative Hearings within 20 days after the Department mails a written notice of suspension of admissions to the facility.

(d) Except as otherwise provided in this Part, any person who violates any provision of this Part or who willfully fails to perform any act required, or who willfully performs any act prohibited by this Part, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor: Provided, however, that any person who willfully violates any rule adopted by the Commission under this Part or who willfully fails to perform any act required by, or who willfully performs any act prohibited by, these rules shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

(e) The clear proceeds of civil penalties provided for in this section shall be remitted to the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund in accordance with G.S. 115C-457.2. (1977, c. 656, ss. 1, 2; 1981, c. 667, ss. 1, 2; 1983, c. 775, s. 1; 1991, c. 143, s. 3; c. 761, s. 25; 1993, c. 539, s. 960; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1998-215, s. 78(c).)