Official files on a case are maintained by the PEC chair until the case is concluded. The official file is then sent to the ACPE national office where it remains until notice of the respondent’s death. Files are electronic with access limited as described below. Investigators and Hearing Panel members may take notes during the process for personal use only. Such notes and all other materials not part of the official dossier of the case will be destroyed by the time the case is concluded. These materials are not part of the official record and not available to parties or other forums.
A. Upon final action, the record of the process shall be sent by the PEC chair to the national office in care of the Executive Director or designee. The record shall contain:
1. the original complaint and response; if there was an investigation, the report and its appendices and/or attachments sent by the investigator to the Hearing Panel. If the case proceeded directly to mediation, a Hearing, or sanction, the materials relevant to engaging these steps, as well as the original complaint or referral, and responses to them.
2. if the complaint was settled through mediation, an original signed MOU;
3. if there was a Hearing, a copy of the Minutes/Deliberation Summary (findings and/or sanctions);
4. if an appeal was filed, a copy of the appeal letter, Minutes/Deliberations Summary from any Appeal action;
5. a copy of the letter(s) after Commission’s final action to the person against whom action has been taken. The letter will state the final disposition of the complaint.
B. Files will be retained indefinitely or until notice of the respondent’s death.
C. When complaints are filed against a member, the Executive Director may inform the Process Chair if there is a former complaint(s). No further information will be given to the Process Chair.
D. The Investigators, if any, may consult with the Executive Director about the contents of a former complaint. If, in the professional judgment of the ED and the Investigator(s), there are people or events named in the files that would shed relevance as to possible pattern and practice contrary to ACPE Standards implicated in the current investigation, the investigator(s) may see that portion of the file.
E. Except as provided in C. and D. above, no one is to have access to the contents of these files without a Court order or without the written consent of the respondent’s Association Ethics Chair, association President and association Executive Director (in consultation with counsel) for extraordinary circumstances.