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Zafar v. Iowa Board of Medicine

Court of Appeal of Iowa

December 18, 2013

FAWAD S. ZAFAR, M.D., Petitioner-Appellant,
v.
IOWA BOARD OF MEDICINE, Respondent-Appellee.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Robert B. Hanson, Judge.

Dr. Fawad Zafar appeals from the district court order dismissing his petition for judicial review.

David L. Brown and Jay D. Grimes of Hansen, McClintock & Riley, Des Moines, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Theresa O'Connell Weeg, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.

MULLINS, J.

Dr. Fawad Zafar appeals from the district court order dismissing his petition for judicial review. He argues the district court erred in finding his petition for judicial review was untimely because his second petition for rehearing tolled the time in which he had to file for judicial review. He also argues his petition was timely because the agency entered amended final orders after he sought judicial review.

Because the petition for judicial review was not timely filed, we affirm the district court order dismissing it.

I. BACKGROUND FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS.

The present dispute began in January 2008 when the Iowa Board of Medicine charged Dr. Zafar with professional incompetency and engaging in practice harmful or detrimental to the public. Following extensive litigation, the board issued a final decision imposing discipline on October 22, 2010. Dr. Zafar filed a timely application for rehearing, which was granted. The board affirmed the October 22, 2010 decision on January 20, 2011.

On January 27, 2011, Dr. Zafar filed a second application for rehearing, which forms the basis for this appeal. In it, he raised one new challenge to the board's October 22, 2010 decision. Because the board did not rule on the second application within twenty days, it was denied by operation of law. See Iowa Code § 17A.16(2) (2011) ("An application for rehearing shall be deemed to have been denied unless the agency grants the application within twenty days after its filing.").

On March 4, 2011, Dr. Zafar filed a petition for judicial review. The board moved to dismiss, alleging the petition was untimely because it was not filed within thirty days of the January 20, 2011 order that affirmed the final decision.

Meanwhile, Dr. Zafar continued his litigation at the agency level by filing a "Demand for Removal of Public Record" on March 9, 2011. The board denied the motion on April 22, 2011. On the same day, it entered an order approving Dr. Zafar's return to general surgery.

The district court denied the board's motion to dismiss Dr. Zafar's petition for judicial review on May 17, 2011, finding the board's final decision was entered on April 22, 2011. The board ...


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