Nurse alleged denial of procedural fairness; sought reconsideration at penalty hearing
The Manitoba Court of Appeal has upheld a misconduct and penalty decision imposed upon a nurse, ruling that it had no jurisdiction where the time limit for filing a notice of appeal had lapsed.
In College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba v. Hancock, 2022 MBCA 70, Shannon Hancock was tried before an inquiry panel of the College of Registered Nurses. She was found guilty of misconduct and ungovernable under The Regulated Health Professions Act, CCSM c. R117.
Hancock did not appeal the misconduct decision. Instead, she sought reconsideration of the decision at the next hearing, which was supposed to determine her penalty.
The panel at the penalty hearing dismissed the application for reconsideration. It ruled that the appropriate action was not to move for reconsideration but to appeal the misconduct decision. The panel continued, ordered her registration cancelled, and imposed costs at $40,000.
After receiving the penalty and costs decision, Hancock filed a notice of appeal.
Hancock raised a number of grounds on appeal as to both the misconduct and penalty decision. She argued that the panel failed to perform the correct analysis under the charter and denied her procedural fairness.
The appellate court disagreed.
Appellate jurisdiction is entirely statutory; there is no inherent right of appeal other than what is provided by statute, said the court.
Under the Regulated Health Professionals Act, an appeal from a decision, finding, or order must be commenced by filing a notice of appeal within 30 days after the decision is given to the investigated member, said the court.
The appellate court found that Hancock failed to comply with these appeal provisions of the Act with respect to the misconduct decision despite this flaw having been pointed out to her. She could have brought a motion for extension of time but did not do so, said the court.
As such, the appellate court ruled that it had no jurisdiction to entertain her arguments.
However, even assuming that it did, the appellate court found no merit to the appeal as the appellate court found no reversible errors with the panel’s decision.