Filing complaints via licensing bodies

The main reason to start a complaint or grievance against an abusive professional is to protect people when they may be at their most vulnerable by penalizing or removing unsafe professionals from the open marketplace of services. Additionally, it is highly likely that trusted advisor abuse is the type of offense that an abusive helping or healthcare professional has engaged in. While the patient might feel they are the first and only patient this type of abuse has happened to, in actuality most abusers are serial abusers who have been abusing for a very long time. California sexual assault reporting and filing abuse complaints about unsafe professionals is a primary protection for patients.

Typically, every publicly funded agency has its own grievance process and policies that are available either publicly or upon request.  As soon as any attempt to resolve concerns through the agency’s management has proven to be unsuccessful, it is time to move to the licensing or governing bodies overseeing the agency or the professional license.  These systems are not the easiest to navigate.  Here you will find some information to move forward.

If you have a complaint against a healthcare professional and you are unable to find the route you are looking for, contact the 100% free service called AdvoConnection. The AdvoConnection Directory is 100% free to use. All advocates and navigators employed there are members of the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates. They are absolutely ready to help solve whatever problems you may encounter in the healthcare system.

California Sexual Assault Reporting and Other Professional Abuse Complaints:

Medical Doctors (MD)

Medical Board of California BreEZe Resources Center

Medical Board of California Medical Malpractice Reporting Forms

Registered Nurses (RN)

California Board of Registered Nursing

Therapists and Psychologists

Board of Behavioral Sciences, Department of Consumer Affairs
to file complaints against any of the following occupations:

  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT)
  • Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCC)
  • Licensed Educational Psychologists (LEP)
  • Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW)

NASW | National Association of Social Workers
Filing a ‘Request for Professional Review’ (RPR) against a Licensed Clinical Social Worker


The Board of Chiropractic Examiners, Department of Consumer Affairs

Drug Treatment, Counselors, AA

Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Compliance Division
to complain about a treatment program or counselor 

California Department of Healthcare Services

The central AA body states that legal professionals should be contacted if there is any abuse at AA events.

Occupational Therapist (OT) and Occupational Therapy Assistants

Hospitals, Nursing Homes and Residential Care Facilities

Hospitals: Contact the Joint Commission’s office of Quality Monitoring by calling 1-800-994-6610 or email

California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR) complaint form and complaint process PDF nursing home complaint process

California Department of Social Services complaint process for state licensed community care facility or child care facility

Police Officer/Law Enforcement

The State Bar of California (Lawyers/Attorneys)

Why File a Complaint Against an Attorney

  • State Bar of California, California Attorney Complaint Form PDF in English
  • State Bar of California, California Attorney Complaint Form PDF in Spanish

Attorney Search: Enter attorney’s name or State Bar number to check status of practicing license

File an Unauthorized Practice of Law Complaint

  • Attorney Misconduct Complaint Process
  • Nonattorney Complaint Process

California Judicial Officer, Court Commissioner, or Referee

State of California Commission on Judicial Performance (CJP)

Teachers and Educators

California Department of Education Complaint Procedures

Financial Advisors

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau:  Report problems with mortgages, student loans, payday loans, debt collection, credit reports, and other financial products and services 

Yoga Teachers

Yoga Alliance certifies some teachers and schools. Email information to