On March 8, 2018, the Acting Assistant Administrator, Diversion Control Division, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), issued an Order to Show Cause to Phillip O. Rawlings, Jr., M.D. (Registrant), of Mobile, Alabama. The Show Cause Order proposed the revocation of Registrant's DEA Certificate of Registration No. FR0024997 on the ground that he has “no state authority to handle controlled substances.” Order to Show Cause, Government Exhibit (GX) 8, at 1 (citing 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3)). For the same reason, the Order also proposed the denial of any of Registrant's “applications for renewal or modification of such registration and any applications for any other DEA registrations.” Id.
Regarding the Agency's jurisdiction, the Show Cause Order alleged that Registrant holds DEA Certificate of Registration No. FR0024997, pursuant to which he is authorized to dispense controlled substances as a practitioner in schedules II through V at the registered address of Providence Family Physicians, 8833 Cottage Hill Road, Mobile, Alabama. Id. The Order also alleged that this registration was set to expire by its terms on April 30, 2018. Id.
The substantive ground for the proceeding set forth in the Show Cause Order is that Registrant is “currently without authority to practice medicine or handle controlled substances in the State of Alabama, the state in which [he is] registered with the DEA” because Registrant's Alabama Medical License and Alabama Controlled Substances Certificate have been in “Inactive-By Request” status since December 31, 2016 . Id. As a consequence, the Order alleged that “DEA must revoke your DEA registration.” Id. at 2.
The Show Cause Order notified Registrant of his right to request a hearing on the allegations or to submit a written statement in lieu of a hearing, the procedures for electing each option, and the consequences for failing to elect either option. Id. (citing 21 CFR 1301.43). The Order also notified Registrant of the opportunity to submit a corrective action plan. Id. at 2-3 (citing 21 U.S.C. 824(c)(2)(C)).
On April 26, 2018, my office received the Government's Second Request for Final Agency Action (SRFAA) 
describing Diversion Investigators' attempts to serve the Show Cause Order and seeking a final order revoking Registrant's registration. SRFAA, at 2, 6. The Government also submitted a Certification of Registration History, which was sworn to on December 28, 2017 by the Associate Chief of the Registration and Program Support Section. GX 1. In that Certification, she stated that DEA Registration No. FR0024997 “expires on April 30, 2018.” Id. at 1. The Associate Chief further stated that “Phillip O. Rawlings, Jr., M.D., has no other pending or valid DEA registration(s) in Alabama.” Id. According to the Agency's current registration records for Registrant, of which I take official notice,
DEA Registration No. FR0024997 expired on April 30, 2018, and he has not submitted an application to renew his registration or for any other registration in the State of Alabama. Thus, I find that Registrant's registration expired on April 30, 2018, and that there is no application upon which to act.
DEA has long held that “ `if a registrant has not submitted a timely renewal application prior to the expiration date, then the registration expires and there is nothing to revoke.' ” Donald Brooks Reece II, M.D., 77 FR 35054, 35055 (2012) (quoting Ronald J. Riegel, 63 FR 67312, 67133 (1998)); see also Greg N. Rampey, D.O., 83 FR Start Printed Page 5198342696, 42697 (2018). “Moreover, in the absence of an application (whether timely filed or not), there is nothing to act upon.” Reece, 77 FR at 35055, Rampey, 83 FR at 42697. Accordingly, because Registrant has allowed his registration to expire and has not filed an application to renew his registration or for any other registration in Alabama, this case is now moot and will be dismissed.
Pursuant to 28 CFR 0.100(b) and the authority thus vested in me by 21 U.S.C. 824(a), I order that the Order to Show Cause issued to Phillip O. Rawlings, Jr., M.D., be, and it hereby is, dismissed. This Order is effective immediately.
Dated: September 26, 2018.
[FR Doc. 2018-22421 Filed 10-12-18; 8:45 am]
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