Private Security Hearings

September 11, 2020

Private Security Appeal Process

Applicants or license holders may request an appeal for the following actions:

  • Denial of an application for a license
  • Suspension or revocation of a license
  • Imposition of an administrative penalty

Appeal requests must be received within thirty (30) calendar days after receipt of notice of the proposed action.

You may submit an appeal request through the DPS website via the Contact Us page or by mail, facsimile, or electronic mail as indicated on the Appeal Request form.

Appeal Options

Depending on the circumstances, the path to an appeal may differ:

  • A preliminary hearing will be scheduled if the proposed action is based on a disqualifying criminal history.
  • A settlement conference will be scheduled if the proposed action is based on an administrative violation.
  • The State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) will hear cases without a preliminary hearing if the proposed actions is based on non-criminal disqualifiers, such as sex offender registration or dishonorable discharge.
  • SOAH will also hear appeal requests of the department’s determination following a preliminary hearing or a settlement conference.

Type of Proceeding

See below for a more detailed description of each type of proceeding.

Preliminary Hearing

Preliminary hearings are held in the following cases:

  • Summary denials
  • Suspensions or revocations based on criminal history disqualifiers

The preliminary hearing is your opportunity to present evidence to DPS and to explain the circumstances that are the basis for DPS’s initial determination. This hearing is conducted by a hearings officer, by telephone. You may represent yourself or be represented by an attorney. You may present witnesses or other evidence to support your case.

Those considering the appeal of a summary action are encouraged to review Private Security Administrative Rule 35.4 and the list of disqualifying offenses therein, as well as Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 53.

If the offense on which the summary action is based is listed as an offense that is directly related to the duties and responsibilities of those who are licensed under the Private Security Act, you should submit for consideration any evidence of your fitness to perform the duties and discharge the responsibilities of the licensed occupation, including:

  • Extent and nature of your past criminal activity,
  • Your age when the crime was committed,
  • Amount of time that has elapsed since your last criminal activity,
  • Evidence of your conduct and work activity before and after the criminal activity,
  • Evidence of your rehabilitation or rehabilitative effort while incarcerated or after release,
  • Date you will be eligible for the license; and
  • Letters of recommendation.

In addition to the above documentation, you must furnish proof that you have:

  • Maintained a record of steady employment;
  • Supported your dependents;
  • Maintained a record of good conduct; and
  • Paid all outstanding court costs, supervision fees, fines, and restitution ordered in any criminal case in which you have been convicted.

The failure to provide the above information in a timely manner may result in a ruling against you by the hearings officer.

It is important that DPS have copies of your documents before the hearing. You should submit a copy of all of the papers you want to use to DPS before the scheduled hearing date.

Following the hearing, DPS will issue a written decision. If you disagree with the decision, you may appeal it by filing a written request in the same manner described above within thirty (30) calendar days from the date the decision was mailed to you.

Settlement Conference

The appeal of an administrative penalty is reviewed at a settlement conference. 

The conference is your opportunity to explain the circumstances surrounding DPS’s allegations. The conference will be conducted by telephone.

Following the settlement conference, notice of the settlement will be provided to you, if one is reached. If no agreement is reached, the department will issue a written determination either upholding or modifying the originally proposed action. 

This determination may be appealed to SOAH in the manner described above.

Hearing before the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH)

An Administrative Law Judge at SOAH will hear an appeal in the following cases:

  • The direct appeal of an action based on a non-criminal disqualifier
  • The appeal of DPS’s determination following a preliminary hearing or settlement conference

The rules and procedures governing this hearing are available online at State Office of Administrative Hearings. This hearing is subject to the Texas Administrative Procedure Act, Texas Government Code, Chapter 2001.

You may request a SOAH hearing within thirty (30) calendar days following the date of the determination letter. You may represent yourself or be represented by an attorney. You may present witnesses or other evidence to support your case.

The SOAH judge’s ruling (a “Proposal for Decision”) is issued within 60 days of the hearing. Exceptions to the decision may be filed by either party. The final Proposal for Decision is reviewed and heard by the Public Safety Commission, which then issues a final order.