Hooper v. Holder, No. 11-2351

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
PartiesJAMES L. HOOPER, M.D., Petitioner, v. ERIC H. HOLDER, JR.; UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION; MICHELLE M. LEONHART, Administrator, United States Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, Respondents.
Docket NumberNo. 11-2351
Decision Date06 June 2012

JAMES L. HOOPER, M.D., Petitioner,
v.
ERIC H. HOLDER, JR.; UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION;
MICHELLE M. LEONHART, Administrator, United States Department of Justice,
Drug Enforcement Administration, Respondents.

No. 11-2351

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT

Submitted: May 1, 2012
Decided: June 6, 2012


UNPUBLISHED

On Petition for Review of an Order of the Drug Enforcement Agency. (11-66)

Before WILKINSON, SHEDD, and AGEE, Circuit Judges.

Petition denied by unpublished per curiam opinion.

Allen H. Sachsel, Fairfax, Virginia, for Petitioner. Lanny A. Breuer, Assistant Attorney General, Anita J. Gay, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, D.C., for Respondents.

Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.

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PER CURIAM:

James L. Hooper, M.D., petitions for review of a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) order revoking his DEA registration for controlled substances. We deny the petition for review.

I.

In November 2010, the Maryland State Board of Physicians charged Hooper with violating the Maryland Medical Practice Act by engaging in unprofessional conduct, showing professional incompetence, and prescribing drugs for illegitimate medical purposes. In May 2011, Hooper entered a consent agreement with the Board, acknowledging violations of the Act and agreeing to a one-year suspension of his medical license beginning June 7, 2011. Pursuant to this agreement, Hooper was also placed on a minimum of two years of probation following the suspension.

Based on Hooper's suspension, the DEA issued a show-cause order asking whether his DEA registration for controlled substances should be revoked under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), 21 U.S.C. § 824(a)(3) & (4). Hooper responded that his DEA registration should be suspended but not revoked. An Administrative Law Judge granted summary disposition in favor of the DEA and recommended revocation of Hooper's registration "in view of the presently uncontroverted fact that [Hooper] lacks

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state authority to handle controlled substances." (J.A. 53-54). The DEA Administrator (DA) adopted the ALJ's recommendation and revoked Hooper's registration. The DA noted that no decision "has held that a suspension (rather than a revocation) is warranted where a State has imposed a suspension of a fixed or certain duration," and the "DEA has long and consistently interpreted the CSA as mandating the possession of authority under state law to handle controlled substance as a fundamental condition for obtaining and maintaining a registration." (J.A. 61). Hooper now petitions for review of the DA's order.

II.

Under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A), "the DA's choice of sanction is entitled to substantial deference and will be set aside only if [the]...

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