Title 17 Complaint Procedure

The Title 17 Complaint Procedure is defined in the California Code of Regulations Title 17 Section 50540. It provides a mechanism for due process when the consumer believes a right has been unreasonably or punitively denied. This procedure is to be used when: (1) one of the “personal rights” of an individual who resides in a developmental center, community care or health care facility, has been denied; and (2) the consumer disagrees. Any time a right is denied as described below, the person who is being denied the right must be given his/her right to appeal the decision through the Title 17 Complaint Procedure.

To initiate this process, you must file your complaint with the regional center or developmental center clients’ rights advocate who has 10 days to investigate and provide a written proposed solution to the complainant. If you are dissatisfied with the action taken or proposed, the first level of appeal is to the Director of the regional center or developmental center. If the complaint is still not resolved, the regional center or developmental center Director must then refer the complaint to the DDS Community Services Division at 916-651-6309, which is responsible for a making a recommendation to the Director of DDS for final administrative decision.

In addition to the rights all consumers enjoy, consumers who reside in licensed health care or community care facilities are entitled to certain rights, known as “personal rights,” which are found in Title 17 Section 50510(b). Some of the “personal rights” may, under specific conditions, be restricted for limited periods of time. The rights that can be restricted are:

  • To keep and be allowed to spend your own money for personal and incidental needs;
  • To keep and wear your own clothing;
  • To keep and use your own possessions, including toilet articles (for example, shavers, toothbrushes, brushes, combs)
  • To have access to private storage space;
  • To see visitors every day;
  • To have reasonable access to telephones, both to make and receive confidential phone calls;
  • To mail and receive unopened correspondence and to have ready access to letter writing materials, including postage.

In the absence of a court order which provides for limitation of a right, no right listed above can be denied without going through the Section 50530 denial process. Before any of these rights can be denied, the professional person in charge of the facility, or designee, must make a finding that: exercise of the right would be harmful to the consumer; there is evidence that exercise of the right would infringe on the rights of others; or the institution or facility would suffer serious damage. Denial of the right must be the least restrictive way of resolving the problem and the denial must be related to the specific right denied.


Last modified: February 8, 2021