DRE Desist and Refrain Orders


California’s Business and Professions Code, section 10086, states that if the commissioner (the DRE) determines through an investigation that you have violated the code, they can issue you with a desist and refrain order. This order has to specify the nature of your violation and the legal or factual basis for the commissioner’s determination. If you’re served with a desist and refrain order you must immediately stop the activity described in the order.

You don’t have to simply accept it, though. There’s a 30-day window in which you can respond to the order by filing a request for a hearing. The hearing will take place before an administrative court and be judge-led. Depending on the nature of the order, you might need to also file a written verification that the order precludes you from carrying out a substantial portion of your business; if you don’t file this verification within the timeframe provided you can be faced with the choice of going out of business by complying with the order, or of suffering further administrative punishments for failure to comply. But if you do file it, the commission has ten days to get a superior court to agree to restrain you from carrying on your business; otherwise, you’re free to continue until the hearing in administrative court.

Escalating a dispute up the court system can be risky without proper representation, but the benefits are obvious: you could be back doing what you do in a few days instead of a month or more. You will have to stop pending an answer from the superior court, or the DRE can apply to the court to restrain you.

As you can see, this is a complex legal area, and while the question might be simple at bottom — did you violate the DRE regulations? — it helps to have skilled, experienced assistance to navigate it successfully.