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Office of Chief Counsel

Office of Chief Counsel

Meet the DHS Chief Counsel

Mitch Rouse

Mitch Rouse serves as the Chief Counsel for the Department of Human Services.  In this role, he oversees legal operations in the Office of Chief Counsel, including agency litigation, regulatory and compliance, as well as county legal operations.

Mitch previously served as the Director of the Office of State Procurement within the Department of Transformation and Shared Services (TSS), as well as Secretary and Chief General Counsel for TSS. He also served as Chief of Staff for the agency formerly known as the Department of Environmental Quality.

Office Overview

The Office of Chief Counsel consists of five sections which provide extensive legal, investigative and hearing services to the Department.

The Office of Public Guardian unit is responsible for the care of incapacitated individuals who have become wards through an application process as mandated by statute.  Applications may be presented to this office by any concerned citizen but most applications are submitted by medical professionals, long term care providers, other DHS units and family members.  If the Office approves the application, the Office will petition a court for guardianship of the ward and, if appointed, may serve the guardian of the person, the estate, or both.

The Office of Appeals and Hearings conducts administrative hearings and makes the final agency decisions for the Department regarding appealed actions. A request for an administrative hearing may concern Medicaid, Maltreatment, SNAP, or a number of other agency programs.

The Appellate Section provides statewide legal representation to the Department of Human Services in the areas of child welfare and adult protective services.

Also provides legal assistance and representation on administrative matters, litigation pertaining to delivery of services, program administration, and overpayment collections.

The Regulatory Section provides legal assistance and representation on contracts, privacy section matters, employment law, personnel, civil rights and rules promulgation issues for the agency.

The Privacy Section ensures the Agency’s compliance with HIPAA and privacy laws. It is also responsible for handling subpoenas, record requests, authorizations for information, and compliance with court orders.

County Legal Operations provides statewide legal representation to the Department of Human Services in the areas of child welfare and adult protective services.

Contact Information

OfficeAddressPhoneEmail
Regulatory SectionP.O. Box 1437 – Slot S260
Little Rock, AR 72203-1437
501-396-6456
Fax: 501-682-8009
Email
Appeals and HearingsP.O. Box 1437 – Slot S101
Little Rock, AR 72203-1437
501-682-8622
Fax: 501-682-6605
Email
County Legal OperationsP.O. Box 1437 – Slot S260
Little Rock, AR 72203-1437
501-396-6183
Fax: 501-682-8639
Email
Privacy SectionP.O. Box 1437 – Slot S260
Little Rock, AR 72203-1437
501-320-6292
Fax: 501-683-4829
Email
Appellate SectionP.O. Box 1437 – Slot S260
Little Rock, AR 72203-1437
501-320-6334
Fax: 501-682-6720
Email
Office of Public GuardianP.O. Box 1437 – Slot W105
Little Rock, AR 72203-1437
888-397-2430 
Fax: 501-682-1483
Email

Staff

NameTitlePhone
Mitch RouseChief Counsel501-320-6369,
Fax: 501-682-8009
Brett HaysChief Deputy Counsel – Regulatory, Security and Compliance501-396-6456,
Fax: 501-682-8009
Rich RosenChief Deputy Counsel – Appellate501-320-6334,
Fax: 501-682-1390
Sarah RossDeputy Counsel – County Legal Operations501-396-6183,
Fax: 501-682-8009
Sommer FaulkenberryChief Administrative Law Judge, Appeals and Hearings501-682-8622,
Fax: 501-682-6605
Kitten DixonOffice Manager, Office of Chief Counsel501-320-6378,
Fax: 501-682-8009
Jennifer HollandDHS Privacy Officer501-320-6560
Carolyn SingletonPublic Guardian for Adults888-397-2430,
Fax: 501-682-1483

OCC Documents & Forms

DocumentsDoc TypeDate
Application for Public GuardianPDF09/22/2020
Adoption Information SheetPDF09/20/2011