Architects fuse art with science. You use your talent and knowledge to transform a skyline or bring a neighborhood back to life with color and style. All of this is done in a way that is structurally sound and does not pose any risks to the public.
Even a single licensing complaint from a client threatens to harm your solid reputation and the career you spent years building.
The Texas Board of Architectural Examiners (TBAE) regulates the professions of architecture, interior design, and landscape architecture. The primary function of the TBAE is to “ensure that the public health, safety, and welfare are protected.”
Complaints Filed with the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners
The TBAE investigates complaints involving violations of laws governing architects, landscape architects, and registered interior designers. The Texas Legislature has defined only certain events as violations over which the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners has jurisdiction.
The TBAE’s process for resolving complaints is set forth in the Texas Administrative Code, TBAE Disciplinary Action Rules specific to each profession it regulates: Architects, Landscape Architects, and Registered Interior Designers.
While the complaint resolution process for each professional differs, each share some commonalities. When the TBAE receives a complaint, it will conduct a preliminary evaluation of the matter within 30 days to determine whether the allegations described are within the Board’s jurisdiction. If jurisdiction is established, the Board may initiate a Contested Case proceeding.
In some cases, the TBAE may initiate an investigation in the absence of a formal complaint if the Board determines there is sufficient evidentiary information provided to establish probable cause that a violation of the law has occurred.
A Contested Case may be resolved informally at any time. The licensee may agree in writing to a settlement agreement, which must include written findings of fact and conclusions of law and may be in the form of a consent order, letter of reprimand, or other format approved by the Executive Director.
A settlement agreement must be presented to the board for approval or rejection. If the Board rejects the settlement agreement, the licensee will have the opportunity to agree to alternative settlement terms approved by the Board.
If no settlement agreement is reached, then the case will be referred to the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) for a formal hearing.
Texas Board of Architectural Examiners Focus on Continuing Education Responsibilities
The majority of disciplinary action taken by the TBAE is in response to violations of continuing education requirements.
In an effort to ensure compliance with continuing education responsibilities, the TBAE audits 10 percent of its registrants each year through a random selection process. The cases stemming from the random audit program reflect the most common violations, including:
- Failing to complete adequate continuing education hours during a program year,
- Failing to maintain continuing education records and verification of participation in CE activities for a period of five years,
- Falsely certifying, at the time of renewal, compliance with continuing education responsibilities, and/or
- Failing to respond to a request for information within 30 days. Each continuing education infraction is subject to a standard administrative penalty.
Each continuing education infraction is subject to a standard administrative penalty.
Architectural Examiners License Attorneys – Protecting Your Architect License
You are entitled to legal representation through every step of the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners complaint investigation and disciplinary action process. Having the right attorney by your side will help make sure you present the strongest case possible to those who may determine your professional future. Our Architectural Examiners License Defense Attorneys have in-depth knowing of every stage of the TBAE complaint process. We help architects and registered interior designers with the following:
- Responding appropriately to an investigation initiated by the Board;
- Filing and submitting documentation regarding the incident in questions;
- Framing the circumstances in the light most favorable to the licensee;
- Mounting a strong defense against allegations of violating state laws governing architects, landscape architects, or registered interior designers; and
- Attending an Architectural Board hearing and/or a State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) hearing.
At every stage, we will be committed to building a winning strategy to protect your license.
BERTOLINO LLP helps professionals, like you, keep their licenses when those licenses are under attack by a state agency or board. Our honest, experienced attorneys will fight aggressively on behalf of your license and reputation.
Contact us today or call (512) 476-5757 and schedule a case evaluation.
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