Architects use their talent to transform communities. They bring together art with science to create structurally sound designs that do not pose risks to public safety. The Texas Board of Architectural Examiners (TBAE) regulates the professions of architecture, as well as interior design and landscape architecture.
When a complaint is filed against an architect, the TBAE investigates the allegations. Under the Texas Administrative Code, the TBAE has Disciplinary Action Rules specific to each profession it regulates: Architects, Landscape Architects, and Registered Interior Designers.
Complaint Process Against a Texas Architect
Once the TBAE receives a complaint alleging wrongdoing by an Architect, the Board’s enforcement staff must conduct a preliminary evaluation within 30 days. 22 Tex. Admin. Code § 1.174(c). The preliminary evaluation is to determine:
- Jurisdiction: whether the complaint provides information sufficient to establish probable cause for the Board’s staff to believe an actionable violation might have occurred;
- Disciplinary history: whether there has been previous enforcement activity against the licensee; and
- Priority level: the seriousness of the complaint relative to other pending enforcement matters.
22 Tex. Admin. Code § 1.174(c). After the preliminary evaluation period, if it is determined that an investigation is necessary, TBAE staff will notify the licensee.
The TBAE will initiate a Contested Case proceeding and will ask for an answer from the licensee and in many cases, ask for production of certain documents. Replies to such requests must be furnished to the Board within 30 days. 22 Tex. Admin Code § 1.171. Know that failure to respond to a TBAE inquiry may constitute a separate violation subject to disciplinary action. Further, your initial responses to a pending complaint are critical to the ultimate outcome of your case. As soon as you are notified of a complaint against you, we urge you to seek the advice of an experienced professional license defense attorney immediately.
A Contested Case may be resolved informally by agreement between the Board and licensee, 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 another format approved by the Executive Director. 22 Tex. Admin. Code § 1.165.
The majority of cases are resolved informally. When an agreement cannot be reached, a Contested Case will proceed to formal disciplinary proceedings before the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH).
Protecting Your Architect License
You are entitled to legal representation through every step of the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners complaint 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.
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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