Texas Architects shape the world in which the rest of us live, do business, and engage in recreation. In many ways, they combine a deep comprehension of human sociology with the art of individual living—using the science of spatial relations. Getting to this place in their careers requires a great deal of schooling and apprenticeship, as well as learning a great number of regulations designed to preserve the safety of those who will be using their creations on a daily basis. But all of this can be put at risk by just one complaint from a client—whether valid or spurious.
Complaints against an architect’s license are accepted by the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners. The Board processes these complaints—as well as complaints against interior designers and landscape architects—when they in fact, match violations of the sort over which the Board has jurisdiction. The Board’s jurisdiction has been delineated by the legislature, and the elements of disciplinary action that may be taken are laid out in Texas Administrative Code sections 1.61 – 1.78.
When an architect receives notice from the Board that a complaint has been filed against them, and the request for information that comes in tandem, they must act quickly to make a response. To this response, according to section 1.171, the architect
“shall answer an inquiry or produce requested documents to the Board concerning any matter under the jurisdiction of the Board within thirty (30) days after the date the person receives the inquiry.”
This means that, within a month, the architect must have gathered the information they must provide—no more, no less—and written their defense to the complaint in a manner that does not raise any further actions and manages to limit the scope of the investigation to come. Rarely is an architect familiar enough with the disciplinary process to compose this response in an appropriate manner—though often they do collect it themselves, thinking they are the best suited to do so due to their proximity to the events at issue.
Worse still, some architects ignore the request for information—more likely out of anxiety than through any sort of ill intent. And this is problematic because in the language of the law, “Failure to respond within thirty (30) days may constitute a separate violation subject to disciplinary action by the Board up to and including suspension or revocation of a registration.”
In short, simply failing to respond to this request in time can mean the architect loses their right to practice their vocation.
Indeed, architects should avoid dealing with any element of a formal complaint on their own. Most often, a licensee is far too close to the situation to respond with the proper amount of objectivity. It is best to engage an experienced professional license defense attorney at the earliest possible point in the process.
If your architecture license is under attack, give us a call. Our law firm helps professionals keep their licenses when those licenses are under attack by a Texas agency, board, or commission. With offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio, we serve professionals all over the state. As experienced attorneys, well-versed in state administrative and licensure laws, we know how to win. Our results speak for themselves!
If you are facing disciplinary action, contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.