§ 5-1-13.1 Initiation of proceedings Hearings before the department Appeals Notice to other states.
(a) The director may initiate formal proceedings under this chapter against holders of a certificate of registration and/or a certificate of authorization (subsequently referred to as a licensee or licensees) either on his or her own motion, upon recommendation of the board, on complaint of any person, or upon receiving notification from another state board of architects or from the appropriate authority in another country or jurisdiction of its decision to:
(1) Revoke, suspend, annul, or refuse to renew the practice privileges granted in that state or in that country or jurisdiction to the licensee; or
(2) Publicly censure, or censure in writing, limit the scope of practice of, impose an administrative fine upon, or place on probation the licensee.
(b) A written notice stating the nature of the charge or charges against the licensee and the time and place of the hearing before the department on the charges shall be served on the licensee not less than twenty (20) days prior to the date of the hearing either personally or by mailing a copy of the notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the address of the licensee last known to the board.
(c) If, after being served with the notice of hearing as provided for in this section, the licensee fails to appear at the hearing and to defend against the stated charges, the department may proceed to hear evidence against the licensee and may enter any order that is justified by the evidence. That order is final unless the licensee petitions for a review of it as provided in this section; provided, that within thirty (30) days from the date of any order, upon a showing of good cause for failing to appear and defend, the department may reopen the proceedings and may permit the licensee to submit evidence in his, her or on its behalf.
(d)(1) At any hearing pursuant to this section, the licensee may:
(i) Appear in person or be represented by counsel;
(ii) Produce evidence and witnesses on his, her, or its behalf;
(iii) Cross examine witnesses; and
(iv) Examine the evidence that is produced.
(2) A sole proprietorship may be represented before the department or board by counsel or by the sole proprietor. A partnership or limited liability partnership may be represented before the department or board by counsel or any partner of the partnership. A corporation may be represented by counsel before the department or board or by any shareholder, officer or director of the corporation. A limited liability company may be represented before the department or board by counsel or by any member or manager of the limited liability company. The licensee is entitled, upon written application to the board, to the issuance of subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses on the licensee's behalf.
(e) The director may issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents and may administer oaths, take testimony, hear proofs and receive exhibits in evidence in connection with or upon hearing pursuant to this chapter. In case of disobedience to a subpoena, the director may petition the superior court to require the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of documentary evidence.
(f) The department is not bound by strict rules of procedure or by laws of evidence in the conduct of its proceedings, but any findings of fact and conclusions of law made by the director must be based upon sufficient legal evidence.
(g) Recordings of all hearings pursuant to this section shall be in accordance with the department's rules of procedure for administrative hearings.
(h) Any appeal from the decision of the director, by a person or persons adversely affected by the decision, is governed by § 42-35-15.
(i) On the director rendering a decision to: (1) revoke, suspend, or annul a certificate of registration issued under the laws of this state; (2) revoke, suspend, or annul a certificate of authorization issued under the laws of this state; or (3) publicly censure, censure in writing, limit the scope of practice of, impose an administrative fine upon, or place on probation a licensee, the board shall examine its records to determine whether the licensee holds a certificate of registration or a certificate of authorization to practice in any other state, country, or jurisdiction. If the board determines that the licensee in fact holds a certificate of registration or certificate of authorization, the board shall immediately notify the board of architecture of the other state, country, or jurisdiction by mail of the director's decision pursuant to this section, and include in the notice an indication as to whether or not the licensee has appealed the decision.
(j) The director may, in his or her discretion, order any licensee against whom proceedings have been initiated under §§ 5-1-13 and 5-1-13.1 to reimburse the department for any fees, expenses, and costs incurred by the department and/or in connection with the proceedings, including attorneys fees. These fees shall be paid within thirty (30) days from the date they are assessed and may be reviewed in accordance with § 42-35-15, and deposited as general revenues.
(k) The board may, in its discretion, issue a certificate of registration or certificate of authorization to any applicant denied a certificate of registration or certificate of authorization, under any of the provisions of this section upon presentation of suitable evidence.
(l) The department shall make its legal staff available to act as legal advisor to the board and render any legal assistance that is necessary in carrying out the provisions of this chapter. The director may employ other counsel and obtain other necessary assistance to aid in the enforcement of this chapter, and the compensation and expenses for the employment shall be paid from the fund of the department.
(P.L. 1997, ch. 30, art. 25, § 3; P.L. 2004, ch. 56, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 63, § 1; P.L. 2005, ch. 406, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 298, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 378, § 1.)