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|Enforcement and Complaint FAQ|
Q. Will the Board accept an anonymous complaint?
A. No. Per G. S. 89C-22(a), The charges shall be in writing and shall be sworn to by the person or persons making them and shall be filed with the Board. A complaint form with the appropriate Notary Public statement can be found on the Board’s web site (Complaint Form).
Q. Are complaints confidential?
A. Some are and some are not. Per G. S. 89C-10(f), The investigation of a licensee is confidential until the Board issues a citation to the licensee. The citation may be a Citation for Hearing or a Decision and Order. Cases closed without a citation having been issued remain confidential. Cases against non-licensed individuals and companies are not confidential unless associated with a case against a licensee.
Q. What types of matters does the Board investigate?
A. The Board investigates alleged unlawful practice of engineering or land surveying. In addition, the Board will investigate allegations of gross negligence, incompetence, misconduct or violations of the Board Rules against any individual licensee or any business holding an engineering or surveying license.
Q. Can the Board settle boundary disputes or contractual matters?
A. No, boundary disputes and contractual matters are outside the Board’s jurisdiction.
Q. How do I find out if a licensee has ever had a disciplinary action?
A. Final decisions by the Board in disciplinary matters can be searched on the Board’s web site (Disciplinary Database Search).
Q. As a licensee, am I obligated to report potential violations of G. S. 89C or the Board Rules to the Board?
A. Yes, per the Rules of Professional Conduct [21 NCAC 56 .0701(g)(2)], If the licensee has knowledge or reason to believe that another person or firm may be in violation of the Board Rules (21 NCAC 56) or of the North Carolina Engineering and Land Surveying Act (G.S. 89C), shall present such information to the Board in writing in the form of a complaint and shall cooperate with the Board in furnishing such further information or assistance as may be required by the Board.
Q. What happens after I file a complaint?
A. You will receive an acknowledgement letter from the Board. The letter will identify the investigator assigned the case and whether additional information is required. If there was sufficient information and corroborative evidence to determine charges, the respondent is notified of the allegations in writing.
Q. How long will the investigation take?
A. There are many variables that determine how long an investigation will take. For most cases, the investigator can complete their investigation within six months. However, the case must go before a review committee for consideration and then the Board must approve the committee’s recommendation. If the case involves a licensee, the licensee is given an opportunity for a settlement conference or hearing and if there is a disciplinary action recommended, the case could take up to a year or more before results of the case are reported. Cases appealed to the courts can take two years, or more, before the matter is resolved.
Q. Will I be notified of the outcome of the case?
A. The complainant is always notified of the outcome of the case in writing.
Q. If I file a complaint, will I be interviewed?
A. Not all cases require an interview with the complainant. If one is required the investigator will contact you to schedule it.
Q. Who decides whether there is a violation of G. S. 89C or the Board Rules?
A. Initially, the Board’s review committee, which is comprised of the Executive Director, Board Counsel and a licensed Board member. For engineering matters a PE member of the Board is on the committee and for surveying matters a PLS member. A settlement conference committee is only available to a licensee who has received a Notice of Contemplated Action from the Board. This committee is comprised of the original review committee members and one of the Board’s two public members. If the matter involves a licensee and the case goes to hearing, Board members who previously participated in the review and/or settlement conference are not a part of the hearing panel.
Q. Are review committee or settlement conference committee meetings open to the public?
A. No, these meetings are not public meetings.
Q. Is there anyone I can speak to before deciding to file a complaint?
A. Yes, you can contact the Board office (919-791-2000). Typically, your contact information will be obtained so an investigator can contact you by telephone to discuss the matter. Board staff will not be able to “prejudge” a case for you, but can generally provide you information about what types of matters the Board will investigate and the information that will likely be needed to initiate the investigation
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