How to Prepare for an Appearance Before the DBPR Part 1
Whether you work on small residential projects or large commercial projects, you will face certification and licensing requirements at every level of your career. Failing to meet these requirements comes with negative repercussions. At other times, a dispute against your license can arise due to a misunderstanding or be the result of an unhappy customer or jealous competitor.
Regardless of the source, if a complaint is filed against your license, our St. Petersburg construction lawyers are here to help. If you are scheduled to appear for a hearing before Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), there are a number of things you should consider in order to be sufficiently prepared for your hearing.
The Construction Industry Licensing Board
The Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB) regulates the various professions within the construction industry. The CILB meets regularly to review licensure applications, disciplinary cases, and to conduct informal hearings. In order to maintain your right to practice construction, stay up to date on licensing laws so you can enter new markets, seek financing opportunities, bid on projects, among other important pursuits. Failing to comply with CILB licensing requirements can result in state-imposed penalties for your business.
What is the DBPR?
The DBPR is governed by the Administrative Procedure Act (Florida Statute, Chapter 120). The agency is in charge of the licensing and regulation of businesses and professions within Florida. The DBPR regulates seven businesses and 16 professional boards, including the construction industry, architecture & interior design, building code administrators & inspectors, and electrical contractors.
There are two types of hearings available to you: a hearing before the DBPR (informal hearing) and a hearing in front of an administrative law judge of the Division of Administrative Hearings (formal hearing).
DBPR Administrative Complaints
If you have received a letter from the DBPR, do not take it lightly because you only have 21 days to respond to the complaint or else you will be waiving your right to challenge the agency’s administrative complaint. Complaints can be filed against you by a number of sources including a disgruntled customer or a competitor.
Do not assume that the DBPR is on your side—they are tasked with protecting the public. Understanding the administrative process and acting quickly allows you to make informed decisions regarding the next steps. After receiving the letter, read everything, make note of all deadlines, and gather all documents related to the complaint, and then provide this information to your St. Petersburg construction attorney, if you choose to retain counsel.
In part two, we will provide tips for preparing for an administrative hearing.
If you would like to speak with a St. Petersburg construction attorney, please contact us today.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.