SCS/SB 798 - This act authorizes the Missouri Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Professional Land Surveyors and Landscape Architects to impose civil penalties against licensed and unlicensed persons. Any person who practices architecture, engineering, land surveying or landscape architecture without a valid license may be subject to an administrative action by the board to seek a civil penalty. The board may initiate investigations against the unlicensed person and may issue subpoenas to compel attendance and testimony of witnesses.
The complaint must be filed with the Administrative Hearing Commission, which shall conduct a hearing and issue its findings of fact and conclusions of law. The duties of the commission are amended to include the ability to hear such cases. If the commission finds the unlicensed person has violated this act, then the board may issue a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000 for each day of violation, with a maximum penalty of $25,000. The unlicensed person has the right to appeal the order imposing the fine to a circuit court. Once the case is final, and the penalty is not timely paid, the Attorney General may commence an action to recover the penalty, including reasonable attorney fees and costs and a surcharge of 15% of the penalty plus 10% per year on any amounts owed. The validity and appropriateness of the final order imposing the civil penalty shall not be subject to review.
In any action to impose a civil penalty, whether against a licensed or unlicensed person, the board may assess its reasonable costs and expenses incurred in conducting the investigation and administrative hearing. Finally, the board is authorized to impose a civil penalty against a licensee after a finding by the Administrative Hearing Commission of cause to discipline the license.
An unlicensed person may use a form of the word "engineer" without being subject to disciplinary action if the use is reflective of that person's profession and does not imply that the person is holding himself or herself out as being a professional engineer.
This act is nearly identical to SCS/SB 278 (2005) and similar to SCS/HB 1411 (2006).