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Re: California Plan Stamping

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Ray,

I don't disagree with anything that you said.  But, the end result is
basically where I originally started...a PE Board can only directly
take actions against those that they "oversee" (i.e. PEs).  If they want
to take action against non-licensed individuals (either someone who in not
licensed at all or someone just not licensed in that state), then it
requires a "third party" to become involved and that third party would
likely be a court along with some sort of prosecuting attorney from the
government.  And in most situations I doubt that government entities place
a high priority on shifting a prosecuting attorney from other "more
serious" (from most people's views) crimes to going after violators of
PE laws.

My original point (if a bit obtuse) was that a PE Board in a state where I
am licensed can take direct action against me (i.e. where I can "lose"
something without the courts or others being involved).  They can fine me,
suspend my license, or take away my license (assuming that I did
something wrong in this hypothetical situation).  Since more than likely
that license is important to me (and other licensed engineers), I won't
want that and so I will pay the fine and/or suffer from loss of my ability
to practice engineering.  If you instead think of someone who is not
licensed in one state but in others, then the situation is similar.  Such
a person (me or any other licensed engineer) either may want to become
licensed in that state, in which case they will need to "make the
situation right" or the issue could be reported to states where the
engineer in question is licensed, who could then take action with the
licensed that the engineer already has.  So, in such a situation, even
though the board does not have a "direct" authority over such an engineer,
they still have some ability to "penalize" that engineer without having to
drag prosecutors, etc away from murders and other "more serious" crimes
(again from the publics view).  Last, if you look at the non-licensed
individual (in any state) who will never be licensed, then administrative
actions that a board can take are meaningless to that person unless a
prosecuting attorney gets involved.  Now, depending on how the PE laws and
other laws are written, I suppose that a state could enforce an
adminstrative fine in other ways...such suspend a driver's license etc,
but I doubt that any states have laws that would allow "cross enforcement"
like that.  But you never know...I do believe that some states can suspend
or withhold your PE/SE license if you have outstanding child care payments
(i.e. "dead beat dad's")...so maybe they can "cross enforce" other items
too.

Scott
Adrian, MI


On Sun, 17 Jul 2005, Ray Pixley wrote:

> >I understand.  But, what I wonder is what are the Minnesota PE Board
> >avenues for collecting that fine?  Is it a court enforceable fine?  Or is
> >the only way in which they can realistically actually get that fine is if
> >the engineering in question ever wants his PE license in Minnesota he must
> >pay the fine OR maybe the Maryland Board "dings" him until he pays the
> >Minnesota fine?
>
> May I butt in?
>
> While the statutes may vary from state to state, when a Board imposes such a
> fine it is considered a "administrative fine".  Should the engineer in
> question refused to pay the fine, then the Board would have pass a motion to
> petition a court to enforce such a fine.  Except for legislative policy,
> constitutional limitations, or fiscal restrictions, there is no common sense
> reason why a Board can't have its own prosecutor, whether directly employed
> civil servant(s), outsourced to a state law department, or outsourced to a
> private law firm.  (Sorry about the double negative.)
>
> Now, if such a case is bought to court, the Board would have to prove its
> case to either a judge or a jury, which has its own unique risks and
> rewards.  The person being prosecuted would have to hire their own lawyer(s)
> and "expert witnesses", and will probably pay through the nose for their
> services, whether they win or lose.  And if they lose, the court can
> probably imposed fines that are heavier than the administrative fine
> originally offered.  If the Board loses, they lose some of the authority
> they though they had (so will some of their sister boards), some board
> members may be asked to resign for convenience (in most cases that's the
> most they can be penalized), and some politician will have to explain why
> taxpayer revenue was wasted.
>
> All these things and more has to be taken into consideration should a Board
> decide to enforce an administrative fine. But to show that a Board's opinion
> matters, they need to do this at least once in awhile when such an
> opportunity arises.
>
>
>
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