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Re: California Plan Stamping

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Again, I don't disagree.  This is assuming that the PE laws are written in
such a way that the PE board is given the "policing authority".  If so,
then civil court is certainly an option to try to recover an
administrative fine or action against a non-licensed individual.  Even
beyond that, presumably ANY ONE could sue a non-licensed individual for
offering engineering sservices since in effect, that individual could be
construed to be committing a civil fraud (still the PE Board might need to
have "permission" from the PE act to do the same thing, but you or I might
still be able to sue).

Regardless of that, if you practice engineering without a license (as I
understand things in most if not all jurisdictions), then you are
participating in a criminal activity that would be under criminal court
jurisdiction and thus a local prosecutor or the State AG's office.  It is
just like a driver's license.  If you drive without a license, who comes
after you?  A prosecutor or the AG's office...NOT the entity that issues
the license (i.e. in Michigan the Sec of State).  If I do something wrong
driving-wise and I do have a license, then the Sec of State (in Michigan)
can take administrative action against me without the assistance of the
prosecutor or AG (i.e. they can put points on my license, suspend my
license to drive or take away my license to drive) _OR_ they could refer
my case to a prosecutor or the AG.  This would be the same for PE
licenses.

And FWIW, in Michigan at least, it is not an attorney on retainer at PE
Board meetings, I believe it is a lawyer from the AG's office.  In
otherwords, as I understand things it is the responsibility of the AG's
office to be "legal counsel" to all state entities.  There might be
special situations where outside counsel is obtain to represent the state.

Scott
Adrian, MI


On Sun, 17 Jul 2005, Ray Pixley wrote:

> >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.
>
> Actually, if the board is charged by the state legislature to enforce such
> state statutes, they can impose administrative fines on non-licensees.
> (Read the last sentence again slowly.) Otherwise, their police powers don't
> serve the public good.  If the individual is unresponsive, then they have to
> go to the next level, i.e. civil court, which they would have to do if a
> licensee refused their directives.  Then, and if the charges are found to be
> true, the court is free to throw the book at them without any remorse, since
> they had the chance to make amends when the case was before that Board.  In
> addition, the court's concern will be more of whether the Board gave them a
> fair hearing, since the Board is suppose to be the "expert" on what
> constitutes good engineering practice, not the court.  A court will do all
> it can to not undermine the authority of a Board and (at the same time)
> protect the rights of the accused.  To not do so will transfer such disputes
> from the Board to the courts and clog up the court calendar even more.
>
> >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.
>
> I doubt if a prosecuting attorney, such as Sam Waterston's character in Law
> and Order, would get involved unless its a criminal matter.  But as a civil
> matter, there are plenty of trial attorneys around who would take the case.
> Besides, most government boards have attorneys on retainer that attend
> almost all board sessions to help the board members, who are suppose to be
> average citizens, do their jobs better.  These same attorneys would relish
> having such additional work come their way.
>
> >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).
>
> These are all civil court penalties.  Also, a Board does not have to offer
> an administrative fine to all offenders.  If the Board feel that the fines
> they are allowed to impose are insufficient, they can elect to have a court
> formally review the case and impose larger penalties.
>
> >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.
>
> Forget prosecuting attorney. Your watching too much Law and Order and CSI.
> Think civil court and trial attorney.
>
>
>
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