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Colorado

Pursuant to C.R.S. 12-25-305, any person who practices or offers or attempts to practice architecture without an active license issued under this article commits a class 2 misdemeanor and shall be punished as provided in section 18-1.3-501, C.R.S., for the first offense, and, for the second or any subsequent offense, the person commits a class 6 felony and shall be punished as provided in section 18-1.3-401, C.R.S.  If it appears to the board, based upon credible evidence as presented in a written complaint by any person, that a licensee is acting in a manner that is an imminent threat to the health and safety of the public or a person is acting or has acted without the required license, the board may issue an order to cease and desist such activity.  The order shall set forth the statutes and rules alleged to have been violated, the facts alleged to have constituted the violation, and the requirement that all unlawful acts or unlicensed practices immediately cease.  If it appears to the board, based upon credible evidence as presented in a written complaint by any person, that a person has violated any other provision of this part 3, then, in addition to any specific powers granted pursuant to this part 3, the board may issue to such person an order to show cause as to why the board should not issue a final order directing such person to cease and desist from the unlawful act or unlicensed practice.

A person against whom an order to show cause has been issued pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection (5) shall be promptly notified by the board of the issuance of the order, along with a copy of the order, the factual and legal basis for the order, and the date set by the board for a hearing on the order.  Such notice may be served by personal service, by first-class United States mail, postage prepaid, or as may be practicable upon any person against whom such order is issued.  Personal service or mailing of an order or document pursuant to this subsection (5) shall constitute notice thereof to the person.

The hearing on an order to show cause shall be commenced no sooner than ten and no later than forty-five calendar days after the date of transmission or service of the notification by the board as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection (5).  The hearing may be continued by agreement of all parties based upon the complexity of the matter, number of parties to the matter, and legal issues presented in the matter, but in no event shall the hearing commence later than sixty calendar days after the date of transmission or service of the notification.  If a person against whom an order to show cause has been issued pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection (5) does not appear at the hearing, the board may present evidence that notification was properly sent or served upon such person pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subsection (5) and such other evidence related to the matter as the board deems appropriate.  The board shall issue the order within ten days after the board’s determination related to reasonable attempts to notify such person, and the order shall become final as to that person by operation of law. Such hearing shall be conducted pursuant to sections 24-4-104 and 24-4-105, C.R.S.

If the board reasonably finds that the person against whom the order to show cause was issued is acting or has acted without the required license or has or is about to engage in acts or practices constituting violations of this part 3, a final cease-and-desist order may be issued directing such person to cease and desist from further unlawful acts or unlicensed practices.  The board shall provide notice, in the manner set forth in paragraph (b) of this subsection (5), of the final cease-and-desist order within ten calendar days after the hearing conducted pursuant to this paragraph (c) to each person against whom the final order has been issued.  The final order issued pursuant to subparagraph (III) of this paragraph (c) shall be effective when issued and shall be a final order for purposes of judicial review.  If it appears to the board, based upon credible evidence presented to the board, that a person has engaged in or is about to engage in an unlicensed act or practice, any act or practice constituting a violation of this part 3, any rule promulgated pursuant to this part 3, any order issued pursuant to this part 3, or any act or practice constituting grounds for administrative sanction pursuant to this part 3, the board may enter into a stipulation with such person.

If any person fails to comply with a final cease-and-desist order or a stipulation, the board may request the attorney general or the district attorney for the judicial district in which the alleged violation exists to bring, and if so requested such attorney shall bring, suit for a temporary restraining order and for injunctive relief to prevent any further or continued violation of the final order.  A person aggrieved by the final cease-and-desist order may seek judicial review of the board’s determination or of the board’s final order in a court of competent jurisdiction.

C.R.S. 12-25-308 provides that the board may deny, suspend, revoke, or refuse to renew the license of, place on probation, or limit the scope of practice of a licensee for the following:

  • Fraud, misrepresentation, deceit, or material misstatement of fact in procuring or attempting to procure a license;
  • Any act or omission that fails to meet the generally accepted standards of the practice of architecture, as evidenced by conduct that endangers life, health, property, or the public welfare;
  • Conviction of, or pleading guilty or nolo contendere to, a felony in Colorado concerning the practice of architecture or an equivalent crime outside Colorado. A certified copy of the judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction of such conviction or plea shall be presumptive evidence of such conviction or plea in any hearing under this part 3. The board shall be governed by section 24-5-101;
  • Violation of, or aiding or abetting in the violation of, this part 3 or any rule promulgated by the board in conformance with this part 3 or any order of the board issued in conformance with this part 3;
  • Use of false, deceptive, or misleading advertising;
  • Performing services beyond one’s competency, training, or education;
  • Failure to render adequate professional control of persons practicing architecture under the responsible control of a licensed architect;
  • Habitual intemperance with respect to, or excessive use of, any habit-forming drug, any controlled substance as defined in section 12-22-303 (7), or any alcoholic beverage, any of which renders him or her unfit to practice architecture;
  • Any use of a schedule I controlled substance, as defined in section 18-18-203, C.R.S.;
  • Violation of the notification requirements in section 12-25-312;
  • Failure to pay a fine assessed under this part 3;
  • Failure to report to the board any architect known to have violated any provision of this article or any board order or rule or regulation;
  • Fraud or deceit in the practice of architecture;
  • Mental incompetency;
  • Making or offering to make any gift (other than a gift of nominal value such as reasonable entertainment or hospitality), donation, payment, or other valuable consideration to influence a prospective or existing client or employer regarding the employment of the architect; except that nothing in this paragraph (p) shall restrict an employer’s ability to reward an employee for work obtained or performed;
  • Selling or fraudulently obtaining or furnishing a license or renewal of a license to practice architecture;
  • Engaging in conduct that is intended or reasonably might be expected to mislead the public into believing that the person is an architect; or
  • Engaging in the practice of an architect as a corporation or partnership or group of persons, unless such entity meets the requirements of section 12-25-304.

When a complaint or investigation discloses an instance of misconduct that, in the opinion of the board, does not warrant formal action by the board but that should not be dismissed as being without merit, a letter of admonition may be issued and sent, by certified mail, to the licensee.  When a letter of admonition is sent by the board, by certified mail, to a licensee, such licensee shall be advised that he or she has the right to request in writing, within twenty days after receipt of the letter, that formal disciplinary proceedings be initiated to adjudicate the propriety of the conduct upon which the letter of admonition is based.  If the request for adjudication is timely made, the letter of admonition shall be deemed vacated, and the matter shall be processed by means of formal disciplinary proceedings.  When a complaint or investigation discloses an instance of conduct that does not warrant formal action by the board and, in the opinion of the board, the complaint should be dismissed, but the board has noticed indications of possible errant conduct by the licensee that could lead to serious consequences if not corrected, a confidential letter of concern may be issued and sent to the licensee.  Any disciplinary action in another state or jurisdiction on grounds substantially similar to those that would constitute a violation under this part 3 shall be prima facie evidence of grounds for disciplinary action, including denial of licensure, under this section.

In addition to the penalties provided for in subsection (2) of this section, any person violating any provision of this part 3 or any standards or rules promulgated pursuant to this part 3 may be punished upon a finding of misconduct by the board, made pursuant to article 4 of title 24, C.R.S.  In an administrative proceeding against a licensee, the board may impose a fine of not more than five thousand dollars.  All fines collected pursuant to this section shall be transferred to the state treasurer, who shall credit such moneys to the general fund.  If, as a result of a proceeding held pursuant to article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., the board determines that a person licensed to practice architecture pursuant to this part 3 has acted in such a manner as to be subject to disciplinary action, the board may, in lieu of or in addition to other forms of disciplinary action that may be authorized by this section, require a licensee to take courses of training or education relating to his or her profession.  The board shall determine the conditions that may be imposed on such licensee, including, but not limited to, the type and number of hours of training or education.  All training or education courses are subject to approval by the board, and the licensee shall be required to furnish satisfactory proof of completion of any such training or education.

C.R.S. 12-25-309 provides that the board upon its own motion may, and upon the receipt of a signed complaint in writing from any person shall, investigate the activities of any licensee or other person that present grounds for disciplinary action as specified in this part 3.  Disciplinary hearings shall be conducted by the board or by an administrative law judge appointed pursuant to part 10 of article 30 of title 24, C.R.S., and shall be held in the manner prescribed in article 4 of title 24, C.R.S.  The board or an administrative law judge shall have the power to administer oaths, take affirmations of witnesses, and issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of all relevant papers, books, records, documentary evidence, and materials in any hearing, investigation, accusation, or other matter coming before the board.

Upon failure of any witness to comply with such subpoena or process, the district court of the county in which the subpoenaed person or licensee resides or conducts business, upon application by the board or director of the division of registrations within the department of regulatory agencies with notice to the subpoenaed person or licensee, may issue to the person or licensee an order requiring that person or licensee to appear before the board or director; to produce the relevant papers, books, records, documentary evidence, or materials if so ordered; or to give evidence touching the matter under investigation or in question.  Failure to obey the order of the court may be punished by the court as a contempt of court.

The board may, in the name of the people of the state of Colorado, through the attorney general of the state of Colorado, apply for an injunction in any court of competent jurisdiction to enjoin any person from committing any act declared to be a misdemeanor by this part 3.  In order to obtain such injunction the board need not prove irreparable injury.  The court of appeals shall have initial jurisdiction to review all final actions and orders of the board that are subject to judicial review. Such proceedings shall be conducted in accordance with section 24-4-106 (11), C.R.S.  When a complaint or an investigation discloses an instance of misconduct that, in the opinion of the board, warrants formal action, the complaint shall not be resolved by a deferred settlement, action, judgment, or prosecution.

Pursuant to C.R.S. 12-25-309.5, the board, on its own motion or upon application, at any time after the imposition of any discipline as provided in this section, may reconsider its prior action and reinstate or restore such license or terminate probation or reduce the severity of its prior disciplinary action.  The taking of any such further action, or the holding of a hearing with respect thereto, shall rest in the sole discretion of the board.

C.R.S. 12-25-310 provides that an applicant shall submit an application that includes evidence of education and practical experience as required by section 12-25-314 and the rules of the board.  Such application shall also include a signed statement that the applicant has never been denied licensure as an architect or been disciplined with regard to the practice of architecture or practiced architecture in violation of the law.  If the board determines that an applicant has committed any of the acts specified as grounds for discipline under section 12-25-308 (1), it may deny an application for examination or licensure.  If the applicant has not complied with subsection (3) of this section, the board shall deny an application for examination or licensure.  When the board is reviewing or considering conviction of a crime, it shall be governed by section 24-5-101, C.R.S.  No licensee whose license is revoked shall be allowed to apply for licensure earlier than two years after the effective date of the revocation.  C.R.S. 12-25-313To be eligible for licensing as an architect, an applicant shall provide documentation of technical competence.

Pursuant to C.R.S. 12-25-314, the board shall set minimum educational and experience requirements for applicants.  The board may require no more than three years of practical experience under the direct supervision of a licensed architect or an architect exempt under the provisions of section 12-25-303 (4) and either a professional degree from a program accredited by the national architectural accrediting board or its successor; or substantially equivalent education or experience approved by the board, with the board requiring no more than five years of such education and experience; or no more than ten years of practical experience under the direct supervision of a licensed architect or an architect exempt under the provisions of section 12-25-303 or a combination of such practical experience and education, which combination shall not exceed ten years.

Up to one year of the required experience may be in on-site building construction operations, physical analyses of existing buildings, or teaching or research in a program accredited by the national architectural accreditation board or its successor.  Full credit shall be given for education obtained in four-year baccalaureate programs in architecture or environmental design.  An applicant shall pass an examination or examinations developed or adopted by the board. The board shall ensure that the passing score for any examination is set to measure the level of minimum competency.  The examination shall be given at least twice a year.  The board shall designate a time and location for examinations and shall notify applicants of this time and location in a timely fashion and, as necessary, may contract for assistance in administering the examination.

An applicant for licensure by endorsement shall hold a license in good standing in a jurisdiction requiring qualifications substantially equivalent to those currently required for licensure by examination as provided in section 12-25-310 (1) and subsections (1) and (2) of this section and shall file an application as prescribed by the board.  The board shall provide procedures for an applicant to apply directly to the board.  The board may also provide an alternative application procedure so that an applicant may, at his or her option, instead apply to a national clearinghouse designated by the board.  The national clearinghouse shall then forward the application to the board.

C.R.S. 12-25-315 provides that the board shall issue a license whenever an applicant for a license to practice architecture in Colorado successfully qualifies for such license as provided in this part 3.  An architect may renew a license by paying to the board the license renewal fee established pursuant to section 24-34-105, C.R.S., and the board shall then issue a certificate of renewal.  The license of any architect shall be renewed or reinstated pursuant to a schedule established by the director of the division of registrations within the department of regulatory agencies and shall be renewed or reinstated pursuant to section 24-34-102 (8), C.R.S.  The director of the division of registrations within the department of regulatory agencies may establish renewal fees and delinquency fees for reinstatement pursuant to section 24-34-105, C.R.S.  If a person fails to renew his/her license pursuant to the schedule established by the director of the division of registrations, such license shall expire.  Any person whose license has expired shall be subject to the penalties provided in this part 3 or section 24-34-102 (8), C.R.S.

Pursuant to C.R.S. 12-25-318, any member of the board, any member of the board’s staff, any person acting as a witness or consultant to the board, any witness testifying in a proceeding authorized under this part 3, and any person who lodges a complaint pursuant to this part 3 shall be immune from liability in any civil action brought against him/her for acts occurring while acting in his/her capacity as board member, staff, consultant, or witness, respectively, if such individual was acting in good faith within the scope of his/her respective capacity, made a reasonable effort to obtain the facts of the matter as to which s/he acted, and acted in the reasonable belief that the action taken by him/her was warranted by the facts.  A person participating in good faith in lodging a complaint or participating in any investigative or administrative proceeding pursuant to this part 3 shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability that may result from such participation.


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