In Louisiana, regulation of architects is found in Chapter 3, Title 37 of Louisiana Revised Statutes. Pursuant to La. R.S. 37:141, the practice of architecture in state of Louisiana is reserved to those persons who has proper qualifications and registered by the State Board of Architectural Examiners in order to safeguard life, health, and property and to promote the public welfare.
La. R.S. 37:145 provides that no person should practice architecture in the state of Louisiana or use the title architect, or any term derived there from, or display or use any title, sign, advertisement, or other device to indicate that such person practices or offers to practice architecture, or renders architectural services, or is an architect, unless such person has secured from the board a certificate of registration and license. Further, persons licensed by the board to practice architecture is required to earn annually up to twelve hours of board-approved continuing education pertaining to building design in connection with public health, safety, or welfare.
Pursuant to La. R.S. 37:146, a person can practice architecture, only if s/he has passed an examination approved by the board. For the purpose of qualifying for the examination, the applicant should present satisfactory evidence to the board that he:
- is of good moral character.
- has paid his debt to society if s/he has ever been convicted of a felony.
- holds a professional degree from a school whose curriculum has been accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board.
- is enrolled in the Intern Development Program administered by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards.
La. R.S. 37:146.1 provides that to obtain an initial license to practice architecture in Louisiana, an applicant should present satisfactory evidence to the board of practical experience of training or experience in the field of architecture. Pursuant to La. R.S. 37:147, the board makes all necessary rules and regulations governing the time, place, and method of conducting examinations and the grading of them, and prescribe the types of examinations to be given. The examination should consist of technical and professional subjects that the board may prescribe.
La. R.S. 37:148 states that upon application and the payment of a fee equivalent to that required for written examination and certificate and upon certification issued by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, the board may issue a certificate of registration and license to practice the profession of architecture in Louisiana state to any person who has passed a standard National Council of Architectural Registration Boards’ examination.
Pursuant to La. R.S. 37:152, the name of the architect followed by the title, architect should appear on every publication, announcement, and letterhead used by a person practicing architecture in connection with his practice. Every registered architect should have a seal or stamp. This should contain his name, the words – Registered Architect, State of Louisiana, and the architect’s license number. All contract drawings and specifications issued by the architect for use should be stamped or sealed. The removal of an architect’s seal or stamp, and/or use of an architect’s plans, unless otherwise provided by law or by written approval of the architect, is subject to the penalties. No architect should affix his/her seal or stamp or permit it to be affixed to any specification, drawing, or other related document which was not prepared either by him/her or under his/her responsible supervision.
La. R.S. 37:153 provides that the board may revoke, rescind, or suspend the certificate or reprimand, admonish, or fine any registrant or certificate holder if s/he has committed any of the following acts:
- engaging in any fraud, deceit, gross incompetence, dishonesty, misrepresentation, misconduct, or gross negligence in the practice of architecture.
- affixing his/her seal, stamp, or name to any specification, drawing or other related document which was not prepared by the architect or under his/her responsible supervision and control, or permitting his/her stamp, or name to be affixed to any such document.
- using his/her seal or stamp or engaging in any other act constituting the practice of architecture at a time when his/her certificate of registration is suspended or revoked, or at a time when his/her current renewal has not been obtained in accordance with the law.
- conviction of a felony.
- willfully misleading or defrauding any person employing him/her as an architect.
- violating the provisions of Chapter three or any lawful rule or regulation adopted by the board pursuant to law.
- practicing any fraud, deceit, material misstatement, or perjury in applying for a certificate of licensure or registration or in taking any examination or in applying for any renewal certificate.
- being convicted of a crime or entering a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to any criminal charge an element of which is fraud or which arises out of such individual’s practice of architecture.
- the refusal of the licensing authority of another state, territory, or district of the U.S. to issue or renew a license, permit, or certificate to practice architecture, or the revocation or suspension or other restriction imposed on a license, permit, or certificate issued by such licensing authority, on the grounds other than non-payment of a registration fee.
- providing false testimony before the board.
- failing to provide, within thirty calendar days of mailing the notice by certified mail, information requested by the executive director as a result of a formal complaint to the board alleging a violation of Chapter three.
- using any advertising or solicitation which is false or misleading.
Proceedings under this Section are begun by any person filing a written complaint with the board against the registrant or certificate holder in the form of a sworn affidavit. Additionally, the board, upon its own motion, may investigate the actions of any registrant or certificate holder and file a complaint against him. If in the opinion of the board, a hearing is warranted, a time and place for the hearing of the charges should be fixed by the board.
At the hearing the registrant or certificate holder against whom a complaint has been filed has the right to cross-examine witnesses against him, to produce witnesses in his defense, and to appear personally or by counsel. The board may require the production of books, papers, or other documents and may issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses to testify and to produce any relevant books, papers, or other documents in their possession before the board in any proceeding concerning any violation.
Any registrant or certificate holder who has been subjected to disciplinary action by the board has the right to appeal to the district court of the parish in which the hearing was held. The appeal will be governed by the Administrative Procedure Act.
Any person, corporation, company, partnership, firm, business entity, or individual will be guilty of a misdemeanor if s/he:
- practice, or offer to practice, architecture in the state without being certified in accordance with the provisions of Chapter three, or
- any person presenting or attempting to use as his own the certificate of registration or the seal of another, or
- any person who gives any false or forged evidence of any kind to the board, or to any member thereof, in obtaining a certificate of registration, or
- any person who falsely impersonate any other registrant or certificate holder of like or different name, or
- any person who attempts to use an expired or revoked certificate of registration, or
- any person, applicant, registrant, or certificate holder who violates any of the provisions of Chapter three.
An individual who violates any part of Chapter three, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than three hundred dollars, nor more than fifteen hundred dollars, or be imprisoned for a period not to exceed three months, or both. Any person, other than an individual, who violates any provision of Chapter three, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than fifteen hundred dollars and not more than five thousand dollars.