Filing a Complaint
The Arkansas State Board of Architects, Landscape Architects, and Interior Designers (ASBALAID) is authorized under § 17-15-101 to regulate, enforce, and investigate alleged violations of its statutes and rules by registered and non-registered entities. The Board has the power to levy fines, to suspend registration, to revoke registration, and/or other appropriate measures upon any individual and/or company found guilty of any violation.
Common violations committed by registered design professionals include, but are not limited to, plan stamping, aiding and abetting, practicing with a lapsed registration, code of conduct violations, and offering or performing design services without holding valid registration in the state of Arkansas. Non-registered individuals usually commit violations such as engaging in the unlicensed practice and the illegal advertisement of design services.
The Board does not have jurisdiction over contractual disputes involving registrants. State law prohibits Board members or staff from offering legal advice and/or legal opinions. If you have suffered or may suffer civil wrongs such as significant monetary loss, you may want to contact private counsel to discuss your legal civil rights and remedies.
The Complaint Process
After an official written complaint has been filed, the complainant will receive written confirmation from the Board indicating the complaint was received. The complaint is reviewed by the Executive Director to determine if it is within the Board’s jurisdiction or if further investigation and information is required.
If the complaint appears to be within the jurisdiction of the Board, the respondent will be sent a letter via certified mail offering the entity an opportunity to provide a written response to the allegation. Once a response is received, the case information, including the original complaint and response, is presented to the Board’s Complaint Review Committee for evaluation and recommendations on how to proceed with the investigation. This process could take a few days, weeks, or perhaps months, depending on the complexity of the case.
Upon completion of the investigation, the Board has the option to close the case citing no violation, settle the matter informally, gather further information, or file formal charges against the design professional.
If charges are filed, the respondent will receive a letter by certified mail outlining the specific charges and offered the opportunity to sign a settlement agreement and pay the required fine. If a hearing is not requested, the Board will review the evidence, decide the appropriate disciplinary action, and issue a final order.
Disciplinary action taken may include a monetary fine, reprimand, suspension, or revocation of registration in the state of Arkansas.
Alternatives to Filing a Complaint with the Board
- Discuss the issue with the architect or their supervisor
- Small Claims Court
- Arbitration or mediation
- Contact the Better Business Bureau
What the Board Does Not Investigate
Be advised that the Board generally does not become involved in contractual matters or financial disputes between architects, landscape architects, or registered interior designers and a client, unless it involves an allegation that services were billed for but were not rendered, or if there is evidence of fraud. Usually, these issues are considered civil matters and should be pursued in a court of law.
Additionally, the Board does not establish, set, or review costs and fees for architectural, landscape architectural, or interior design services. Fees and costs are a private business matter between the design professional and a client. However, if wrongdoing by an architect, landscape architect or registered interior designer is proven in a court of law, send the Board a certified copy of the order issued by the Court and the Board will review the matter.
How to File a Complaint
All complaints against licensed or non-licensed design professionals must be made in writing. Complaints may be mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to the Board’s executive director, or by utilizing our complaint form. Complaints must contain a detailed factual summary of the issue along with supporting documentation, such as contracts, invoices, correspondence, letterhead, business cards, construction documents, and photos.