The lawyers with Chelle Law provide an attorney for Arizona Registrar issues to represent a contractor with a case before the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). The AZ Registrar of Contractors (ROC) licenses and regulates business related to general and specialty residential and commercial contractors that provide services in Arizona. The ROC investigates complaints from consumers who contact ROC with construction and contractor concerns, and attempts to resolve complaints against a licensed contractor and unlicensed entities. The ROC issues licenses to:
- Commercial Engineering Contracting.
- General Commercial Contracting.
- Residential Contracting.
- Specialty Residential Contracting.
- General Dual Engineering Contracting.
- Specialty Dual License Contracting.
- Specialty Commercial Contracting.
ROC Complaint Legal Process
You may need to contact an attorney before submitting a response, if the Registrar of Contractors initiates an investigation due to service issues or business disputes. If a complaint is filed, it’s then assigned to an Investigator and a construction jobsite inspection may be scheduled. If that is the case, after completing a jobsite inspection, an investigator finds the work is below industry standards a Written Directive may be issued concerning the below average practice applications. This directive states work must be corrected within 15 days. If the contractor doesn’t respond to the ROC or if the services provided are not corrected, a Compliance Inspection will be held. When a Compliance Inspection shows they have still failed to correct work in the Written Directive the ROC Legal Department then receives the complaint. The ROC Legal Department will then set an administrative hearing with the Office of Administrative Hearings after a written response from the licensee.
The Complaint Process in Arizona
First, the ROC receives a complaint and vets it to ensure it’s complete. They then assign the complain to an ROC investigator who schedules an inspection of the jobsite (or determine if the ROC contract requirements have been met). Once the inspector is done at a jobsite and work meets minimum industry standards the ROC will dismiss the complaint. This means the case is closed. However, if the investigator finds work hasn’t met minimum industry standards, the investigator then issues a written directive. In this written directive, the corrective work period must be at least 15 days.
It is then up to the complainant to indicate in writing if the written directive has been met and the issues resolved. When this is presented to the investigation, the case is closed. However, if the complainant doesn’t indicate in writing the directive is met and issues resolved, a compliance inspection will be scheduled. When the compliance inspection is done, and if the investigator finds the written directive has been met and issues resolved, the ROC closes the case. However, if the investigator finds the written directive hasn’t been met and the issues resolved a draft, called a pencil cite, is made and forwarded to ROC’s legal department for processing.
Construction Contract Requirement Violations
Arizona law requires contractors performing work for over $1,000 under his or her license must sign a contract before performance begins. This applies both to residential and commercial business regarding construction. The ROC requires each external contract contain a number of key elements in order to be legal and binding. If the required elements are missing the Registrar Contractors may take action against the contractor and initiate a case which could lead to a citation. There are specific contract elements that must be in the contract. A contract always needs to contain these elements or you could run into trouble with the ROC. These items are:
- The contract must contain the name and business license of the contractor
- It must have the contractor’s license number included
- The job owner’s name and mailing address
- The job owner’s address and/or legal description of the jobsite
- The date of the contract – when the contract on the job was entered
- The estimated date of completion of the job
- A description of the work to be done
- The total amount owed for the job including taxes
- The amount of any deposit on the job
- The timing and amount of progress payments
- Notice that the property owner can fine a written complaint for an alleged violation
ROC Missing Contract Elements
When there are contract omissions, it can have serious ramifications for the contractor’s license and in fact can trigger ROC action. Every single contract element listed above needs to be on the contract; otherwise you are in violation of the contracting statutes of Arizona. If any one of the elements are missing, the license can and will have disciplinary actions taken. In many cases, the license is suspended temporarily. But it can be worse, depending on the circumstances, such as if contact omissions accompany job site violations. In some cases, the contractor may have to go to an administrative hearing in front of the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings if contract violations are found.
Registrar of Contractors OAH Hearing
An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) presides over the AZ Office of Administrative Hearings hearing. These hearings aren’t as formal as a trial, but they are similar in practice. Each party presents evidence using documents or sworn testimony. The parties provide an opening statement and a closing argument which should explain why the judge should rule one way or the other. Your attorney can cross examine witnesses and testify on her own behalf. After the hearing, the ALJ will review the transcripts, evidence and issues a recommendation to the Arizona Registrar Contractors. There are some specific ROC hearing requirements that must be followed.
If you have questions for our Arizona Registrar of Contractors Attorney ,our hearing practice areas or would like to learn more about the services we offer, contact Chelle Law today.