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Complaint & Enforcement

Ohio’s State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Surveyors is charged with administering Ohio Revised Code Chapter 4733 and Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 4733. In addition to evaluating candidates for registration and examinations, the Board investigates alleged violations of the registration law.

Although the Board cannot represent individuals who file complaints, we review all complaints in a timely manner in order to make sure that your complaint is processed and appropriate action taken. Violations of the registration law may include:

  • Illegal practice of engineering or surveying,
  • Aiding and abetting the illegal practice of engineering or surveying,
  • Offering engineering or surveying services without a certificate of authorization,
  • Plan stamping,
  • Code of ethics violations,
  • Violations of the minimum standards for boundary surveys or mortgage surveys, and
  • Other violations of the Board’s registration laws or rules.

Matters such as boundary disputes and failure to fulfill contractual obligations are not within the jurisdiction of the Board and require legal resolution. Likewise, the Board has no power to order restitution and does not establish or review costs for professional services. If wrongdoing by an Ohio registrant is proven in court, send the Board a certified copy of the order issued by the Court.

How to File a Complaint

Anyone may file a complaint. Board policy is that all complaints must be made in writing and should contain sufficient factual evidence to indicate a clear violation of the registration law. Include with your complaint as much factual evidence as possible; including copies of plans, plats, pictures, maps, documents, contracts and the names, addresses and phone numbers of potential witnesses. Any documents received with your complaint will not be returned. Most documents received by the Board are public records and subject to Ohio’s Public Records Act. This law requires nearly all public records to be available for inspection by anyone, upon reasonable request.

State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Surveyors
77 S High St Ste 2472
Columbus Ohio 43215

What Happens After a Complaint is Received?

After you file a complaint you will receive written confirmation from the Board that your complaint was received. The complaint is reviewed by the Board enforcement staff to determine if further investigation is required. The respondent is often sent a copy of the complaint and given 20 days to respond to the allegation. If the respondent is unwilling to cooperate or the allegation requires the Board attention, the complaint is presented to the Board and a formal investigation is opened.

Once a formal investigation is opened, the enforcement staff proceeds to gather all relevant information and conduct interviews of the witnesses. When the investigation is completed, the enforcement staff reviews the data to determine if charges should be filed with the Board Secretary. If charges are filed, the Board reviews the charge and may prefer formal charges against the respondent and issue a Charge and Notice of Opportunity for Hearing.

If a hearing is not requested, the Board reviews the evidence and decides on a appropriate disciplinary action and issues a Final Order. If a hearing is requested, a hearing is scheduled before a Hearing Officer. After hearing the evidence, the Hearing Officer issues a Report and Recommendations to the Board. The Board reviews the Hearing Officer Report and Recommendations and either accepts, rejects or modifies the Report and Recommendations. The Board then decides on the appropriate disciplinary action and issues a Final Order.

Disciplinary action taken against registrants may include:

  • Settlement Agreement
  • Reprimand
  • Probation
  • Limitation on registration
  • Fine
  • Suspension
  • Revocation

The Board's Final Orders can be appealed to the Court of Common Pleas and subsequent appeals can be made to the Court of Appeals and the Ohio Supreme Court. The Board does not have jurisdiction over unlicensed persons practicing engineering or surveying, and therefore cannot take disciplinary action against them. However, after an investigation, the Board may seek a settlement agreement, an injunction or criminal prosecution to prohibit further unlicensed activity.