FILING A COMPLAINT
The Alabama Board for Registration of Architects is authorized
under §34-2-34 to regulate, enforce and investigate alleged
violations of its statutes and rules by architects and
non-architects. The Board has the power to levy fines, to
suspend registration, to revoke registration, and/or other
appropriate measures upon any architect found guilty of any
Common violations committed by architects are plan stamping,
aiding and abetting, practicing with a lapsed license, code of
conduct violations, and offering or performing architectural
services without holding a registration to do so. Non-architects
usually commit violations such as engaging in the unlicensed
practice of architecture and the illegal advertisement of
The Board does not have jurisdiction over contractual disputes
involving registrants. State law prohibits us from giving you
legal advice, legal opinions, or action as a ‘private’ attorney.
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. If it is determined
the complaint falls under the purview of the Board and that there
may be cause to believe that a violation of the Board's statutes or regulations
has occurred, a file is opened and an investigation commenced. The investigative
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 architect.
If charges are filed, the architect 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 it has and decide the appropriate
disciplinary action and issue a Final Order.
Disciplinary action taken against an architect may include a
monetary fine, reprimand, suspension, or revocation of his/her
The Board recently gained statutory authority over unlicensed persons
practicing architecture and, therefore, can take
action against them.
Alternatives to Filing a Complaint with the Board
1. Discuss the issue with the architect or their supervisor
2. Small Claims Court
3. Arbitration or mediation
4. Contact the Better Business Bureau
5. File an Ethics Complaint with the American Institute of
if the individual is a member of the AIA.
What the Board Does Not Investigate
Be advised that the Board generally does not become involved in
contractual matters or financial disputes between an architect
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 services. Architectural fees and
costs are a private business matter between an architect and a
client. However, if wrongdoing by an architect 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 architects or non-architects must be
made in writing.
Complaints may be mailed,
faxed, or e-mailed to the Board’s Executive Director, or by
utilizing our on-line 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, photos, etc.