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Construction Law

Mike Thal

 

Responding to an ROC Complaint

A new policy statement issued by the ROC provides useful clarification of what constitutes a timely response to a workmanship or non-payment complaint.

Kent Lang

Responding to a Registrar of Contractors complaint is governed by specific requirements and deadlines set forth in Arizona law. To clarify those requirements, the ROC has issued “Substantive Policy Statement 2015.01: Filing Timely Answers under A.R.S. § 32-1155.”

Substantive Policy Statements are not designed to impose additional requirements or penalties; rather, they are intended to clarify existing law.

The Policy Statement covers:

  • how the date of service is calculated when the ROC serves a citation and complaint by mail;

  • the contractor’s general duty to file a written answer;

  • specific issues that arise when determining the date on which the licensee’s written answer is due; and

  • the question of whether mailing a written answer to the ROC has the same legal effect as filing a written answer with the ROC.

  Construction Advisor

This article appeared in the January 2016 issue of "The Construction Advisor" published by Lang & Klain, P.C.


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Highlights

Following are the highlights, which we have adapted from the Executive Summary contained in the statement.

  • Most citations issued by the ROC are served by mail.

  • Service of a citation and complaint will be considered to have been completed five days after it is mailed to the licensed contractor.

  • If the ROC issues a citation, the contractor must file a written answer.

  • From the date of service of the citation (i.e., five days after the mailing date), the contractor has only 10 calendar days – i.e., not business days – to file a written answer.

  • A phone call does not count as a contractor’s answer. The answer must be in writing.

  • The written answer must be filed with – i.e., received by – the ROC within the 10-day statutory deadline. Therefore, depositing the written answer in the mail within the 10-day deadline does not, by itself, fulfill the 10-day deadline. (Note: Mailing the answer five days before the deadline does not guarantee that the ROC will actually receive your answer in a timely fashion.)

  • The ROC is not allowed to extend the statutory 10-day deadline for filing a written answer.

  • If a mailed answer is not received by the ROC within the 10-day deadline, the answer must be considered late.

  • If the contractor fails to file a written answer within 10 days after service, that failure shall be deemed as an admission that the contractor committed the act or acts charged in the complaint.

Contractors must understand that the ROC will mail the citation and complaint to the most recent address that the contractor has provided to the ROC. If a contractor has moved, or if the address is incorrect, a contractor may lose its license merely because it did not receive timely notice of the citation and complaint. Visit the ROC website today and check your address.

If you have questions about the Policy Statement or responding to an ROC complaint, please call Kent Lang or Mike Thal at 480-947-1911.