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Complaints
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Background
The Oregon State Landscape Architect Board (OSLAB) registers Landscape Architects and Landscape Architects in Training and regulates the practice of Landscape Architecture in Oregon.  The Board’s authority is found in Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 671.310 to 671.459 and Oregon Administrative Rule Chapter 804.  OSLAB’s primary mandate is to protect public health, safety, and welfare by enforcing the statute and rules, and its responsibilities include the review of complaints alleging statutory or rule violations.  Complaints filed with OSLAB have most commonly focused on allegations of practice without registration, use of title without registration, failure to register a business offering to provide or providing Landscape Architecture services, failure to use a registered Landscape Architect for public projects, negligence or incompetence by a registrant in practice, or registrant failure to adhere to the Code of Professional Conduct.  Note that OSLAB generally has no jurisdiction over fee disputes between a registered Landscape Architect and other parties.​

Some key statutory provisions related to OSLAB are as follows:

 

ORS 671.316 (1):  Except as provided in this section, unless an individual is registered as a landscape architect by the State Landscape Architect Board, the individual may not engage in the practice of landscape architecture. Unless an individual is registered as a landscape architect by the board, the individual may not use the title of “landscape architect,” “registered landscape architect” or “landscape architectural designer” or use other titles or any words, letters, figures, signs, cards, advertisements, symbols or other devices to represent that the individual or a business associated with the individual is authorized to practice landscape architecture.

 

ORS 671.318:  A business may not provide landscape architecture services unless the work is under the full authority and responsible charge of a registered landscape architect who is also an owner or officer of the business. A business shall file a form with the State Landscape Architect Board identifying responsible landscape architects by name and registration number. The filing must also describe the services that the business is offering to the public. The filing must be in a form prescribed by the board. The business shall notify the board in writing no later than 30 days after a change of registered owners or officers or a change of business name or address.

 

671.393:  The State Landscape Architect Board shall cause to be prepared and shall by rule adopt a code of professional conduct which shall be known in writing to every landscape architect and applicant for registration under ORS 671.310 to 671.459… {Code of Professional Conduct is in OAR 804 Division 50.}

 

671.404: Subject to ORS chapter 183, the State Landscape Architect Board may refuse to register any applicant, may refuse to renew the registration of any registered landscape architect or landscape architect in training, or may suspend for a period not exceeding one year or revoke the registration of any registered landscape architect or landscape architect in training if the board finds that the applicant or registrant is a person who: {has been dishonest, fraudulent, or deceitful, been negligent in practice, improperly stamped or signed work, violated ethical or professional standards, or willfully evaded or attempted to evade a local or state law or rule applicable to construction of landscapes or other site features, as further specified in statute.}

 

671.412: (1) The state or a political subdivision may contract for landscape architecture service projects only with registered landscape architects, as defined in ORS 671.310.  (2) Drawings, plans, specifications, estimates and construction observation for public works of the state or a political subdivision that require landscape architecture services must be prepared by, or under the direct supervision of, a landscape architect registered in an appropriate category. 

 
Filing a Complaint
Any person (complainant) may submit a complaint against any individual or business (respondent). A complaint can be filed by a registrant of the Board or a concerned citizen.  The complaint can be filed against a registrant of the Board or a non-registrant. Please be advised that the Board represents the public welfare as a whole, not the complainant as in an attorney-client relationship. Additionally, OSLAB may initiate its own compliant against a person or business if information becomes available to the Board indicating a potential violation.​

If you feel that a violation of the Landscape Architecture statute or associated rules has occurred, then the Board encourages you to submit a formal complaint so that the Board may investigate.  Complaints can be submitted to the attention of the Board in the following ways:

 

1. By completing the Board’s complaint form​.  Please complete as instructed, print, sign, date, and send to the Board office with any supporting information. (The form requires Adobe Reader​ which is free and which can be downloaded from Adobe.)

 

2. By requesting a complaint form from the Board office.  W​hen completed, sign, date, and send to the Board office with any supporting information. (See Contact Us section of this website.)  

Your complaint will NOT be processed if the penalty of perjury statement is not signed. The Board office will return the complaint form to you with a request that you review, sign and resubmit. (ORS 671.445) 
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Civil Immunity and Confidentiality for the Complainant
Statute provides that a person who files a complaint in good faith with OSLAB is immune from an action for civil damages as a result of that filing action.  The Board may also be able to limit disclosure of the name of a person filing a complaint, if confidentiality is specifically requested and unless the complainant’s testimony is needed as part of a Board disciplinary proceeding.  ORS 671.447 provides that:

A person that reports or supplies information in good faith to the State Landscape Architect Board or to an advisory committee assisting the board is immune from an action for civil damages as a result thereof. The board or committee shall not disclose the name of a person requesting confidentiality unless the testimony of the person is required as part of a board disciplinary proceeding.


Regarding confidentiality, the limitation on disclosure of the complainant’s name under ORS 671.447 will not apply if the complainant does not specifically request confidentiality.  If you do request this confidentiality, the Board will seek to comply with your request to the extent allowed under ORS 671.447 and Oregon’s Public Records Law.


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Complaint Process 
Board staff will acknowledge complaints received. Complaint processing procedures are outlined in the Complaint process flowchart​. If you have questions about filing a complaint or other aspects of the Board’s complaint process, please contact the Board Office. See the “Contact Us” section of this website.

Please be advised that Board review of a complaint may or m​ay not result in formal charges as provided in ORS 671.404 and 671.408.  The Board can consider a range of non-disciplinary actions (e.g., inconclusive information, allegations unfounded, outreach letter, letter of concern) and disciplinary actions (e.g., letter of reprimand, civil penalty, extra continuing education, require peer review, probation, suspension, restriction, revocation) based upon the investigation findings.  When the Board determines that disciplinary action is required, the Board will issue the respondent a Notice of Intent for disciplinary action.  Such notices are governed by the Oregon Administrative Procedures Act, namely ORS 183.415.  The Notice of Intent informs the respondent of the actions that are in violation of OSLAB’s regulatory authority, the proposed disciplinary action(s), and his/her rights to a formal hearing.  


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