(a) The board may levy and collect administrative fines not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each violation or revoke or suspend the license of any licensee who, in the opinion of the board, has committed fraud or deceit in obtaining a license required by this chapter, who has been guilty of gross negligence, incompetence, or misconduct in the practice of residential home building, who has engaged in the business of residential home building outside the scope of the license, or who has violated this chapter or a board rule. Should the board establish or adopt, or both, standards of practice for residential home builders within the state, as provided in Section 34-14A-12, the board may suspend the license of any licensee who, in the opinion of the board, has committed a violation of the standards of practice and may impose any other disciplinary sanctions authorized pursuant to this chapter.
(b) An original homeowner may file a consumer complaint alleging a violation of this section against any licensee hereunder. Consumer complaints shall be made in writing and sworn to by the person making the consumer complaint and shall be submitted to the executive director of the board within six years of the date of substantial completion of construction or within six years of the date the original homeowner took possession of the residence.
(c) An investigation may be initiated upon receipt of a consumer complaint or may be initiated by the board. The board may resolve violations by agreement between the board and the licensee with or without the filing of a formal administrative summons and complaint.
(d) With the consent of the licensee, the board may conduct an informal hearing without meeting the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act if no action is taken other than a reprimand, public or private.
(e) The charges, unless dismissed without hearing by the board as unfounded or trivial, shall be heard within three months after the filing of an administrative summons and complaint by the board’s executive director.
(f) A copy of the charges, with notice of the time and place of the hearing, shall be served on the licensee charged at least 15 days before the hearing date.
(g) The licensee charged may appear personally and may be represented by counsel. He or she may cross-examine witnesses against him or her and may produce evidence and witnesses in his or her defense.
(h) If, after hearing, the board votes to revoke or suspend the license of, or impose a fine upon, the licensee charged on the basis of fraud or deceit in obtaining his or her license or gross negligence, incompetence, or misconduct in the practice of residential home building, a violation of this chapter or board rule, or a violation of the standards of practice, it shall so order, and the board may impose and collect the actual costs of the hearing.
(i) The licensee may, within 30 days from the date of receipt or service of the order, file with the board written notice of his or her intention to appeal from the order of the board. Appeals from orders of the board shall be to the circuit court with jurisdiction of licensee’s residence, or if the licensee is out of state, then to the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, for a determination by the court whether the decision of the board is supported by substantial evidence. If the court so finds, it shall affirm the action of the board.
(j) The board may issue a license to a licensee whose license has been revoked, and may reinstate a suspended license prior to the end of the suspension period, if four or more members of the board vote in favor of the issuance or reinstatement.
(k) In addition to any other disciplinary action authorized pursuant to this section, the board may require a licensee to successfully complete education requirements to be determined by the for a violation of this chapter or a board rule. (Acts 1992, No. 92-608, p. 1282, § 8; Acts 1997, No. 97-250, § 3; Acts 2002, No. 02-72; Acts 2006, No. 06-105,