2005 California Business and Professions Code Sections 8620-8666 Article 7. Disciplinary ProceedingsBUSINESS AND PROFESSIONS CODE
8620. The board may upon its own motion, and shall upon verified complaint in writing of any person, investigate the actions of any individual acting as a licensee, or making application for a license. After a hearing, the board may temporarily suspend or permanently revoke a license issued under this chapter if the holder, while a licensee or applicant, is guilty of or commits any one or more of the acts or omissions constituting grounds for disciplinary action. In addition to its authority to suspend or revoke a license, the board may assess a civil penalty as follows: (a) Upon the conclusion of a hearing held pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, if the proposed decision of the hearing officer is that the licensee is guilty of or has committed any one of the acts or omissions constituting grounds for disciplinary action, the proposed decision shall provide for the imposition of a suspension or for the revocation of the license. In this case, the board may impose the suspension or revocation. The board may also, in lieu of a suspension, assess a civil penalty. The licensee may express a preference for a form of discipline, but the board shall not be bound by any expression of preference. If a licensee elects to stipulate to a disciplinary action prior to an administrative hearing, the board may impose a civil penalty, in accordance with this section, in lieu of suspension. If a proposed stipulation is rejected by the board, it is null and void and does not constitute an admission of any violation charged. (b) The civil penalty shall not be more than five thousand dollars ($5,000) for an actual suspension of one to 19 days. (c) The civil penalty shall not be more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for an actual suspension of 20 to 45 days. (d) If a licensee is assessed the civil penalty in lieu of an actual suspension, the penalty shall be paid before the effective date of the decision. (e) If the civil penalty is not paid before the effective date of the suspension, the license shall be suspended until the penalty is paid or until the actual suspension is served. No civil penalty shall be assessed in lieu of any suspension which exceeds 45 days. With the exception of the proceedings on suspensions undertaken or on fines levied pursuant to Section 8617, the proceedings under this article shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, and the board shall have all the powers granted therein. In any order of suspension or revocation, the board may authorize the completion of any contract or work contracted for under terms and conditions set forth in the order. 8621. All complaints against licensees or registered companies shall be filed with the board within two years after the act or omission alleged as the ground for disciplinary action or, in the case of fraud, within four years after commission of the fraudulent act or omission. The board shall file any accusation within one year after the complaint has been filed with the board, except that with respect to an accusation alleging a violation of Section 8637, the accusation may be filed within two years after the discovery by the board of the alleged facts constituting the fraud or misrepresentation prohibited by the section. 8622. When a complaint is accepted for investigation of a registered company, the board, through an authorized representative, may inspect any or all properties on which a report has been issued pursuant to Section 8516 or a notice of completion has been issued pursuant to Section 8518 by the registered company to determine compliance with the provisions of this chapter and the rules and regulations issued thereunder. If the board determines the property or properties are not in compliance, a notice shall be sent to the registered company so stating. The registered company shall have 30 days from the receipt of the notice to bring such property into compliance, and it shall submit a new original report or completion notice or both and an inspection fee of not more than one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125) for each property inspected. If a subsequent reinspection is necessary, pursuant to the board's review of the new original report or notice or both, a commensurate reinspection fee shall also be charged. If the board's authorized representative makes no determination or determines the property is in compliance, no inspection fee shall be charged. The notice sent to the registered company shall inform the registered company that if it desires a hearing to contest the finding of noncompliance, the hearing shall be requested by written notice to the board within 20 days of receipt of the notice of noncompliance from the board. Where a hearing is not requested pursuant to this section, payment of any assessment shall not constitute an admission of any noncompliance charged. 8624. If the board suspends or revokes an operator's license and one or more branch offices are registered under the name of the operator, the suspension or revocation may be applied to each branch office. If the operator is the qualifying manager, a partner, responsible officer, or owner of a registered structural pest control company, the suspension or revocation may be applied to the company registration. The performance by any partnership, corporation, firm, association, or registered company of any act or omission constituting a cause for disciplinary action, likewise constitutes a cause for disciplinary action against any licensee who, at the time the act or omission occurred, was the qualifying manager, a partner, responsible officer, or owner of the partnership, corporation, firm, association, or registered company whether or not he or she had knowledge of, or participated in, the prohibited act or omission. 8625. The lapsing or suspension of a license or company registration by operation of law or by order or decision of the board or a court of law, or the voluntary surrender of a license or company registration shall not deprive the board of jurisdiction to proceed with any investigation of or action or disciplinary proceeding against such licensee or company, or to render a decision suspending or revoking such license or registration. 8632. The suspension or revocation of a license or a company registration as in this chapter provided may also be ordered in any action otherwise proper in any court involving the licensee's or a company's performance of a legal obligation as a licensee or registrant under this chapter. 8635. Departure from, or disregard of, plans or specifications in the performance of structural pest control work in any material respect, without consent of the owner or his duly authorized representative, is a ground for disciplinary action. 8636. Disregard and violation of the buildings laws of the state, or of any of its political subdivisions, or of the safety laws, labor laws, health laws, or compensation insurance laws of the state relating to the practice of structural pest control is a ground for disciplinary action. 8637. Misrepresentation of a material fact by the applicant in obtaining a license or company registration is a ground for disciplinary action. 8638. Failure on the part of a registered company to complete any operation or construction repairs for the price stated in the contract for such operation or construction repairs or in any modification of such contract is a ground for disciplinary action. 8639. Aiding or abetting an unlicensed individual or unregistered company to evade the provisions of this chapter or knowingly combining or conspiring with an unlicensed individual or unregistered company, or allowing one's license or company registration to be used by an unlicensed individual or unregistered company, or acting as agent or partner or associate, or otherwise, of an unlicensed individual or unregistered company to evade the provisions of this chapter is a ground for disciplinary action. 8640. Payment, or the offer to pay, by any licensee or registered company to any party to a real estate transaction of any commission, bonus, rebate, or other thing of value as compensation or inducement for the referral to such licensee or registered company of pest control work arising out of such transaction is a ground for disciplinary action. 8641. Failure to comply with the provisions of this chapter, or any rule or regulation adopted by the board, or the furnishing of a report of inspection without the making of a bona fide inspection of the premises for wood-destroying pests or organisms, or furnishing a notice of work completed prior to the completion of the work specified in the contract, is a ground for disciplinary action. 8642. The commission of any grossly negligent or fraudulent act by the licensee as a pest control operator, field representative, or applicator or by a registered company is a ground for disciplinary action. 8643. The negligent handling or use of any poisonous exterminating agent is a ground for disciplinary action. 8644. Fraud or misrepresentation, after inspection, by any licensee or registered company engaged in pest control work of any infestation or infection of wood-destroying pests or organisms found in property or structures, or respecting any conditions of the structure that would ordinarily subject structures to attack by wood-destroying pests or organisms, whether or not a report was made pursuant to Sections 8516 and 8517 of this code, is a ground for disciplinary action. 8645. Impersonation of any state, county or city inspector or official is a ground for disciplinary action. 8646. Disregard and violation of pesticide use and application, structural pest control device, fumigation, or extermination laws of the state or of any of its political subdivisions, or regulations adopted pursuant to those laws, is a ground for disciplinary action. 8646.5. A notice of noncompliance shall be issued to a licensee or registered company whenever an authorized representative of the board finds that a pesticide application, fumigation or extermination procedure being performed by the licensee or registered company is not in compliance with applicable laws, rules, or regulations. Upon receiving such notice, the licensee or registered company shall discontinue such pest control work until the procedure is brought into compliance. Failure to discontinue after receiving a notice of noncompliance is a ground for disciplinary action. 8647. Failure to comply in the sale or use of insecticides with the provisions of Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 12751) of Division 7 of the Food and Agricultural Code is a ground for disciplinary action. 8648. Authorizing, directing, conniving at or aiding in the publication, advertisement, distribution or circulation of any material by false statement or representation concerning a registered company's business is a ground for disciplinary action. 8649. Conviction of a crime substantially related to the qualifications, functions, and duties of a structural pest control operator, field representative, applicator, or registered company is a ground for disciplinary action. The certified record of conviction shall be conclusive evidence thereof. 8650. Acting in the capacity of a licensee or registered company under any of the licenses or registrations issued hereunder except: (a) In the name of the licensee or registered company as set forth upon the license or registration, or (b) At the address and location or place or places of business as licensed or registered or as later changed as provided in this chapter is a ground for disciplinary action. 8651. The performing or soliciting of structural pest control work, the inspecting for structural or household pests, or the applying of any pesticide, chemical, or allied substance for the purpose of eliminating, exterminating, controlling, or preventing structural pests in branches of pest control other than those for which the operator, field representative, or applicator is licensed or the company is registered is a ground for disciplinary action. 8652. Failure of a registered company to make and keep all inspection reports, field notes, contracts, documents, notices of work completed, and records, other than financial records, for a period of not less than three years after completion of any work or operation for the control of structural pests or organisms, is a ground for disciplinary action. These records shall be made available to the executive officer of the board or his or her duly authorized representative during business hours. 8653. The failure of any registered company or agent or officer thereof, to pay any moneys due for any materials or services rendered in connection with its operations as a registered pest control company, when it has the ability to pay or when it has received sufficient funds therefor as payment for the particular pest control work, project, or operation for which the services or materials were rendered or purchased, is a ground for disciplinary action, as is the false denial of any such indebtedness or of the validity of the claim thereof with intent to secure for itself, or other person any discount upon such indebtedness or with intent to hinder, delay, or defraud the person to whom such indebtedness is due. 8654. Any individual who has been denied a license for any of the reasons specified in Section 8568, or who has had his or her license revoked, or whose license is under suspension, or who has failed to renew his or her license while it was under suspension, or who has been a member, officer, director, associate, qualifying manager, or responsible managing employee of any partnership, corporation, firm, or association whose application for a company registration has been denied for any of the reasons specified in Section 8568, or whose company registration has been revoked as a result of disciplinary action, or whose company registration is under suspension, and while acting as such member, officer, director, associate, qualifying manager, or responsible managing employee had knowledge of or participated in any of the prohibited acts for which the license or registration was denied, suspended or revoked, shall be prohibited from serving as an officer, director, associate, partner, qualifying manager, or responsible managing employee of a registered company, and the employment, election or association of such person by a registered company is a ground for disciplinary action. 8655. A plea or verdict of guilty or a conviction following a plea of nolo contendere made to a charge substantially related to the qualifications, functions, and duties of a structural pest control operator, field representative, applicator, or registered company is deemed to be a conviction within the meaning of this article or Section 8568 of this chapter. The board may order the license or registration suspended or revoked, or may decline to issue a license, when the time for appeal has elapsed, or the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal or when an order granting probation is made suspending the imposition of sentence, irrespective of a subsequent order under the provisions of Section 1203.4 of the Penal Code allowing the individual or registered company to withdraw a plea of guilty and to enter a plea of not guilty, or setting aside the verdict of guilty, or dismissing the accusation, information or indictment. 8656. In addition to the remedies provided for in Section 125.9, when the licensee who is a registered company has failed to pay the fine assessed pursuant to a citation within 30 days of the date of assessment, unless the citation is being appealed, the board shall not sell to the registered company any pesticide use stamps until the assessed fine has been paid. 8657. The appointment of a receiver of the property of a licensee or registered company as provided in Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 564) of Title 7 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure, or the making of an assignment for the benefit of creditors, constitutes a cause for disciplinary action. If a license or registration is suspended or revoked upon the grounds set forth in this section, the registrar in his or her discretion may renew or reissue such license upon the condition that each contract undertaken by the licensee or registered company be separately covered by a bond or bonds conditioned upon the performance of, and the payment of labor and material required by, the contract. 8658. The board may bring an action to enjoin the violation of any provision of this chapter in any superior court in and for the county in which the violation has occurred. Any such action shall conform to the requirements of Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 525) of Title 7 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure, except that the board shall not be required to allege facts necessary to show or tending to show lack of an adequate remedy at law or irreparable damage or loss. The action shall be brought in the name of the people of the State of California. 8660. A disciplinary review committee consisting of three members shall be established for the purposes of reviewing appeals of orders issued pursuant to Section 8617. The committee shall be made up of one member representing the Director of Food and Agriculture and one member representing the board. The third member shall be a licensed pest control operator actively involved in the business of pest control and shall be selected by agreement of the other members. 8662. (a) Whenever the right of a structural pest control licensee or registered company to make pesticide applications is to be suspended or the licensee, registered company, or unlicensed individual is to be fined pursuant to Section 8617, and if the person upon whom the commissioner imposed a fine or suspension requested and appeared at a hearing before the commissioner in accordance with Section 8617, the party to be suspended or fined may appeal to the Disciplinary Review Committee by filing a written appeal with the committee within 30 days of receipt of the fine or suspension order. (b) The following procedures shall apply to the appeal: (1) The appeal shall be in writing and signed by the appellant or his or her or its authorized agent, state the grounds for the appeal, and include a copy of the commissioner's decision. The appellant shall file a copy of the appeal with the commissioner at the same time it is filed with the committee. (2) Any party may, at the time of filing the appeal or within 10 days thereafter, or at a later time prescribed by the committee or its designee, present the record of the hearing, including written evidence that was submitted at the hearing and written argument to the committee stating the grounds for affirming, modifying, or reversing the commissioner's decision. (3) The committee or its designee may grant oral argument upon application made at the time written arguments are filed. If an application to present an oral argument is granted, written notice of the time and place for the oral argument shall be given each party at least 10 days before the date set therefor. The times may be altered by mutual agreement of the appellant, the commissioner, and the committee. (4) At any time written evidence is submitted to the committee, a copy shall be immediately provided to the other party. (5) The committee shall decide the appeal on the record of the hearing, including the written evidence and the written argument described in paragraph (2) that the committee may have received. If the committee finds substantial evidence in the record to support the commissioner's decision, the committee shall affirm the decision. (6) The committee shall render its written decision within 45 days of the date of appeal or within 15 days from the date of oral arguments, or as soon thereafter as practical. (7) On an appeal pursuant to this section, the committee may sustain, modify by reducing the time of suspension or the amount of the fine levied, or reverse the decision. A copy of the committee's decision shall be delivered or mailed to each party. (8) Review of the decision of the committee may be sought by the licensee, registered company, or unlicensed individual pursuant to Section 1094.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure. 8663. (a) This section only applies to work conducted under a Branch 1 license. (b) The board or county agricultural commissioners, when acting pursuant to Section 8616.4, may levy a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000) against a registered company acting as a prime contractor for any major violation committed by any licensee with whom the prime contractor has subcontracted if, before that violation occurred, the prime contractor had been notified by certified mail, return receipt requested, of more than two major violations committed by the subcontractor within 12 consecutive months. Fines collected pursuant to this section shall be paid to the Education and Enforcement Account in the Structural Pest Control Education and Enforcement Fund. (c) For purposes of this section, "major violation" means a violation of any of the following provisions of this code or of the California Code of Regulations that poses a serious hazard to humans: (1) A violation of subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 1970.4 of Title 16 of, or Section 6454 of Title 3 of, the California Code of Regulations, or a violation of Section 8505.5. (2) Any violation of the structural pest control law that results in a serious injury to any person. (3) A violation of Section 8505.2 or 8505.3, relating to direct and personal supervision. (4) A violation of Section 8505.7, relating to vacating and securing structures. (5) A violation of subdivision (a) of Section 6780 of Title 3 of the California Code of Regulations. (6) A violation of Section 6454 of Title 3 of the California Code of Regulations. (7) A violation of Section 8505.12, relating to warning agents. (8) A violation of Section 8505.9 or 8505.10, relating to warning signs. (d) A copy of a notice of violation issued for any violation committed by a subcontractor shall be sent by certified mail to the prime contractor by the issuing authority within 15 days from the date the violation was committed. (e) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), a prime contractor may be fined for a subcontractor's first violation for failing to have a signed factsheet on the premises being treated, or if the subcontractor fails to provide advance notice of a treatment to the occupants of the premises being treated. 8664. (a) This section only applies to work conducted under a Branch 1 license. (b) Before a fine can be levied pursuant to Section 8663, the prime contractor shall be provided notice of the nature of the violation and shall be given an opportunity to be heard, including the right to review the commissioner's evidence and a right to present evidence on his or her own behalf. (c) The prime contractor may appeal the fine to the Disciplinary Review Committee and shall be subject to the procedures in Section 8662. (d) If a fine is ordered, it may not take effect until 20 days after the date of the decision provided that no appeal is filed. If an appeal is filed pursuant to Section 8662, the order shall be stayed until 20 days after the committee has ruled on the appeal. (e) Once final action is taken pursuant to this section, no other administrative or civil action may be taken by any state governmental agency for the same violation. However, action taken pursuant to this section may be used by the board as evidence of prior discipline, and multiple local actions may be the basis for statewide disciplinary action by the board pursuant to Section 8620. A certified copy of the fine order issued pursuant to this section or Section 8662 shall constitute conclusive evidence of the occurrence of the violation. 8665. The fact that an applicator is licensed shall not affect any liability or responsibility for disciplinary action of any operator, field representative, or registered company that employs or supervises an applicator. 8666. It shall be unlawful for any licensee under this chapter to recommend or to perform any pest control corrective work under any contract or agreement that the licensee knows or has reason to know is in excess of that required to eliminate the condition for which the licensee was employed. A violation of this section is a public offense and is punishable upon the first conviction by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than six months, or by a fine not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.
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