Evans v. Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, 15 A.3d 99 (Pa. Commw. 2011)

Civil penalty vacated only because engineer's registration board failed to charge engineer under the correct rule for practicing without a valid license.

The Pennsylvania State Registration Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists ordered this professional to pay a civil penalty for "practicing geology" pursuant to §4(e) (63 P.S. §151(e)) of the Pennsylvania Engineer, Land Surveyor and Geologist Registration Law after his license had lapsed. The professional appealed, claiming that his professional work at issue was environmental, not geological, that he did not hold himself out to his client as a licensed Pennsylvania geologist, and that he was licensed in other states at the time when he performed the work. The court did not agree, finding that the Board should have charged him with practicing geology without a license, but that was not the charge and basis for the penalty. Thus, the Board was without authority to issue the penalty under §4(e) as that section is not capable of being violated by a registered professional, and the penalty was reversed.

Case Law Alert - 3rd Qtr 2011