Before submitting a complaint be sure to read General Statute 89D-13 Exemptions to make sure you understand what constitutes unlicensed practice or advertising.
If you would prefer not to file a complaint online, please click here to complete a hard-copy .pdf of the complaint form, which you may then mail, email or fax to the Board office. Please be as detailed and specific as possible when submitting a complaint. Site addresses of work in progress is extremely helpful to our investigators. Attach any documentation, pictures or evidence that might substantiate the complaint. Once the complaint is closed the complainant will receive correspondence from the Board with the results of the case.
*Complaint details are a matter of public record once a case has been investigated and closed. Anyone, including the licensee, can request this information.
Complaint Processing Procedure
There are three types of complaints that the Board typically receives; advertising, unlicensed practice or a combination of the two, and minimum standards. There are differences in the way each of the complaint types are processed.
Advertising/Unlicensed Contractor: If it appears that the individual or company is advertising as a landscape contractor in violation of N.C. Gen. Stat.89D, the Board will notify the individual or company of its position and depending on the facts of the case, may seek an injunction in Superior Court. An injunction is a court order instructing the individual or company to cease the activity complained about. If the activity continues after an injunction is issued, the Board may pursue a contempt action. If an order of contempt is issued, the individual against who the order is issued may be required to go to jail.
As for allegations of unlicensed practice, a copy of the complaint and the findings along additional back up materials are forwarded to the Board’s Investigator. After a thorough investigation has been performed, during which the investigator will contact the complainant, property owner, the subject of the complaint, and any other fact witnesses, the investigation will be forwarded to the Board with a recommendation for action. As stated above and if the case is not dismissed, the Board may seek an injunction in Superior Court against the unlicensed contractor.
Minimum standards: All licensed landscape contractors must meet minimum standards. These minimum standards are set out in administrative rules .0501-.0511. Once a complaint has been filed and the complaint has been assigned to an investigator, the investigator will contact the licensee to determine what the licensee has and could do to mitigate any further problems.
After completing the investigation, the investigator will submit a recommendation to the Board. The recommendation can range from dismissal of the action to a hearing in which disciplinary action should be imposed.
If a case is set for hearing, it will be forwarded to the Board’s attorney who will draft the Notice of Hearing. If the attorney is given settlement authority, the attorney will extend a settlement offer to the licensee. If the licensee agrees to the settlement and the settlement is accepted by the Board, the case will be closed and the complainant will be notified. If the case is not settled, it will proceed to hearing and the Board will issue a Final Decision.