Class A vs Class B Misdemeanor

(Dan Bowers, CMI, ACI) #1

Kansas is looking at a licensing Bill and there is debate on … IF a home inspector breaks a HI rule (fails to report a defect, inspects with no license OR an invalid license, etc … should he / she …

  1. Be fined; 2) Get a Class A Misdemeanor or 3) Get a Class B Misdemeanor

Guys in licensed states, what do they do where you are??

(Chuck Evans, CMI TREC 7657) #2

They fine them because fining them is more profitable for the regulating agency. It’s how they pad their operating budgets. Charging regular fees can only go so far, but fines are a windfall. Nevermind the inherent conflict of interest in such a system, but the protection of the public and fairness to the regulated get pushed pretty damn far down the priority list when a self-serving bureaucracy is in charge.

(James H. Bushart) #3

The difference between Class A and Class B misdemeanors is the amount of jail time and fine. Class A carries a fine of $2K and a year in jail and Class B carries a fine of $1K and six months in jail in Missouri. I’m not sure about Kansas. Personally, I think Class B is more appropriate for an unlicensed offender. In either case, it will not be the regulatory agency administering the fine since they have no jurisdiction over an unlicensed offender. It would be up to the appropriate court having jurisdiction over the offender to assign punishment.

(Emmanuel J. Scanlan, TREC# 7593) #4

Gee that sounds familiar and so true!

In Texas the licensing agency, TREC, has the legal right to fine an unlicensed Inspector, collect that fine, and apply it to their operating fund accounts. If an unlicensed Inspector chooses not to pay then TREC will then have the State AG and/or local LEO issue a warrant for their arrest. As far as I am aware unless the person skips town they pay since a failure to pay here in Texas can cause them a great deal of other problems.

(Roy Lewis, CMI - North Florida Inspector) #5

Florida Statutes

468.8319 Prohibitions; penalties.—
(1) A person may not:
(a) Effective July 1, 2011, practice or offer to practice home inspection services unless the person has complied with the provisions of this part.
(b) Effective July 1, 2011, use the name or title “certified home inspector,” “registered home inspector,” “licensed home inspector,” “home inspector,” “professional home inspector,” or any combination thereof unless the person has complied with the provisions of this part.
© Present as his or her own the license of another.
(d) Knowingly give false or forged evidence to the department or an employee thereof.
(e) Use or attempt to use a license that has been suspended or revoked.
(f) Perform or offer to perform any repairs to a home on which the inspector or the inspector’s company has prepared a home inspection report. This paragraph does not apply to:
1. A home warranty company that is affiliated with or retains a home inspector to perform repairs pursuant to a claim made under a home warranty contract.
2. A certified contractor who is classified in s. 489.105(3) as a Division I contractor. However, the department may adopt rules requiring that, if such contractor performs the home inspection and offers to perform the repairs, the contract for repairs provided to the homeowner discloses that he or she has the right to request competitive bids.
(g) Inspect any property in which the inspector or the inspector’s company has any financial or transfer interest.
(h) Offer or deliver any compensation, inducement, or reward to any broker or agent therefor for the referral of the owner of the inspected property to the inspector or the inspection company.
(i) Accept an engagement to make an omission or prepare a report in which the inspection itself, or the fee payable for the inspection, is contingent upon either the conclusions in the report, preestablished findings, or the close of escrow.
(2) Any person who is found to be in violation of any provision of this section commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(3) This section does not apply to unlicensed activity as described in paragraph (1)(a), paragraph (1)(b), or s. 455.228 that occurs before July 1, 2011.

(Chuck Evans, CMI TREC 7657) #6

In Texas, the fines go directly into the coffers of the regulatory agency, including non-licensed practitioner fines.

(James H. Bushart) #7

A misdemeanor in Missouri carries a fine and/or jail time. Again, I am not certain about Kansas, but I seriously doubt that the regulatory agency in either state will have the authority to lock anyone up. A court can, of course.

Our legislature historically uses the fines associated with misdemeanors as a means of providing the prosecutors with an incentive to prosecute. Perhaps a part of what they collect might go the regulatory agency.

(Chuck Evans, CMI TREC 7657) #8

Reread the question and my response to it.