South-Western Legal Studies in Business

Decision to Revoke Contractor's License Subject to Judicial Review
Description

Courts have the power of judicial review over agency decisions once an agency has completed its determinations of a matter. If an agency fails to call its determination an order or decision, it does not mean that the agency has not finished with the matter so that it is ripe for review.

Topic Administrative Law
Key Words

Administrative Decision; Judicial Review; Contractor's License

C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts

Bolser was a licensed contractor who built a garage for the Fords. Unhappy with his work, the Fords filed complaints with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors (ROC). An ROC inspector confirmed defects. A citation was issued against Bolser. At a hearing, an administrative law judge confirmed the defects. The ROC gave Bolser 40 days to correct the problems or lose his license. Bolser did the work. The ROC informed the Fords that if they had any further objection, they should complain within 10 days or the matter would be closed. More than a month later, the Fords objected to the work again. The ROC inspector was Bolser's former employer and Bolser claimed he was biased, so he requested a different inspector. That request was rejected and the inspector again found Bolser's work defective. Bolser's license was revoked. He filed a complaint in trial court, but the judge held that the court lacked subject matter review. Bolser appealed.

Decision

Reversed and remanded. The ROC determination, resulting in Bolser's loss of his license, was a final administrative decision for purposes of judicial review. The fact that ROC did not call the decision an "order" or a "decision" when it revoked the license was not relevant since the matter was decided. Final determinations by ROC that affected Bolser's rights, duties, and privileges were subject to judicial review once the ROC completed its process.

Citation

Bolser Enterprises v. Arizona Registrar of Contractors, ---P.3d--- (2006 WL 2123765, Ct. App., Ariz., 2006)

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