The Vermont Statutes Online
Title 3 : Executive
Chapter 005 : SECRETARY OF STATE
Subchapter 003 : PROFESSIONAL REGULATION(Cite as: 3 V.S.A. § 127)
§ 127. Unauthorized practice
(a) When the Office receives a complaint of unauthorized practice, the Director shall refer the complaint to Office investigators and prosecutors.
(b)(1) A person practicing a regulated profession without authority or an employer permitting such practice may, upon the complaint of the Attorney General or a State’s Attorney or an attorney assigned by the Office of Professional Regulation, be enjoined therefrom by the Superior Court where the violation occurred or the Washington County Superior Court and may be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $5,000.00.
(2)(A) The Attorney General or an attorney assigned by the Office of Professional Regulation may elect to bring an action seeking only a civil penalty of not more than $2,500.00 for practicing or permitting the practice of a regulated profession without authority before the board having regulatory authority over the profession or before an administrative law officer.
(B) Hearings shall be conducted in the same manner as disciplinary hearings.
(3)(A) A civil penalty imposed by a board or administrative law officer under this subsection (b) shall be deposited in the Professional Regulatory Fee Fund established in section 124 of this chapter for the purpose of providing education and training for board members and advisor appointees.
(B) The Director shall detail in the annual report receipts and expenses from these civil penalties.
(c) In addition to other provisions of law, unauthorized practice shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000.00 or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. Prosecution may occur upon the complaint of the Attorney General or a State’s Attorney or an attorney assigned by the Office of Professional Regulation under this section and shall not act as a bar to civil or administrative proceedings involving the same conduct.
(d)(1) A person whose license has expired for not more than one biennial period may reinstate the license by meeting renewal requirements for the profession, paying the profession’s renewal fee, and paying the following nondisciplinary reinstatement penalty:
(A) if reinstatement occurs within 30 days after the expiration date, $100.00; or
(B) if reinstatement occurs more than 30 days after the expiration date, an amount equal to the renewal fee increased by $40.00 for every additional month or fraction of a month, provided the total penalty shall not exceed $1,500.00.
(2) Fees assessed under this subsection shall be deposited into the Regulatory Fee Fund and credited to the appropriate fund for the profession of the reinstating licensee.
(3) A licensee seeking reinstatement may submit a petition for relief from the reinstatement penalty, which a board may grant only upon a finding of exceptional circumstances or extreme hardship to the licensee; provided, however, that fees under this subsection shall not be assessed for any period during which a licensee was a member of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty.
(4) Practice by a licensee with an expired license that continues for more than two years, or practicing at any time when the licensee knew or should have known the license was expired, may be prosecuted by the State as unauthorized practice under this section or as unprofessional conduct pursuant to subdivision 129a(a)(3) of this title.
(e) A person practicing a licensed profession without authority shall not institute any proceedings in this State for the enforcement of any right or obligation if at the time of the creation of the right or obligation the unlicensed person was acting without authority.
(f) The provisions of this section shall be in addition to any other remedies or penalties for unauthorized practice established by law. (Added 1989, No. 250 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1995, No. 138 (Adj. Sess.), § 12, eff. May 1, 1996; 1995, No. 171 (Adj. Sess.), § 8, eff. May 15, 1996; 2003, No. 60, § 1; No. 66, § 84; 2005, No. 27, § 3; 2005, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2015, No. 38, § 2, eff. May 28, 2015; 2017, No. 144 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2019, No. 30, § 3.)