The proper place to file notice of one’s intent to appeal an administrative decision of the Arizona Registrar of Contractors (“ROC”) is the subject of the Court of Appeals’ recent decision in Johnson v. Arizona Registrar of Contractors, 242 Ariz. 409 (App. 2017). Specifically, the Court was tasked with deciding whether it was sufficient for a homeowner seeking to appeal the ROC’s denial of her recovery fund claim to file her notice of appeal with the ROC, rather than the superior court. The Court concluded that the homeowner’s filing was insufficient, holding that the notice must be filed in the superior court pursuant to A.R.S. § 12-904. As a result, the Court ultimately upheld the dismissal of the homeowner’s ROC appeal. The takeaway from Johnson is clear—those appealing an administrative decision of the ROC must file their notices of appeal in superior court.
In September 2013, the Director of the Arizona Registrar of Contractors, William A. Mundell, announced significant changes to the agency’s complaint process. One such change was that the ROC, rather than the complainants, would decide whether citations would issue. In other words, the ROC now decides whether the evidence provided by complainants and gathered by investigators warrants a citation, instead of simply allowing complainants to request one.
According to Mundell, this change was necessary because citations were issued in response to 36% of the complaints filed in Arizona in the 10 years before the change. By contrast, contractor licensing agencies in other states issue citations in response to only about 5% of complaints.