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Keffer Hirschauer LLP: Indiana Plumbing License Lawyer

Navigating the complexities of professional licensure can be a daunting task, especially for those in skilled trades like plumbing. In Indiana, plumbers are governed by specific rules and regulations, overseen by the Indiana Plumbing Commission. This commission plays a pivotal role in ensuring that specific standards are maintained and holds authority over anyone holding an Indiana plumbing license.  

For a licensed plumber in Indiana, understanding and adhering to these regulations is not just about compliance; it’s about safeguarding their livelihood. The plumbing profession demands not only technical expertise but also a keen awareness of the legal and regulatory landscape. This is where the intricacies of the Indiana Plumbing Commission become crucial. Whether it’s a seasoned plumber or someone new to the field, staying informed about the commission’s rules can make the difference between a thriving career and one that’s mired in bureaucratic challenges. 

However, what happens when a plumber finds themselves on the wrong side of these regulations? Misunderstandings, oversights, or even minor legal troubles can lead to serious consequences, jeopardizing one’s professional license and, by extension, their entire career. In such situations, the role of an Indiana plumbing license lawyer becomes invaluable. These legal professionals are vastly experienced in navigating the labyrinth of regulations set by the commission, offering guidance and defense to those whose licenses are at risk. 

The Indiana professional license defense lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP have extensive experience before the various Boards and Commissions that make up the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (PLA). We routinely assist clients in navigating the unique, bureaucratic processes that govern these types of matters, and work tirelessly to protect the licenses of hardworking Hoosiers all throughout the state.  

If your plumbing license in Indiana is at risk, contact one of our attorneys today at 317-857-0160 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation. We understand all that’s at stake here and stand ready to come to your defense.  

Overview of the Indiana Plumbing Commission 

Empowered by Indiana Code 25-28.5, the Indiana Plumbing Commission is the regulatory authority of the plumbing profession in Indiana. At its core, the commission’s role is to “safeguard the life, health, and public welfare,” of Indiana citizens, by regulating the plumbing industry. In pursuit of this, the commission is responsible for setting the required criteria for obtaining an Indiana plumbing license (as outlined in Indiana Code 25-28.4-1-12), the issuance of such licenses, and the adoption and enforcement of a standards of competent practice for the profession. 

Standards of Competent Practice for Indiana Plumbers 

The standards of competent practice provide licensed plumbers in Indiana with a set of regulations in which compliance is mandatory in order to maintain their plumbing license, and thus their ability to practice their profession. These standards, set forth in 860 IAC 1-5, are as follows:  

  • Licensees shall comply with the provisions contained in Title 860 of Indiana Administrative Code and Indiana Code 25-28.5 
  • Plumbing contractors shall not allow any employee or subcontractor to act in the capacity of a plumbing contractor or journey man plumber unless that employee or subcontractor has a plumbing contractor’s license or a journeyman plumber’s license 
  • Whenever required to do so by an ordinance of a political subdivision, plumbing contractors shall obtain permits to do plumbing work 
  • Whenever required to do so by an ordinance of a political subdivision, plumbing contractors shall register with the appropriate public official of the political subdivision 
  • Plumbing contractors shall complete all plumbing work which they have contracted to perform unless they have legal cause to not perform the work 
  • Licensees shall do all plumbing work in compliance with the following:  
  • 675 IAC 16, the Indiana Plumbing Code, as adopted by the fire prevention and building safety commission  
  • To the extent that they may be capable of being violated while doing plumbing work, the rules of 675 IAC, the fire prevention and building safety commission  
  • 327 IAC 8-7 through 8-10, rules on water pollution control 
  • 410 IAC 15-1-22, State Board of Health requirements for plumbing sewage disposal and water supply in hospitals 

Standards of Competent Practice for Indiana Plumbers 

In addition to the standards created by the Indiana Plumbing Commission, all Hoosiers holding an Indiana plumbing license must also abide by the Professional Licensing Standards of Practice set forth in Indiana Code 25-1-11-5. These standards regulate ALL licensed professionals in Indiana and cover a handful of behaviors and activities that could result in the professional being subject to disciplinary action. For example, some prohibited behaviors or actions include:  

  • engaging in fraud or material deception, false advertising, or fraudulent billing practices 
  • engaging in a course of lewd or immoral conduct in connection with the delivery of services to the public 
  • conviction of a crime that has a direct bearing on the practitioner’s ability to continue to practice competently or is harmful to the public 
  • continuing to practice despite being unfit to do so, due to professional incompetence, failure to keep abreast of current professional theory or practice, physical or mental disability or addiction/abuse/dependency on alcohol or other drugs 

Criminal Offenses Concerning an Indiana Plumbing License 

It’s also important for all Indiana plumbing license holders that, under Indiana Code 25-28.5-1-31, a person may be charged with a misdemeanor offense for the following actions.  

  1. Acting or advertising as a plumbing contractor or journeyman plumber without first obtaining a license from the commission (Class A Misdemeanor) 
  1. Continuing to act as a plumbing contractor or journeyman plumber after the person’s license has been suspended, revoked, or otherwise restricted (Class A Misdemeanor)  
  1. Continuing to act as a plumbing contractor or journeyman plumber after the person’s license has expired (Class B Misdemeanor)  

Disciplinary Process and Sanctions 

Pursuant to Indiana Code 25-28.5-1-27, the Indiana Plumbing Commission may upon its own motion, and shall upon verified complaint in writing of any person setting forth specifically the wrongful act or acts complained of, investigate any action or business transaction of any licensee in accordance with the procedures and rules set forth in Indiana Code 25-1-11.  

Under these rules, if the investigation concludes that an alleged violation of the standards of practice or complaint may have merit, the Commission may prosecute the matter. When this occurs, the person holding the Indiana plumbing license may be required to stand for a public evidentiary hearing before the Commission. At the conclusion of the hearing, the commission will issue their findings of fact and conclusions of law on whether violations of practical or ethical standards of practice have occurred. If violations have occurred, the commission will then proceed to issue disciplinary sanctions.  

Under Indiana Code 25-1-11-12, the Commission may impose any of the following sanctions on a licensed plumber in Indiana:  

  • Permanant revocation of their Indiana plumbing license 
  • Suspension of the plumber’s license 
  • Censure of the plumber 
  • Issuance of a letter of reprimand 
  • Placement of the plumber on probation, and require them to  
  • Report regularly to the Commission upon matters that are the basis of probation 
  • Limit practice to those areas prescribed by the Board 
  • Continue or renew professional education approved by the Board until a satisfactory degree of skill has been attained in those areas that are the basis of the probation 
  • Perform or refrain from performing any acts, including community restitution or service without compensation, that the board considers appropriate to the public interest or to the rehabilitation or treatment of the practitioner; or  
  • Satisfactorily complete a quality review or peer review specified by the Board as a condition for termination of probationary status if the practitioner is a licensee 
  • Assess a civil penalty against the practitioner for no more than $1,000 for each violation, except for incompetency due to physical or mental disability 
  • Order a practitioner to pay consumer restitution to a person who suffered damages as a result of the conduct or omission that was the basis for the disciplinary sanctions under this chapter.  

How to Protect Your Indiana Plumbing License 

To best defend an Indiana plumbing license, any plumber facing disciplinary action by the Commision should contact an Indiana professional license defense lawyer immediately upon notification of investigation. The sooner a license defense lawyer can review the violation and/or complaint, the sooner they can investigate it themselves and draft/file an appropriate response to the Commission.  

In some cases, the response may be sufficient, and the Commission will drop the matter or settle with the license holder. However, if the response is not sufficient and the Commission chooses to hold an evidentiary hearing, a professional license defense holder may attend the hearing with their client and represent them during the proceeding, arguing on their behalf to protect their license and their livelihood. In the event the Commission believes the evidence supports the allegations/claims, a license defense attorney will often proceed to seek a review of that decision and represent the license holder at the appeal, again fighting to protect their license, reputation, business, and career. 

Indiana Professional License Defense Attorneys

Keffer Hirschauer LLP: Your Indiana Plumbing License Lawyers 

The Indianapolis attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP are uniquely suited to handle professional license matters before the Indiana Plumbing Commission. Our team is made up of former deputy prosecutors with deep experience as litigation lawyers in defense matters. This means that our attorneys possess the necessary skills to craft a robust strategy to defend and protect you from any action threatening your life’s work and professional future.  

If your Indiana plumbers license is at risk, contact our professional license defense attorneys today at 317-857-0160 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation. Our attorneys understand all that’s at stake and will ensure that every avenue is being exhausted in order to protect you, your reputation, and your career.  

Looking for an Indiana Plumbing License Lawyer?
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Looking for an Indiana Plumbing License Lawyer?
This article is about Indiana plumbing license lawyers, and plumbing licensure, in general.
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Keffer Hirschauer LLP

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