Professions and Occupations

CHAPTER 27. Professional Land Surveyors

Subchapter I. Board Of Professional Land Surveyors

§ 2701. Objectives.

The primary objective of the Board of Professional Land Surveyors, to which all other objectives and purposes are secondary, is to protect the general public, specifically those persons who are the direct recipients of services regulated by this chapter, from unsafe practices and from occupational practices which tend to reduce competition or fix the price of services rendered.

The secondary objectives of the Board are to maintain minimum standards of practitioner competency and to maintain certain standards in the delivery of services to the public. In meeting its objectives, the Board shall develop standards assuring professional competence; shall monitor complaints brought against practitioners regulated by the Board; shall adjudicate at formal hearings; shall promulgate rules and regulations; and shall impose sanctions where necessary against practitioners.

72 Del. Laws, c. 265, §  1

§ 2702. Definitions.

The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them under this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

(1) “Board” shall mean the State Board of Professional Land Surveyors established in this chapter.

(2) “Division” shall mean the State Division of Professional Regulation.

(3) “Excessive use or abuse of drugs” shall mean any use of narcotics, controlled substances or illegal drugs without a prescription from a licensed physician, or the abuse of alcoholic beverage such that it impairs a person’s ability to perform the work of a professional land surveyor.

(4) “Person” shall mean a corporation, company, association and partnership, as well as an individual.

(5) “Practice of land surveying” shall mean professional services or work involving special knowledge and application of the principles of mathematics and related sciences and the relevant requirement of law in connection with the use and development of land, as described herein:

a. The act of measuring, locating, establishing or reestablishing corners, lines, boundaries, angles, elevations, contours and natural and manmade features in the air, on the surface or subsurface of the earth, within underground workings and on the beds or surface of bodies of water for the purpose of determining or establishing facts of size, area, shape, topography, tidal datum planes, legal or geodetic location or relocation and orientation of improved or unimproved real property and appurtenances thereto;

b. The horizontal and vertical control for aerial surveys and photogrammetric compilation; Global Positioning System Surveying (GPS), as related to boundary surveying and as defined as determining the horizontal and vertical location of an object on the earth’s surface with respect to the center of the earth by observing satellites with equipment capable of acquiring, analyzing and managing the data collected; polaris and solar observations for the determination of the true azimuth; the monumentation and remonumentation of boundaries of land, divisions of land, tracts, parcels and lots; the measurement and preparation of plans showing existing improvements after construction; the layout of proposed improvements and the preparation of descriptions and plans for use in legal instruments of conveyance of real property and property rights; and

c. The design, preparation and furnishing of subdivision plans, land development plans, sedimentation and erosion control plans, grading plans, condominium plans, record plats and horizontal alignments, and profiles and typical sections for roads, streets, utilities, sanitary sewers and storm drainage systems. This shall not be construed so as to permit the professional land surveyor to include the design of sewage disposal stations, lift stations, commercial and industrial buildings, pumping stations and bridges, or to prepare plans for the construction of engineering and architectural projects.

(6) “Professional land surveyor” shall mean an individual who holds a valid license to practice land surveying under this chapter, and in addition:

a. Is a professional specialist in the technique of measuring land;

b. Is educated in the principles of mathematics and related sciences;

c. Is experienced in the application of the principles of mathematics and the related sciences;

d. Understands the relevant requirements of law for the presentation of adequate evidence relating to property descriptions and the surveying of real property.

(7) “Responsible charge” shall mean the direct control and personal direction of the investigation, operation and execution of land surveying work requiring initiative, and professional skill and independent judgment as a party chief or survey manager.

(8) “State” shall mean the State of Delaware.

(9) “Substantially related” means the nature of the criminal conduct, for which the person was convicted, has a direct bearing on the fitness or ability to perform 1 or more of the duties or responsibilities necessarily related to the practice of land surveying.

(10) “Surveyor intern” shall mean an individual who has qualified for, taken, and has passed the written standardized national examination developed by the national professional association in the fundamentals of surveying.

43 Del. Laws, c. 286, §  2;  24 Del. C. 1953, §  2701;  56 Del. Laws, c. 36858 Del. Laws, c. 501, §  260 Del. Laws, c. 275, §  170 Del. Laws, c. 186, §  172 Del. Laws, c. 265, §  174 Del. Laws, c. 262, §  5076 Del. Laws, c. 170, §  1

§ 2703. Board of Professional Land Surveyors; appointments; qualifications; term; vacancies; suspension or removal; unexcused absences; compensation.

(a) There is created a State Board of Professional Land Surveyors that shall administer and enforce this chapter.

(b) The Board shall consist of 7 members appointed by the Governor, who are residents of this state: Four shall be land surveyors licensed under this chapter, at least 1 of whom, but not more than 2, shall be appointed from each county of this State; and 3 public members. The public members shall not be, nor ever have been, land surveyors, nor members of the immediate family of a land surveyor; shall not have been employed by a land surveyor; shall not have a material interest in the providing of goods and services to land surveyors; nor have been engaged in an activity directly related to land surveying. The public members shall be accessible to inquiries, comments and suggestions from the general public.

(c) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, each member shall serve a term of 3 years, and may succeed himself or herself for 1 additional term; provided, however, that where a member was initially appointed to fill a vacancy, such member may succeed himself or herself for only 1 additional full term. Any person appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board shall hold office for the remainder of the unexpired term of the former member. Each term of office shall expire on the date specified in the appointment; however, the Board member shall remain eligible to participate in Board proceedings unless and until replaced by the Governor. Persons who are members of the Board on February 4, 2000, shall complete their terms.

(d) A person who has never served on the Board may be appointed to the Board for 2 consecutive terms, but no such person shall thereafter be eligible for 2 consecutive appointments. No person who has been twice appointed to the Board or who has served on the Board for 6 years within any 9-year period shall again be appointed to the Board until an interim period of at least 1 year has expired since such person last served.

(e) Any act or vote by a person appointed in violation of this section shall be invalid. An amendment or revision of this chapter is not sufficient cause for any appointment or attempted appointment in violation of subsection (d) of this section unless such an amendment or revision amends this section to permit such an appointment.

(f) A member of the Board shall be suspended or removed by the Governor for misfeasance, nonfeasance or malfeasance. A member subject to disciplinary hearing shall be disqualified from Board business until the charge is adjudicated or the matter is otherwise concluded. A Board member may appeal any suspension or removal to the Superior Court.

(g) No member of the Board, while serving on the Board, shall hold elective office in any professional association of land surveyors; this includes a prohibition against serving as head of the professional association’s Political Action Committee (PAC).

(h) The provisions of Chapter 58, Title 29 of the Delaware Code shall apply to all members of the Board.

(i) Any member who is absent without adequate reason for 3 consecutive meetings or fails to attend at least half of all regular business meetings during any calendar year shall be deemed to have resigned that member’s appointment. The Director of the Division shall have the responsibility to enforce this provision. Upon the determination by the Director that a vacancy exists due to this provision, the Governor may appoint a new member as provided in subsection (c) of this section.

(j) Each member of the Board shall be reimbursed for all expenses involved in each meeting, including travel, and in addition shall receive compensation per meeting attended in an amount determined by the Division in accordance with Del. Const. art. III, §  9.

43 Del. Laws, c. 286, §§  3, 4, 6;  24 Del. C. 1953, §  2702;  58 Del. Laws, c. 501, §  261 Del. Laws, c. 434, §  163 Del. Laws, c. 101, §§  1, 267 Del. Laws, c. 366, §  967 Del. Laws, c. 368, §  1570 Del. Laws, c. 186, §  172 Del. Laws, c. 265, §  178 Del. Laws, c. 140, §  181 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 14

§ 2704. Organization; meetings; officers; quorum.

(a) The Board shall hold regularly scheduled business meetings at least once in each quarter of a calendar year and at such times, as the Chair deems necessary or at the request of a majority of the Board members.

(b) The Board shall elect annually from its members a chair, vice chair and secretary. Each officer shall serve for 1 year and shall not succeed himself or herself for more than 2 consecutive terms. In the event of a vacancy in 1 of the offices, a replacement shall be elected at the next Board meeting.

(c) A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of transacting business. No disciplinary action shall be taken without the affirmative vote of 4 members of the Board.

(d) Minutes of all meetings shall be recorded, and the Division of Professional Regulation shall maintain copies. At any hearing where evidence is presented, a record from which a verbatim transcript can be prepared shall be made. The person requesting it shall incur the expense of preparing any transcript.

43 Del. Laws, c. 286, §  7;  24 Del. C. 1953, §  2705;  58 Del. Laws, c. 501, §  261 Del. Laws, c. 434, §  167 Del. Laws, c. 366, §  1070 Del. Laws, c. 186, §  172 Del. Laws, c. 265, §  1

§ 2705. Records.

The Division of Professional Regulation shall keep a register of all approved applications for license as a land surveyor and complete records relating to meetings of the Board, examinations, rosters, changes and additions to the Board’s rules and regulations, complaints, hearings and such other matters as the Board shall determine. Such records shall be prima facie evidence of the proceedings of the Board.

43 Del. Laws, c. 286, §  10;  24 Del. C. 1953, §  2708;  58 Del. Laws, c. 501, §  270 Del. Laws, c. 186, §  172 Del. Laws, c. 265, §  1

§ 2706. Powers and duties.

(a) The Board of Professional Land Surveyors shall have authority to:

(1) Formulate rules and regulations, with appropriate notice to those affected; all rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the procedures specified in the Administrative Procedures Act of this State [Chapter 101 of Title 29]. Each rule or regulation shall implement or clarify a specific section of this chapter.

(2) Designate the application form to be used by all applicants and process all applications;

(3) Designate a written, standardized, national examination prepared by either the national professional association or by a recognized national testing service and approved by the Division, to be taken by all persons applying for licensure; the national examination shall be taken by all persons applying for licensure, except applicants who qualify for licensure by reciprocity;

(4) Designate a written, 2-hour examination on drainage and the Delaware law, prepared by an independent testing agency and approved by the Director of the Division. All persons applying for licensure, including those applicants for licensure by reciprocity, shall take the examination on drainage and Delaware law;

(5) Adopt the administration, grading procedures and passing score set by the national professional association or testing service;

(6) Evaluate the credentials of all persons applying for a license to practice land surveying in Delaware in order to determine whether such persons meet the qualifications for licensing set forth in this chapter.

(7) Grant licenses to and renew licenses of all persons who meet the qualifications for licensure and/or renewal of licenses;

(8) Establish by rule and regulation continuing education standards required for license renewal;

(9) Evaluate certified records to determine whether an applicant for licensure who has been previously licensed, certified or registered in another jurisdiction to practice land surveying has engaged in any act or offense that would be grounds for disciplinary action under this chapter and whether there are disciplinary proceedings or unresolved complaints pending against such applicants for such acts or offenses.

(10) Refer all complaints from licensees and the public concerning professional land surveyors or concerning practices of the Board or of the profession to the Division of Professional Regulation for investigation pursuant to § 8735 of Title 29 and assign a member of the Board to assist the Division in an advisory capacity with the investigation of the technical aspects of the complaint;

(11) Conduct hearings and issue orders in accordance with procedures established pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act (Chapter 101 of Title 29);

(12) Where it has been determined after a disciplinary hearing that penalties or sanctions should be imposed, to designate and impose the appropriate sanction or penalty after time for appeal has lapsed.

(b) The Board shall adopt and have an official seal, which shall be affixed to each certificate issued.

(c) The Board may establish minimum technical or general standards to regulate the practice of land surveying within the State and may establish minimum requirements for the continuing education of registrants.

(d) Any member of the Board may administer oaths or affirmations to witnesses appearing before the Board.

(e) In carrying into effect this chapter, the Board, under the hand of its Chairperson and the seal of the Board, may subpoena witnesses and compel their attendance and also may require the submission of books, papers, documents or other pertinent data in any disciplinary matter or in any case wherever a violation of this chapter is alleged. Upon failure or refusal to comply with any such order of the Board or upon failure to honor its subpoena as herein provided, the Board may present its petition to the Superior Court setting forth the facts. Thereupon the Court shall, in a proper case, issue its subpoena to such person, requiring attendance and testimony before such Court and the submission of such books, papers, documents or other pertinent data as may be deemed necessary and pertinent by the Board. Any person failing or refusing to obey the subpoena or order of the Court may be proceeded against in the same manner as for refusal to obey any other subpoena or order of the Superior Court.

(f) The amount to be charged for each fee imposed under this chapter shall approximately and reasonably reflect all costs necessary to defray the expenses of the Board, as well as the proportional expenses incurred by the Division of Professional Regulation in its services on behalf of the Board. There shall be a separate fee charged for each service or activity; but no fee shall be charged for an activity not specified in this chapter. The application fee shall not be combined with any other fee or charge. At the beginning of each licensure biennium, the Division, or any other state agency acting on its behalf, shall compute, for each separate service or activity, the appropriate Board fees for the licensure biennium.

(g) The Board of Professional Land Surveyors shall promulgate regulations identifying those crimes which are substantially related to the practice of land surveying.

43 Del. Laws, c. 286, §  8;  24 Del. C. 1953, §  2706;  58 Del. Laws, c. 501, §  261 Del. Laws, c. 434, §  163 Del. Laws, c. 101, §  370 Del. Laws, c. 186, §  172 Del. Laws, c. 265, §  174 Del. Laws, c. 262, §  5175 Del. Laws, c. 327, §  175 Del. Laws, c. 373, §  1