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California Code, Food and Agricultural Code (Formerly Agricultural Code) - FAC § 19447

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(a) In lieu of any civil action pursuant to Section 19445, and in lieu of seeking prosecution, the secretary may levy a civil penalty against a person who violates Article 6 (commencing with Section 19300), Article 6.5 (commencing with Section 19310), or any regulation adopted pursuant to those articles, in an amount not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each violation.

(b) Before a civil penalty is levied, the person charged with the violation shall receive notice of the nature of the violation and shall be granted the opportunity to review the secretary's evidence and, for up to 30 days following the issuance of the notice, the opportunity to present written argument and evidence to the secretary as to why the civil penalty should not be imposed or should be reduced from the amount specified in the penalty notice. Notwithstanding Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 11400) of, and Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of, Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code or any other provision of law, this section does not require the department to conduct either a formal or informal hearing. The secretary instead may dispose of the matter upon review of the documentation presented.

(c) Any person upon whom a civil penalty is levied may appeal to the secretary within 20 days of the date of receiving notification of the penalty, as follows:

(1) The appeal shall be in writing and signed by the appellant or his or her authorized agent and shall state the grounds for the appeal.

(2) Any party, at the time of filing the appeal, or within 10 days thereafter, may present written evidence and a written argument to the secretary.

(3) The secretary may grant oral arguments upon application made at the time written arguments are made.

(4) If an application to present an oral argument is granted, written notice of the time and place for the oral argument shall be given at least 10 days prior to the date set therefor. This time requirement may be altered by an agreement between the secretary and the person appealing the penalty.

(5) The secretary shall decide the appeal on any oral or written arguments, briefs, and evidence that he or she has received.

(6) The secretary shall render a written decision within 45 days of the date of appeal, or within 15 days of the date of oral arguments. A copy of the secretary's decision shall be delivered or mailed to the appellant.

(7) The secretary may sustain the decision, modify the decision by reducing the amount of the penalty levied, or reverse the decision.

(8) A review of the decision of the secretary may be sought by the appellant pursuant to Section 1094.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(d)(1) If the person upon whom a penalty is levied does not file a petition for a writ of administrative mandamus, the court, upon receiving a certified copy of the department's final decision that directs payment of a civil penalty, shall enter judgment in favor of the department.

(2) After completion of the appeal procedure provided for in this section, the secretary may file a certified copy of the department's final decision that directs payment of a civil penalty and, if applicable, any order denying a petition for a writ of administrative mandamus, with the clerk of the superior court of any county that has jurisdiction over the matter. No fees shall be charged by the clerk of the superior court for the performance of any official services required in connection with the entry of judgment pursuant to this section.

(e) Any penalties levied by the secretary pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the Department of Food and Agriculture Fund, and, upon appropriation by the Legislature, shall be used for the purposes described in Section 221.

Cite this article: - California Code, Food and Agricultural Code (Formerly Agricultural Code) - FAC § 19447 - last updated January 01, 2019 |

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