California Code, Insurance Code - INS § 1748.5

(a) For the purposes of this section, the following definitions are applicable:

(1) “Production agency” means any person or organization licensed under Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 1621 ), Chapter 5A (commencing with Section 1759 ), Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 1760 ), Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 1800 ), or Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 1831 ).

(2) “Subject person” means any person who has participated or may participate in any manner in the business of a production agency, or any person licensed as a producer.

(3) “Insurer” means any domestic insurer, and any insurer that is admitted to transact insurance in this state, provided that if a subject person of an insurer is not a resident of California, or operating out of a place of business within California, then the subject person shall be engaged in direct management, direction, or conduct of the business of insurance in California in order to come within the provisions of this section.

(b) If, after notice and a hearing, the commissioner finds all of the following, the commissioner may issue an order removing a subject person from his or her office or employment with the production agency and prohibiting the subject person from participating in any manner in the conduct of the business of an insurer or production agency, except with the prior consent of the commissioner:

(1)(A) The subject person has engaged in misconduct with respect to the business of insurance that has caused financial or other injury to any person, or

(B) The subject person has engaged in fraud, or willful acts or omissions involving dishonesty that exposed a person to financial or other injury;  and

(2) The subject person's conduct or practice demonstrates unfitness to continue as a subject person.

(c)(1) If the commissioner gives written notice pursuant to subdivision (b) to a subject person, the commissioner shall immediately issue an order prohibiting the subject person from participating in any manner in the business of insurance, except with the prior consent of the commissioner, if the commissioner:  (A) finds that failure to immediately issue the order threatens the financial solvency of an insurer or may reasonably be expected to cause irreparable injury to any person;  (B) serves that subject person and the production agency with written notice of the suspension order;  and (C) finds that all of the necessary factors are present which would permit the commissioner, after notice and a hearing, to issue an order pursuant to subdivision (b) removing a subject person from his or her office or employment with the production agency and prohibiting the subject person from participating in any manner in the business of an insurer or production agency.

(2) Any suspension order issued pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subdivision shall be effective until the date the commissioner dismisses the charges contained in the notice served under subdivision (b) or paragraph (1) of this subdivision, the effective date of an order issued by the commissioner pursuant to subdivision (b), or a court issues a stay of the order pursuant to subdivision (d).

(d) Within 10 days after a subject person has been served with an order of suspension pursuant to subdivision (c), the person may apply to the superior court of the county in which the principal office of the production agency is located for a stay of the order pending completion of the proceedings pursuant to subdivision (b), and the court shall have jurisdiction to issue an order staying the suspension.  Nothing in this subdivision shall be deemed to authorize the court to issue a stay order on an ex parte basis.

(e)(1) If the commissioner finds both of the following, he or she shall immediately issue an order suspending a subject person from his or her office or employment with a production agency and prohibiting the subject person from participating in any manner in the conduct of the business of an insurer or production agency, except with the prior consent of the commissioner:  (A) the subject person has been charged in an indictment issued by a grand jury, or in an information, complaint, or similar pleading issued by a United States Attorney, district attorney, or other governmental official or agency authorized to prosecute crimes, with a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year and which involves as one of its necessary elements a fraudulent act or an act of dishonesty in the acceptance, custody, or payment of money or property;  and (B) that a failure to immediately issue the order threatens the financial solvency of an insurer or may cause financial or other injury to any person.

In the event the criminal proceedings are terminated other than by judgment of conviction, an order issued pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subdivision shall be deemed rescinded as if it had not been issued.

(2) If the commissioner finds both of the following, he or she may immediately issue an order removing a subject person from his or her office or employment with a production agency and prohibiting the subject person from participating in any manner in the business of an insurer or production agency, except with the prior consent of the commissioner:  (A) the person has during the preceding five years been convicted of a crime that is punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year and has as one of its necessary elements a fraudulent act or an act of dishonesty in the accepting, custody, or payment of money or property;  and (B) that a failure to immediately issue the order threatens the financial solvency of an insurer or may cause financial or other injury to any person.

(3) The fact that any subject person charged with a crime involving as one of its necessary elements a fraudulent act or any act of dishonesty in the acceptance, custody, or payment of money or property is not convicted of that crime shall not preclude the commissioner from issuing an order regarding the subject person pursuant to other provisions of this code.

(f)(1) Within 30 days after an order is issued pursuant to subdivision (c) or (e), the subject person to whom the order is issued may choose to do either of the following:  (A) file with the commissioner an application for a hearing on the order.  The commissioner shall, upon the written request of the subject person, extend the 30-day period by an additional 30 days provided the request is filed with the commissioner within 30 days after the order is issued.  If the commissioner fails to commence the hearing within 15 business days after the application is filed, or within a longer period of time to which the subject person consents, the order shall be deemed rescinded as if it had not been issued.  Within 30 days after the hearing, the commissioner shall affirm, modify, or rescind the order;  otherwise, the order shall be deemed rescinded as if it had not been issued, or (B) petition for judicial review of the order pursuant to Section 1085 of the Code of Civil Procedure , where the court shall exercise its independent judgment on the evidence.

(2) The right of any subject person to whom an order is issued pursuant to subdivision (c) or (e) to petition for judicial review of the order shall not be affected by the failure of that subject person to apply to the commissioner for a hearing on the order as provided by this subdivision.

(g)(1) Any person to whom an order is issued pursuant to subdivision (b), (c), or (e) may apply to the commissioner to modify or rescind the order.  The commissioner shall not grant the application unless he or she finds that it is reasonable to believe that the person will, if and when he or she becomes a subject person, comply with all of the applicable provisions of this code and of any regulation or order issued thereunder.

(2) The right of any subject person to whom an order is issued pursuant to subdivision (b), (c), or (e) to petition for judicial review of the order shall not be affected by the failure of that subject person to apply to the commissioner pursuant to paragraph (1).

(h)(1) It is unlawful for any subject person or former subject person to whom an order is issued pursuant to subdivision (b), (c), or (e) to do any of the following as long as the order is in effect, except with the prior consent of the commissioner:  (A) to serve or act as a subject person for any insurer or production agency;  or (B) to directly or indirectly vote any shares or other securities of an insurer or production agency.

(2) If, after notice and a hearing, the commissioner finds that any subject person has violated paragraph (1) of this subdivision, the commissioner may order that subject person to pay to the commissioner a civil penalty, which may be recovered in a civil action, in an amount the commissioner may specify;  provided however, that the amount of the civil penalty shall not exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each day for which the violation continues.

In determining the amount of civil penalty to be paid to the commissioner under this paragraph, the commissioner shall consider the financial resources and good faith of the subject person charged, the gravity of the violation, the history of previous violations by the person, and other factors as in the opinion of the commissioner may be relevant.

(3) If, after notice and a hearing, the commissioner finds that any production agency has knowingly aided and abetted a subject person in a violation of paragraph (1) of this subdivision, or subdivision (h) of Section 728 , the commissioner may order that production agency to pay to the commissioner a civil penalty in an amount the commissioner may specify;  provided however, that the amount of the civil penalty shall not exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each violation or in the case of a continuing violation, one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each day for which the violation continues, up to a maximum of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).  Continuation of the subject person's salary or other employee benefits pending final disposition shall not be considered aiding and abetting a subject person.

In determining the amount of civil penalty to be paid to the commissioner under this paragraph, the commissioner shall consider the financial resources and good faith of the subject person charged, the gravity of the violation, the history of previous violations by the person, and other factors as in the opinion of the commissioner may be relevant.

(i) Except as otherwise provided by this section, any hearing required by this section shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code , subject to the following:

(1) At the option of the subject person, all hearings shall be a closed session and private, and the records of the hearings shall not be made public unless the hearing results in a final order adverse to the subject person.

(2) Where judicial review is sought by the subject person pursuant to Section 1085 of the Code of Civil Procedure , the court shall exercise its independent judgment upon the evidence.

(3) When a subject person to whom an order has been issued pursuant to subdivision (c) or (e) applies to the commissioner for a hearing pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (f), the Office of Administrative Hearings shall schedule the hearing on a priority basis at the earliest possible time and once the hearing is commenced, it shall not be continued for more than three business days without the consent of the subject person.

(4) If the Office of Administrative Hearings cannot schedule the commencement of a hearing within 15 business days as provided by paragraph (1) of subdivision (f), and the subject person does not waive his or her right to a hearing commencing within 15 days, the hearings may be conducted by administrative law judges appointed by the commissioner;  the hearing shall be completed within 45 days of commencement, unless additional time is requested by the subject person.  If the hearing is not completed within the 45 days, the order shall be deemed rescinded as if it had not been issued.  The scheduling of other hearings before the administrative law judge shall not be considered good cause for purposes of this paragraph.

(j) Nothing in this section is intended to or shall be construed to create a private cause of action against an offending subject person or insurer or production agency that aids and abets a subject person, based on the standards established by this section or the commissioner's findings or orders pursuant to this section.


FindLaw Codes are provided courtesy of Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the industry-leading online legal research system. For more detailed codes research information, including annotations and citations, please visit Westlaw.

FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.