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Marine Invasive Species Fee Collection Law

Public Resources Code

Chapter 5. Civil and Criminal Penalties and Liability

Section 71216

71216. Violations and penalties. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b) or (c), a person who intentionally or negligently fails to comply with the requirements of this division may be liable for an administrative civil penalty in an amount that shall not exceed twenty-seven thousand five hundred dollars ($27,500) for each violation. Each day of a continuing violation constitutes a separate violation.

(b) Any person who fails to comply with the reporting requirements set forth in Section 71205 may be liable for an administrative civil penalty in an amount that shall not exceed twenty-seven thousand five hundred dollars ($27,500) per violation. Each day of a continuing violation constitutes a separate violation.

(c) Any person who, knowingly and with intent to deceive, falsifies a ballast water control report form, or knowingly and with intent to deceive, tampers with or disables a system for controlling the release of nonindigenous species, required by this division, may be liable for an administrative civil penalty in an amount that shall not exceed twenty-seven thousand five hundred dollars ($27,500) per violation. Each day of a continuing violation constitutes a separate violation.

(d) The executive officer of the commission may issue a complaint to a person on whom civil liability may be imposed pursuant to this division. The complaint shall allege the facts or failures to act that constitute a basis for liability and the amount of the proposed civil liability. The complaint shall be served by personal service or certified mail and shall inform the person served of the right to a hearing. A person served with a complaint pursuant to this subdivision may, within 30 days after service of the complaint, request a hearing by filing with the executive officer a notice of defense, as described in Section 11506 of the Government Code. A notice of defense is deemed to be filed within the 30-day period if it is postmarked within the 30-day period. If a hearing is requested by the person, it shall be conducted within 30 days after the executive officer receives the notice of defense. If no notice of defense is filed within 30 days after service of the complaint, the executive officer shall issue an order setting liability in the amount proposed in the complaint unless the executive officer and the person have entered into a settlement agreement, in which case the executive officer shall issue an order setting liability in the amount specified in the settlement agreement. If the person has not filed a notice of defense or if the executive officer and the person have entered into a settlement agreement, the order shall not be subject to review by a court or agency.

(e) A hearing required under this section shall be conducted by an independent hearing officer, in accordance with the procedures specified in Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, except as otherwise specified in this section. In making a determination, the hearing officer shall take into consideration the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation, the violator's past and present efforts to prevent, abate, or clean up conditions posing a threat to the public health and safety of the environment, and the violator's ability to pay the proposed civil penalty. After conducting a hearing required pursuant to this section, the hearing officer shall, within 30 days after the case is submitted, issue a decision, including an order setting the amount, if any, of the civil penalty to be imposed.

(f) An order setting civil liability and issued pursuant to this section is effective and final upon issuance. The violator shall pay any penalty within 30 days of service, unless he or she seeks judicial review pursuant to subdivision (g), in which case he or she shall pay any penalty within 30 days of service of the court's order setting civil liability. A copy of the order shall be served by personal service or by certified mail upon the person served with the complaint and upon other persons who appeared at the hearing and requested a copy.

(g) Within 30 days after service of a copy of a decision issued by the hearing officer that the person served is liable for a civil penalty, a person so served may file a petition for writ of mandate for review of the decision pursuant to Section 11523 of the Government Code. A person who fails to file the petition within the 30-day period shall not challenge the reasonableness or validity of a decision or order of the hearing officer in any judicial proceedings brought to enforce the decision or order or for other remedies. Except as otherwise provided in this section, Section 1094.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure shall govern a proceeding conducted pursuant to this subdivision. In a proceeding pursuant to this subdivision, the court shall uphold the decision of the hearing officer if the decision is based upon substantial evidence in the whole record. The filing of a petition for writ of mandate shall not stay any corrective action required pursuant to this act or the accrual of any penalties assessed pursuant to this act. This subdivision does not prohibit the court from granting any appropriate relief within its jurisdiction.

(h) An order for administrative penalties entered pursuant to this section shall be subject to interest at the legal rate from the filing date of the complaint as specified in subdivision (d).

(i) A provision of this chapter or a ruling of the executive officer shall not be construed to limit, abridge, or supersede the power of the Attorney General, at the request of the executive officer, or upon his or her own motion, to bring an action in the name of the people of the State of California to enjoin a violation of this division, seek necessary remedial action by a person who violates this division, or seek civil and criminal penalties against a person who violates this division.

(j) In lieu of a complaint pursuant to subdivision (d) to impose administrative civil penalties set forth in subdivisions (a), (b), and (c), the Attorney General, at the request of the commission, may bring an action in superior court, in the name of the people of the State of California, to enjoin a violation of this division, seek necessary remedial action by a person who violates this division, or seek civil penalties in the amounts set forth in subdivisions (a), (b), and (c).

History.—Stats. 2006, Ch. 292 (SB 497), in effect January 1, 2007, substituted "a" for "any", substituted "that shall" for "which may", and substituted "twenty-seven thousand five hundred dollars ($27,500)" for "five thousand dollars ($5,000)" in first sentence of subdivision (a); substituted "that shall" for "which may", substituted "twenty-seven thousand five hundred dollars ($27,500)" for "five hundred dollars ($500)" in first sentence of subdivision (b); substituted "that shall" for "which may", substituted "twenty-seven thousand five hundred dollars ($27,500)" for "five thousand dollars ($5,000)" in first sentence of subdivision (c); substituted "a" for "any" in first sentence of, deleted "so" after "shall inform the person" in second sentence of, and substituted "shall" for "may" after "settlement agreement, the order" in the last sentence of subdivision (d); substituted "pursuant to" for "under" in last sentence of subdivision (e); substituted "An order" for "Orders" and substituted "is" for "are" in first sentence of, substituted "A copy" for "Copies" and "order" for "orders" in last sentence of subdivision (f); substituted "shall" for "may" after "within the 30-day period", substituted "a proceeding" for "any proceedings" after "Code of Civil Procedure shall govern", substituted "a proceeding" for "all proceedings" after "In", and substituted "shall" for "may" after "petition for writ of mandate" in subdivision (g); substituted "shall" for "may" after "ruling of the executive officer" in subdivision (i); substituted "pursuant to" for "under" after "In lieu of a complaint", and substituted "people" for "People" after "in the name of the" in subdivision (j).