2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 10 - COMMERCE AND TRADE
CHAPTER 14 - CEMETERY AND FUNERAL SERVICES
§ 10-14-15 - Investigations by Secretary of State; subpoenas; hearings
. Investigations by Secretary of State; subpoenas; hearings
(a) The Secretary of State, at his or her discretion:
(1) May make such public or private investigations or examinations inside or outside this state as he or she deems necessary to determine whether any person has violated or is about to violate any provision of this chapter or any rule, regulation, or order under this chapter or to aid in the enforcement of this chapter or in the prescribing of rules and regulations under this chapter; and
(2) May require or permit any person to file a statement in writing, under oath or otherwise as the Secretary of State determines, as to all the facts and circumstances concerning the matter to be investigated.
(b) For the purpose of conducting any investigation as provided in this Code section, the Secretary of State shall have the power to administer oaths, to call any party to testify under oath at such investigations, to require the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, records, and papers, and to take the depositions of witnesses; and, for such purposes, the Secretary of State is authorized to issue a subpoena for any witness or a subpoena for the production of documentary evidence to compel the production of any books, records, or papers. Said subpoenas may be served by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, to the addressee's business mailing address or by investigators appointed by the Secretary of State or shall be directed for service to the sheriff of the county where such witness resides or is found or where such person in custody of any books, records, or papers resides or is found. The fees and mileage of the sheriff, witness, or person shall be paid from the funds in the state treasury for the use of the Secretary of State in the same manner that other expenses of the Secretary of State are paid.
(c) In case of refusal to obey a subpoena issued under any Code section of this chapter to any person, a superior court of appropriate jurisdiction, upon application by the Secretary of State, may issue to the person an order requiring him or her to appear before the court to show cause why he or she should not be held in contempt for refusal to obey the subpoena. Failure to obey a subpoena may be punished by the court as contempt of court.
(d) The Secretary of State is authorized to hold investigative hearings with respect to any matter under this chapter. A hearing as provided for in this Code section may be conducted by any person designated by the Secretary of State for that purpose. A transcript of the testimony and evidence resulting from such hearing may, but need not, be transcribed by the Secretary of State. A report of the investigative hearing shall be included in the investigative report prepared for the Secretary of State. Any recommendations of the designated representative of the Secretary of State shall be advisory only and shall not have the effect of an order of the Secretary of State.
(e) The Secretary of State shall have the authority to inspect and review or cause to be reviewed the books of each registrant under this chapter. Said inspection or review may be conducted by the Secretary of State as frequently as the Secretary of State may deem appropriate.
Graham Syfert - Jacksonville Lawyer