2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 10 - COMMERCE AND TRADE
CHAPTER 14 - CEMETERY AND FUNERAL SERVICES
§ 10-14-23 - Administrative appeal of order of Secretary of State
. Administrative appeal of order of Secretary of State
(a) Where the Secretary of State has issued any order forbidding the sale of burial lots, burial rights, burial merchandise, or burial services under any provision of this chapter, he or she shall promptly send to the cemetery owner, cemetery company, burial or funeral merchandise dealer, or preneed dealer and to the persons who have filed such application for registration a notice of opportunity for hearing. Before entering an order refusing to register any person or entity and after the entering of any order for revocation or suspension, the Secretary of State shall promptly send to such person or entity a notice of opportunity for hearing. Hearings shall be conducted by the Secretary of State pursuant to this Code section.
(b) Notices of opportunity for hearing shall be served by investigators appointed by the Secretary of State or sent by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, to the addressee's business mailing address, and such notice shall state:
(1) The order which has issued or which is proposed to be issued;
(2) The ground for issuing such order or proposed order; and
(3) That the person to whom such notice is sent will be afforded a hearing upon request if such request is made within ten days after receipt of the notice.
(c) Whenever a person requests a hearing in accordance with the provisions of this Code section, there shall immediately be set a date, time, and place for such hearing, and the person requesting such hearing shall forthwith be notified thereof. The date set for such hearing shall be within 15 days, but not earlier than five days after the request for hearing has been made, unless otherwise agreed to by the issuer of the notice and the person requesting such hearing.
(d) For the purpose of conducting any hearing 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 hearings, 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, at the request of the person requesting such hearing or upon the official's own initiative, to issue a subpoena for any witnesses 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.
(e) At any hearing conducted under this Code section, a party or an affected person may appear in his or her own behalf or may be represented by an attorney. A stenographic record of the testimony and other evidence submitted shall be taken unless the Secretary of State and the person requesting such hearing shall agree that such a stenographic record of the testimony shall not be taken. A transcript of the proceeding shall be made available to a party upon the payment of reasonable costs. The Secretary of State shall pass upon the admissibility of such evidence, but a party may at any time make objections to such rulings thereon; and, if the Secretary of State refuses to admit evidence, the party offering the same shall make a proffer thereof and such proffer shall be made a part of the record of such hearing.
(f) If the Secretary of State does not receive a request for a hearing within the prescribed time, he or she may permit an order previously entered to remain in effect or he or she may enter a proposed order. If a hearing is requested and conducted as provided in this Code section, the Secretary of State shall issue a written order which shall set forth his or her findings with respect to the matters involved and enter an order in accordance with the Secretary's findings.
Graham Syfert - Jacksonville Lawyer