2022 Code of Alabama
Title 37 - Public Utilities and Public Transportation.
Chapter 15 - Notification of Excavation or Demolition Operations.
Section 37-15-10.2 - Violations; Complaints; Dispute and Hearing; Judicial Review.

Universal Citation: AL Code § 37-15-10.2 (2022)

Section 37-15-10.2

Violations; complaints; dispute and hearing; judicial review.

(a) Any person who violates this chapter may be reported to the authority for the alleged violation.

(b) The board shall develop and implement a process for the receipt of a complaint of a violation of this chapter. The complaint must be made no later than 30 days after the known occurrence of the violation. A complaint may be filed as information only and designated not to be pursued under the enforcement provisions.

(c) Upon receipt of a complaint of a violation of this chapter, the administrator, operating on behalf of the authority, shall provide notice to the reported violator advising that a complaint of violation has been made setting out the time and place of the alleged violation, the identity of who reported the violation, his or her right to file a written response within 14 days, and his or her right to appeal from an adverse decision.

(d) The administrator, acting on behalf of the authority, shall submit the complaint and documentation to the executive committee.

(e) The authority executive committee shall review the complaint and any documentation regarding the complaint and make any needed recommendation for penalty action.

(f) The administrator, operating on behalf of the authority, shall notify the complainant and the reported violator of any penalty assessed.

(g) Once the reported violator is notified of the designated penalty as described in Section 37-15-10, the violator may pay the penalty to the Underground Damage Prevention Fund or dispute the penalty and request a hearing before the full authority board.

(h) The request for a hearing before the authority board must be made within 30 days of the issuance of notification of the violation.

(i) The full authority board shall meet no more than quarterly, based on need. The hearings shall be held at the place set forth in the notice of hearing. There shall be no presumption of correctness attached to any finding of fact or any assessment of a penalty that is appealed to the authority board, and the proceedings and hearing before the authority board shall be tried de novo. The complainant must attend the hearing.

(j) The authority board in the appeal process may do all of the following:

(1) Repeal the initial penalty provisions cited for the alleged violation of this chapter.

(2) Uphold the initial penalty provisions cited for the alleged violation of this chapter.

(3) Issue a new penalty provision related to the alleged violation of this chapter.

(4) Issue an order stating the outcome of the hearing including any assigned penalty.

(k) A person aggrieved by the final order, within 30 days from the date of the final order, may seek judicial review in the circuit court by filing a notice of appeal.

(l) All complaints filed pursuant to this chapter shall not be subject to the Alabama Open Records Act. However, the authority shall make available upon request a summary of a complaint after a final resolution has been entered regarding any such complaint requested along with any documents associated with the final resolution of the complaint. However, this restriction shall not prevent a party from obtaining a copy of the complaint by means of a subpoena or other method allowed by the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure or the Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure. The Alabama Open Meetings Act shall apply to all meetings and judicial hearings required pursuant to this chapter, except for those meetings of the authority in which the initial determination of violation and recommended fine is discussed and determined.

(m) The authority may bring an action against any person or entity to collect any fines, penalties, or other monies owed to the authority.

(n) The authority shall be governed by the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act.

(Act 2019-407, §2.)

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