2019 Georgia Code
Title 40 - Motor Vehicles and Traffic
Chapter 1 - Identification and Regulation
Article 3 - Motor Carriers
Part 1 - Georgia Motor Carrier Act of 2012
§ 40-1-56. Financial penalty for violations; suspension of certificate or permit; notice; review
(a) Any motor carrier or limousine carrier subject to the provisions of Part 2 or Part 3 of this article that fails to register as a motor carrier or limousine carrier with the department or that is subject to the jurisdiction of the department and willfully violates any law administered by the department or any duly promulgated regulation issued thereunder, or that fails, neglects, or refuses to comply with any order after notice thereof, shall be liable for a penalty not to exceed $15,000.00 for such violation and an additional penalty not to exceed $10,000.00 for each day during which such violation continues.
(b) Following a reasonable attempt to notify a holder of a certificate, the commissioner is authorized to immediately suspend a motor carrier or limousine carrier certificate or permit if the commissioner finds that such suspension is necessary to protect against an immediate threat to the life, health, or safety of others. An emergency suspension made pursuant to this subsection may be appealed by filing a request for administrative review with the department within 30 days of receipt of notice of the department's decision. An administrative hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the procedures for contested cases under Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act."
(c) Notice of a violation and the assessed amount shall be made by means of personal service upon the violator. The notice shall include a warning that a vehicle related to the violation may be subject to suspension of the registration pursuant to Code Section 40-1-56.1. The respondent shall then have 60 days in which to pay the assessed penalty or file with the department a written request for an administrative review. The request for an administrative review shall specify whether the respondent is challenging the validity of the imposition of the penalty or the amount of the assessment, or both. An administrative hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the procedures for contested cases under Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act."
(1) All penalties and interest thereon, at the rate of 10 percent per annum, recovered by the department shall be paid into the general fund of the state treasury.
(2) Reissuance fees charged by the Department of Revenue shall be retained by the Department of Revenue.
(3) Restoration fees charged by the department shall be retained by the department.
(1) Any party who has exhausted all administrative remedies available before the department and who is aggrieved by a final decision of the department made pursuant to this Code section may seek judicial review of the final order of the department in the Superior Court of Fulton County or in the superior court of the county in which the principal place of business of the aggrieved party is located.
(2) Proceedings for review shall be instituted by filing a petition within 30 days after the service of the final decision of the department or, if a rehearing is requested, within 30 days after the decision thereon. A motion for rehearing or reconsideration after a final decision by the department shall not be a prerequisite to the filing of a petition for review. Copies of the petition shall be served upon the department and all parties of record before the department.
(3) The petition shall state the nature of the petitioner's interest, the facts showing that the petitioner is aggrieved by the decision, and the ground upon which the petitioner contends the decision should be reversed. The petition may be amended by leave of court.
(4) Within 30 days after service of the petition or within such further time as is stipulated by the parties or as is allowed by the court, the agency shall have transmitted to the reviewing court the original or a certified copy of the entire record of the proceedings under review. By stipulation of all parties to the review proceedings, the record may be shortened. A party unreasonably refusing to stipulate that the record be limited may be taxed for the additional costs. The court may require or permit subsequent corrections or additions to the record.
(5) The review shall be conducted by the court without a jury and shall be confined to the record. The court shall not substitute its judgment for that of the department as to the weight of the evidence on questions of fact. The court may affirm the decision of the department or remand the case for further proceedings. The court may reverse the decision of the department if substantial rights of the petitioner have been prejudiced because the department's findings, inferences, conclusions, or decisions are:
(A) In violation of constitutional or statutory provisions;
(B) In excess of the statutory authority of the department;
(C) Made upon unlawful procedure;
(D) Clearly not supported by any reliable, probative, and substantial evidence on the record as a whole; or
(E) Arbitrary or capricious.
(6) A party aggrieved by an order of the court may appeal to the Supreme Court or to the Court of Appeals in accordance with Article 2 of Chapter 6 of Title 5, the "Appellate Practice Act."
Code 1981, § 40-1-56, enacted by Ga. L. 2013, p. 838, § 4/HB 323.