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AB 2179 Fish and Game, Enforcement and Penalties

Around The Capitol (latest version 5/25/23)

(HERE for Call to Action: http://pienpolitics.com/?p=10749 ) - 6/28/12

Existing law authorizes the Fish and Game Commission, or any person appointed by the commission, to conduct a hearing, to cause the deposition of witnesses, as prescribed, and to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents and papers, in accordance with certain requirements.

This bill would eliminate the prohibition that the commission not revoke or suspend any license or permit until specified regulations have been adopted and approved, as specified. This bill would also eliminate the provision that any deliberation conducted by the commission, or conducted by any person appointed by the commission to conduct a hearing, is required to be conducted pursuant to the law governing administrative adjudication.

Existing law requires the commission to adopt guidelines, by regulation, to assist the director and the department in ascertaining the amount of specified civil penalties, as prescribed.

This bill would repeal these provisions.

Existing law permits the Department of Fish and Game to impose civil liability upon any person for specified acts, with prescribed exceptions, done for profit or personal again, for unlawfully exporting, importing, possessing, receiving, or transporting in interstate commerce any container or package containing any bird, mammal, amphibian, reptile, or fish, or any endangered or threatened species, or any fully protected bird, mammal, or fish unless the container is marked as prescribed, and for any unlawful failure or refusal to maintain any records or paperwork as required. Under existing law, the department may assess a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 for each bird, mammal, amphibian, reptile, or fish, or for each endangered or threatened species, or each fully protected bird, mammal, or fish unlawfully taken, possessed, transported, imported, received, purchased, acquired, or sold, in addition to any other applicable penalty. Existing law also requires the department to consult with the district attorney in the jurisdiction where a violation is alleged to have occurred, and before proceeding with a civil action, to seek the concurrence of the Attorney General, as described. Existing law permits the Director of Fish and Game to issue a complaint to any person on whom a civil penalty may be imposed, in accordance with specified provisions, and requires a referee or hearing board, as provided for, to conduct any required hearing.

This bill would repeal these provisions. This bill would instead permit the department to impose administrative civil penalties not to exceed $20,000 and determined as prescribed, upon any person who has violated any provision of the code or regulations adopted pursuant to the code. This bill would require the department to adopt regulations that include a fee schedule to provide guidance in assessing these civil penalties. This bill would require, prior to the imposition of administrative penalties, a person to be given a written notice of the proposed action. This bill would require a person who receives notice of a proposed penalty to have the right to request a hearing before the department in accordance with specified procedures. This bill would permit the department to take the action proposed without a hearing if a hearing is not requested. This bill would permit a party ordered to pay an administrative penalty and who appeared at a hearing to appeal to the director, as prescribed. This bill would permit a person served with a copy of an order setting the amount of a civil penalty to file with the superior court a petition for a writ of mandate for review of the order, as specified. This bill would permit the department to file a certified copy of the final decision that directs payment of an administrative penalty and, if applicable, any order that denies a petition for a writ of administrative mandamus with the clerk of the superior court of any county, would require the clerk to enter judgment, and would prohibit the clerk from charging fees for the performance of any official service required in connection with this entry of judgment. This bill would require any administrative penalties received pursuant to these provisions to be deposited into the Fish and Game Preservation Fund.

Existing law, the California Public Records Act, requires any public record of a state or local agency to be open to inspection at all times during office hours of the agency and, upon request, a copy shall be made promptly available to any person upon payment of copying costs. The act makes certain records exempt from disclosure.

This bill would, after all appeals are final, provide that records of the appeal to the director are public records, as defined by the act.




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