Title 46

SECTION 221.73

221.73 Initial Hearing Officer consideration.

§ 221.73 Initial Hearing Officer consideration.

(a) When a case is received for action, the Hearing Officer shall examine the material submitted. If the Hearing Officer determines that there is insufficient evidence to proceed, or that there is any other reason which would make penalty action inappropriate, the Hearing Officer shall return the case to the Vessel Transfer Officer with a written statement of the reason. The Vessel Transfer Officer may close the case or investigate the matter further. If additional evidence supporting a violation is discovered, the Vessel Transfer Officer may resubmit the matter to the Hearing Officer.

(b) If the Hearing Officer determines that there is reason to believe that a violation has been committed, the Hearing Officer notifies the Party in writing by registered or certified mail of -

(1) The alleged violation and the applicable statute and regulations;

(2) The maximum penalty that may be assessed for each violation;

(3) The general nature of the procedure for assessing and collecting the penalty;

(4) The amount of the penalty that appears to be appropriate, based on the material then available to the Hearing Officer;

(5) The right to examine all the material in the case file and have a copy of all written documents provided upon requests; and

(6) The right to request a hearing.

(c) If at any time it appears that the addition of another Party to the proceedings is necessary or desirable, the Hearing Officer will provide the additional Party and the Party alleged to be in violation with notice as described above.

(d) At any time during a proceeding, before the Hearing Officer issues a decision under § 221.89, the Hearing Officer and the Party may agree to a Settlement of the case.