2001-S 410
Enacted 7/9/2001

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Introduced By:  Senator David E. Bates Date Introduced:  February 13, 2001

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:

SECTION 1. Section 19-14-23 of the General Laws in Chapter 19-14 entitled "Licensed Activities" is hereby amended to read as follows:

19-14-23. Examinations and investigations. -- (a) For the purpose of discovering violations of this title or securing information lawfully required, the director or the director's designee(s) may at any time investigate the loans and business and examine the books, accounts, records and files used therein, of every licensee and person who shall be engaged in the business, whether the person shall act or claim to act as principal or agent, or under or without the authority of this title. For that purpose the director or the director's designee(s) shall have free access to the offices and places of business, books, accounts, paper, records, files, and safes, of all such persons. The director or the director's designee(s) shall have authority to require the attendance of and to examine under oath any person whose testimony may be required relative to the loans or the business or to the subject matter of any examination, investigation, or hearing.

(b) The director or the director's designee shall make an examination of the affairs, business, office, and records of each licensee and branch location at least once every eighteen (18) months. The total cost of an examination made pursuant to this section shall be paid by the licensee or person being examined, and shall be one hundred fifty percent (150%) of the total salaries and benefits plus one hundred percent (100%) for the travel and transportation expenses for the examining personnel engaged in the examinations. The fees shall be paid to the director to and for the use of the state. The examination fees shall be in addition to any taxes and fees otherwise payable to the state.

(c) The provisions of section 19-4-3 shall apply to records of examinations or investigations of licensees; however, the director or the director's designee is authorized to make public the number of valid consumer complaints as determined by the director or the director's designee filed against the licensee for a twelve (12) month period immediately preceding the request for the information.

(d) If the director or his or her designee has reason to believe that any person required to be licensed under this chapter is conducting a business without having first obtained a license under this chapter, or who after the denial, suspension, or revocation of a license is conducting that business, the director or his or her designee may issue an order to that person commanding him or her to cease and desist from conducting that business. The order shall provide an opportunity to request a hearing to be held not sooner than three (3) days after issuance of that order to show cause why the order should not become final. Any order issued pursuant to this section shall become final if no request for a hearing is received by the director or his or her designee within thirty (30) days of the issuance of the order. The order may be served on any person by mailing a copy of the order, certified mail, return receipt requested, and first class mail to that person at any address at which that person has done business or at which that person lives. Any hearing held pursuant to this section shall be governed in accordance with chapter 35 of title 42. If that person fails to comply with an order of the director or his or her designee after being afforded an opportunity for a hearing, the superior court for Providence County has jurisdiction upon complaint of the department to restrain and enjoin that person from violating this chapter.

(e) The director may impose an administrative assessment, as well as the penalties provided for under section 19-14-26, against any person named in an order issued under section 19-14-23(d). The amount of the administrative assessment may not exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each violation of this chapter or each act or omission that constitutes a basis for issuing the order.

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.

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