TITLE 5
Businesses and Professions

CHAPTER 5-53.1
Solicitation by Charitable Organizations

SECTION 5-53.1-14


§ 5-53.1-14 Enforcement and penalties – Director.

(a) Whenever the department, upon its own motion or upon complaint of any person has reason to believe that any person is violating any of the provisions of this chapter, it may, if warranted, take any of the following actions:

(1) Revoke, suspend or deny a registration of a charitable organization or professional fundraiser or professional solicitor or fundraising counsel;

(2) Assess an administrative fine against the violator of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each act or omission constituting a violation; provided, that in determining the amount of the fine to be assessed, the director shall take into account factors like the nature and severity of the violation and the willfulness of the violation;

(3) Issue an order to that person commanding them to appear before the department at a hearing to be held not sooner than ten (10) days nor later than twenty (20) days after issuance of the order to show cause why the department should not issue an order to the person to cease and desist from the violation of the provisions of this chapter. An order to show cause may be served on any person by any person by mailing a copy of the order to the person at any address at which that person had done business or at which the person may live. If upon the hearing the department is satisfied that the person is in fact violating any provision of this chapter, then the department shall order that person, in writing, to cease and desist from the violation. At any hearing, the department shall not be bound by common law rules of evidence, but may receive and consider any statements, documents, and things which shall be considered by it necessary or useful in arriving at its decision. If that person thereafter fails to comply with the order of the department, the superior court for Providence County shall have jurisdiction upon the complaint of the department to restrain and enjoin that person from violating this chapter. The findings and order of the department shall constitute prima facie evidence that the person ordered by the department to cease and desist has violated the provisions of this chapter. The attorney general shall afford the department any necessary assistance in obtaining relief in the superior court.

(b) The director shall, before denying, revoking or suspending any registration or assessing a civil penalty, notify the applicant or registrant in writing and provide an opportunity for hearing in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act, chapter 35 of title 42, and in accordance with other rules and regulations that the director may promulgate to effectuate the purposes of this chapter. Any person who has exhausted all administrative remedies available to him or her and who is aggrieved by a final decision of the department shall be entitled to judicial review in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act, chapter 35 of title 42. The written notice may be served by personal delivery to the person or by regular mail to his, her or its last known business address. A hearing must be requested within thirty (30) days of receipt of the notice from the director or shall be automatically waived. Any hearing shall be held within thirty (30) days of the receipt of the request by the director, at a time and place that the director shall prescribe. The director or the director's designee may issue subpoenas in accordance with the laws of Rhode Island, compel the attendance of witnesses at the hearing, administer oaths, take proof and make determinations of relevant facts. The respondent may appear at the hearing and may cross-examine all witnesses and produce evidence on his, her or its behalf. The director or the director's designee shall not be bound by the rules of evidence during the conduct of the hearing. A final determination shall be made by the director or the director's designee.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1999, ch. 152, § 2.)