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KEY: wildlife, suspension, violation

Date of Enactment of Last Substantive Change: August 7, 2007

Notice of Continuation: August 16, 2011

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted law: 23-13-2; 23-14-1; 23-14-19; 23-19-9; 23-20-14; 63G-4-302; 63G-4-203

R657-26-1. Purpose and Authority.

Under authority of Subsection 23-19-9(14), this rule provides the procedures and standards for:

(1) the suspension of the privilege of applying for, purchasing and exercising the benefits conferred by a license or permit; and

(2) the suspension of a certificate of registration.

R657-26-2. Definitions.

(1) Terms used in this rule are defined in Section 23-13-2.

(2) In addition:

(a) "Intentionally" as defined in Section 76-2-103.

(b) "Knowingly" as defined in Section 76-2-103.

(c) "Party" means the division, Wildlife Board, or respondent.

(d) "Presiding officer" means the hearing officer appointed by the division director to conduct suspension proceedings.

(e) "Recklessly" as defined in Section 76-2-103.

(f) "Respondent" means a person against whom a suspension proceeding is initiated.

(g) Single Criminal episode: means all conduct, which is closely related in time and is incident to an attempt or an accomplishment of a single criminal objective as defined in 76-1-401.

R657-26-3. Commencement of Suspension Proceedings.

(1)(a) Each adjudicative proceeding shall be commenced by the presiding officer filing a notice of agency action.

(2) The notice of agency action shall be filed and served according to the requirements provided in Section 63G-4-201(2).

(3) All suspension proceedings conducted by the presiding officer are designated as informal adjudications. The presiding officer may convert the hearing to a formal hearing anytime before a final order is issued if:

(a) conversion of the proceeding is in the public interest; and

(b) conversion of the proceeding does not unfairly prejudice the rights of any party.

R657-26-4. Procedures for Suspension Proceedings.

(1)(a) An answer or other pleading responsive to the allegations in the notice of agency action does not need to be filed by the respondent.

(b) If an answer to the notice of agency action is filed, the answer shall include:

(i) the name of the respondent;

(ii) the case number or other reference number;

(iii) the facts surrounding the allegations;

(iv) a response to the allegations that the violation was committed knowingly, intentionally or recklessly; and

(v) the date the answer was mailed.

(2) The respondent may access any relevant information contained in the division's files and all materials and information gathered in the investigation of the respondent, to the extent permitted by law.

(3) Discovery and intervention is prohibited.

R657-26-5. Hearings.

(1)(a) The presiding officer shall provide the respondent with an opportunity for a hearing.

(b) A hearing shall be held if the division receives a written request for a hearing from the respondent within 20 calendar days after the date the notice of agency action is issued.

(2) The respondent, or a person designated by the respondent to appear on the respondent's behalf, may testify at the hearing and present any relevant information or evidence.

(3) Hearings shall be open to the public.

(4) After reviewing all the information provided by the parties, the presiding officer [shall]may suspend the respondent's license, permit or certificate of registration privileges in accordance with Section 23-19-9.

(5)(a) The type of license, permit or certificate of registration privilege suspension imposed shall be within the following categories:

(i) all fishing licenses and permits;

(ii) all furbearer and bobcat licenses and permits;

(iii) all hunting licenses and permits for big game;

(iv) all hunting licenses and permits for small game and wild turkey permits. Any person suspended for small game will be eligible to purchase an alternate hunting license to apply for and obtain big game, cougar, and bear permits but will not be issued a hunting license valid to take small game;

(v) all permits to take and pursue cougar and bear;

(vi) all falconry permits and falconry certificates of registration;

(vii) certificates of registration of a type specified; or

(viii) all hunting licenses, permits and certificates of registration;

(ix) all licenses, permits and certificates of registration issued by the division.

(b) The presiding officer may suspend the license, permit or certificate of registration privileges most closely associated with the activity for which the person was participating in when the violation occurred.

(c) The presiding officer may suspend the license, permit or certificate of registration privileges most closely associated with the activity that involved the unlawful taking of protected wildlife for which no season has been established.

(d) If the violation involves acts that occurred while participating in an activity regulated by Title 23, which include more than one of the types of license or permit privileges as provided in Subsection (a), the presiding officer may suspend the license, permit or certificate of registration privileges for all categories that apply.

(e) The presiding officer may impose a suspension of all privileges to hunt protected wildlife or all privileges to take protected wildlife if the violations are found by the presiding officer to be conspicuously bad or offensive. This may include, but are not restricted to, the violations described in Subsection (e)(i) through Subsection (e)(viii).

(i) Any violation which could result in suspension that involves taking, in a single criminal episode, four times the legal bag limit of any protected fish species.

(ii) Any violation which could result in suspension that involves taking, in a single criminal episode, three times the legal bag limit of any small game species or waterfowl.

(iii) Any violation which could result in suspension that involves a once-in-a-lifetime species.

(iv) Any violation which could result in suspension that occurs out of season or in a closed area for the species illegally taken and involves a trophy animal.

(v) Three or more felony or class A misdemeanor violations under Section 23-20-4 in a seven-year period, regardless of suspension periods previously imposed.

(vi) Any violation which could result in suspension that involves the unlawful taking, in a single criminal episode, of two or more big game animals.

(vii) Any violation which could result in suspension that involves the unlawful taking, in a single criminal episode, of two or more cougar or bear.

(viii) Any violation subject to Section 23-19-9 that further violates an existing order of revocation or suspension recognized by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

(viv) Any violation which involves the unlawful taking of big game for pecuniary gain.

(6) The director shall appoint a qualified person as a presiding officer in accordance with Section 23-19-9(9).

(7) The presiding officer may suspend privileges to take protected wildlife up to but not to exceed the limits as defined in Utah Code Sections 23-19-9-(4) and (5). The presiding officer will take into account any aggravating or mitigating circumstances when deciding the length of a suspension period.

(8) The presiding officer may suspend privileges based on two or more separate criminal episodes either concurrently or consecutively.

(9) The presiding officer may suspend privileges previously suspended by a court, presiding officer or the Wildlife Board either concurrently or consecutively.

(10) The courts may suspend, in criminal sentencing, a person's privilege to apply for, purchase, or exercise the benefits conferred by a license, permit, or certificate of registration in accordance with Section 23-19-9(10).

(11) The division shall suspend and reinstate all hunting, fishing, trapping, and falconry privileges consistent with Title 23, Chapter 25, Wildlife Violator Compact.

R657-26-6. Issuance of Decision and Order.

(1) Within a reasonable time after the close of the adjudicative proceeding, the presiding officer shall issue a signed, written order that states:

(a) the decision;

(b) the reasons for the decision;

(c) a notice of any right of administrative review available to the parties; and

(d) the time limits for filing an appeal or requesting a review.

(2) The decision and order shall be based on facts appearing in division files and on the testimony and facts presented in evidence at the hearing.

(3)(a) A copy of the decision and order shall be promptly mailed to all parties.

(b) If the mailed copy is returned as undeliverable and the division has otherwise made good faith efforts to deliver the decision and order to the respondent, the presiding officer shall publish notice of the decision in at least one newspaper or state publication with general circulation throughout the state.

R657-26-7. Default.

(1) The presiding officer may enter an order of default against the respondent if the respondent fails to participate, either in writing or in person, in the adjudicative proceeding.

(2) Upon considering the order of default, the presiding officer shall review the investigative file to determine the elements for suspension are satisfied and shall issue and order of default that:

(a) include a statement of the grounds for default;

(b) makes a finding of all relevant issues required in utah code section 23-19-9; and

(c) mail a copy of the order to all parties.

(i) If the mailed copy is returned as undeliverable and the division has otherwise made good faith efforts to deliver the decision and order to the respondent, the presiding officer shall publish notice of the decision in at least one newspaper or state publication with general circulation throughout the state.

(3)(a) A defaulted party may seek to have the presiding officer set aside the default order, and any order in the adjudicative proceeding issued subsequent to such default, by following the procedures outlined in the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure.

(b) A motion to set aside a default order and any subsequent order shall be made in writing to the presiding officer.

(c) A defaulted party may seek Wildlife Board Review under Section R657-26-8 only on the decision of the presiding officer on the motion to set aside the default.

R657-26-8. Wildlife Board Review - Procedure.

(1)(a) A person may file an appeal of a presiding officer's decision with the Wildlife Board.

(b) The appeal must be in writing and the respondent shall send a copy of the appeal by mail to the chair of the Wildlife Board and each of the parties.

(2) The appeal must be received within 30 calendar days after the issuance of the presiding officer's decision and order.

(3) The appeal shall:

(a) be signed by the respondent or the respondent's legal counsel;

(b) state the grounds for appeal and the relief requested; and

(c) state the date upon which it was mailed.

(4)(a) Within 30 calendar days after the mailing date of the appeal, any party may file a written response with the Wildlife Board.

(b) A copy of the response shall be sent by mail to the chair of the Wildlife Board and each of the parties.

(5) The Wildlife Board may hold a de novo formal hearing in accordance with the provisions of Section 63G-4-204 through Section 63G-4-208. The Wildlife Board may convert the hearing to an informal hearing anytime before a final order is issued if:

(a) conversion of the proceeding is in the public interest; and

(b) conversion of the proceeding does not unfairly prejudice the rights of any party.

(6) At the conclusion of the hearing, the Wildlife Board may:

(a) affirm the decision;

(b) vacate or remand the decision;

(c) amend the type of suspension ordered by the presiding officer; or

(d) amend the suspension period not to exceed the statutory maximums.

(7) The Wildlife Board chair may vote in an adjudicative proceedings decision, and any Wildlife Board decision shall be supported by a majority of the voting members present.

(8)(a) Within a reasonable time after the close of the formal hearing, the chair of the Wildlife Board shall issue a written order that affirms, vacates or remands the decision or amends the type of suspension ordered by the hearing officer.

(b) The order on review shall be signed by the chair of the Wildlife Board and mailed to each party.

(c) The order on review shall contain:

(i) a designation of the statute permitting review;

(ii) a statement of the issues reviewed;

(iii) findings of fact as to each of the issues reviewed;

(iv) conclusions of law as to each of the issues reviewed;

(v) whether the decision of the presiding officer is to be affirmed, reversed, modified, and whether all or any portion of the adjudicative proceeding is to be remanded;

(vi) a notice of any right of further administrative reconsideration; and

(vii) the time limits applicable to any review.

R657-26-9. Reinstatement of a License, Permit, or Certificate of Registration.

(1) A presiding officer may reinstate a person's license, permit, or certificate of registration suspended under Section 23-19-9.5 upon receiving a written request for reinstatement.

(2) The person making the request shall include:

(a) the person's name, phone number, and mailing address;

(b) the number of the license, permit, or certificate of registration that was suspended or revoked;

(c) the date the violation occurred;

(d) the date the request was mailed;

(e) the state in which the violation occurred;

(f) a copy of a receipt from the court where the violation was processed stating the violation is no longer outstanding; and

(g) the person's signature.

(3) Within a reasonable time of receiving the request, the presiding officer shall issue a written order stating whether the request is granted or denied and the reasons for the decision.

(4) If a presiding officer denies a person's request for reinstatement, the person may submit a request for reconsideration by following the procedures provided in Section 63G-4-302.

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