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Process for NGA Penalty Assessment

  1. Notice of Proposed Penalty: Before issuing an order assessing a civil penalty against any person under the NGA, the Commission will issue such person notice of the proposed penalty and a statement of the material facts constituting the violation.


  2. Response to Proposed Penalty: Person has the opportunity to respond, including information to show why the penalty should either not be assessed or be modified or reduced. If the person chooses to pay the amount of the proposed penalty, the process will terminate.


  3. Hearing Order: If the person contests the alleged violation and proposed assessment, the Commission will issue a further order. If the record is sufficient, the Commission may assess a civil penalty. If a hearing is needed, the Commission will issue a hearing order and indicate whether the Commission will conduct a paper hearing or a hearing before an ALJ. In the latter case, the ALJ will conduct a hearing under Part 385 of the Commission's regulations. In either case, staff from the Office of Enforcement will serve as trial staff at the hearing.


  4. ALJ Hearing ALJ Hearing
    Paper Hearing: Procedures as provided by Commission hearing order. Hearing Order: The Commission will issue a hearing order that will inform the person of the opportunity for an administrative hearing before an ALJ. The ALJ will conduct a hearing under Part 385 of the Commission's regulations. Staff from the Office of Enforcement will serve as trial staff at the hearing.

    Initial Decision: The ALJ will issue an Initial Decision and determine whether a violation or violations occurred. If a violation is found, the Initial Decision will recommend any appropriate penalty, taking into account factors described in the Policy Statement on Enforcement.

    Exceptions: The Commission will consider the Initial Decision of the ALJ and any exceptions filed.


  5. Final Commission Decision - Penalty Assessment: If the Commission has conducted a paper hearing, it will issue an order on the paper hearing record. If the case was set for hearing before an ALJ, the Commission will consider the Initial Decision of the ALJ and any exceptions filed. In either case, if the Commission determines that there is a violation, the Commission will issue an order and may assess any appropriate penalty.


  6. Rehearing: In accordance with NGA section 19(a) and Rule 713, the person may request a rehearing no later than 30 days after the issuance of the order assessing the penalty.


  7. U.S. Court of Appeal: The person can appeal a final Commission order to a United States Court of Appeals within the appropriate time for review of a Commission order.


  8. Judicial Enforcement: If the person fails to pay the civil penalty, the Commission will institute a collection action in an appropriate United States district court



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