Section 34-27-68

Commission may seek injunctive relief, etc., for violation of article; investigation; revocation of registration.

(a) If it appears that a person, firm, corporation, or any business entity has engaged, or is about to engage, in an act or practice constituting a violation of a provision of this article or rule or order of the commission, the commission, through the Attorney General, may institute legal actions to enjoin the act or practice and to enforce compliance with this article or any rule or order of the commission or to have a receiver or conservator appointed. To prevail in such action, it shall not be necessary to allege or prove either that an adequate remedy at law does not exist or that substantial or irreparable damage would result from the continued violation thereof.

(b) The commission may:

(1) Make any public or private investigation which it deems necessary, either within or outside of this state, to determine whether any person has violated or is about to violate this article or any rule or order hereunder, or to aid in the enforcement of this article or in the prescribing of rules and forms hereunder.

(2) Require or permit any person to file a statement in writing, under oath or otherwise as the commission may determine, as to all facts and circumstances concerning the matter to be investigated.

(3) For the purpose of any investigation or proceeding hereunder, the commission or any officer designated by rule may administer oaths or affirmations, and upon its own motion or upon request of any party shall subpoena witnesses, compel their attendance, take evidence, and require the production of any matter which is relevant to the investigation, including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition and location of any books, documents, or other tangible things and the identity and location of persons having knowledge of relevant facts of any other matter reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of material evidence.

(4) Upon failure to obey a subpoena or to answer questions propounded by the investigating officer and upon reasonable notice to all persons affected hereby, the commission, through the Attorney General may apply to the circuit court for an order compelling compliance.

(5) Issue an order requiring the seller to cease and desist from any unlawful practice and to take such affirmative action as in the judgment of the commission will carry out the purposes of this article, if, after notice and hearing, the commission determines that a seller has violated any provisions of this article.

(6) Make findings of fact in writing that the public interest may be harmed by delay in issuing an order and in such case may issue a temporary cease and desist order. Prior to issuing the temporary cease and desist order, the commission, whenever possible by telephone or otherwise, shall give notice of the proposal to issue a cease and desist order to the seller. Every temporary cease and desist order shall include in its terms a provision that upon request a hearing will be held promptly to determine whether or not it becomes permanent.

(7) Revoke or suspend the registration of a vacation time-sharing plan if, after notice and hearing, upon a written finding of fact, it determines that the seller or sellers in whose name the plan is registered, or any agent therefor, has:

a. Failed to comply with the terms of any order of the commission; or

b. Been convicted in any court of competent jurisdiction subsequent to filing of the application for registration, of a crime involving fraud, deception, false pretenses, misrepresentation, false advertising, or dishonest dealing; or

c. Had a final judgment rendered against him in any court of competent jurisdiction, when such judgment involved the sale, marketing, or operation of any time-share plan or real estate transaction; or

d. Disposed of, concealed, or diverted any funds or assets of any person so as to defeat the rights of vacation time-sharing plan purchasers; or

e. Failed to faithfully perform any stipulation or agreement made with the commission as an inducement to grant any registration, to reinstate any registration, or to approve any promotional plan or advertisement; or

f. Made an intentional misrepresentation or concealed a material fact in an application for registration; or

g. Made a misrepresentation or concealed any material fact in the sale, marketing, or operation of a registered time-sharing plan; or

h. Failed to comply with the terms of a sales contract; or

i. Failed to make timely delivery of a deed to any purchaser to whom a deed is due to be delivered; or

j. Violated any other provision of this article or any rule or regulation of the commission.

The reinstatement of a registration suspended or revoked as a result of a violation under this article may be made conditional upon the fulfillment of such reasonable conditions as are imposed by the commission.

(8) Issue a cease and desist order instead of revoking a registration if it finds, after notice and hearing, that the seller has been guilty of a violation for which revocation could be ordered.

(9) In lieu of, or in addition to, revoking or suspending a registration or issuing a cease and desist order, impose a penalty of not less than $100 nor more than $2,000 per violation upon the seller(s) in whose name(s) the plan is registered if it finds, after notice and hearing, that such seller(s), or any agent therefor, has been guilty of a violation for which revocation or suspension could be ordered.

(Acts 1983, No. 83-670, p. 1035, §19; Acts 1985, No. 85-750, p. 1204, §1.)