Section 2-26-75

Conduct of investigation as to complaint by committee; hindering, obstructing, etc., access to premises, review of records, etc., by committee; report of findings and recommendations.

When the Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries refers a complaint by a farmer or other seed purchaser to the Seed Investigation and Arbitration Committee, said committee shall make a full and complete investigation of the matters complained of and at the conclusion of said investigation report its findings with its recommendations and file same with the Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries. The purchaser of the seed and the seed dealer shall upon request of either party be entitled to a hearing before the committee before any findings and recommendations are made. Notice of the date, time and place of the hearing shall be given to both parties. In conducting its investigation the committee or any member or members thereof is authorized to investigate the farmer or other purchaser's complaint and the farming or growing operation involved in the complaint and the seed dealer's sales, packaging, labeling, storage or processing operation relating to the seed alleged to be faulty. The investigation shall be conducted in a manner prescribed by the committee. The committee, or any member thereof, in the performance of its duties is authorized to enter upon any public or private premises during regular business hours in order to have access to seed and records of the sale and purchase thereof for examination and review as authorized under the provisions of Section 2-26-10(b) and (d), when necessary to perform its duties required under this article. Any person who hinders, obstructs or refuses entry, access or review of such records shall be guilty of a violation of Sections 2-26-11(b)(3) and 2-26-13. The committee shall be authorized to grow to production a representative sample of the alleged faulty seed through the facilities of the state, or Auburn University, under the supervision of the Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries or his authorized agent when such action is deemed necessary; also, to hold hearings at a time and place directed by the chairman of the committee upon reasonable notice to the farmer or other purchaser of seed and the seed dealer and to prescribe and promulgate rules of procedure to carry out the evident intent and purpose of this article. Any investigation made by less than the whole membership of the committee shall be conducted by authority of a written directive by the chairman or by rules of procedure adopted by the committee. Investigations shall be summarized in writing and considered by the committee in a report of its findings and recommendations.

(Acts 1979, No. 79-424, p. 661, §3(3).)