Section 8-33-11

Enforcement provisions.

(a) The commissioner may conduct examinations of warrantors, administrators, or other persons to enforce this chapter and protect warranty holders in this state. Upon request of the commissioner, a warrantor shall make available to the commissioner all accounts, books, and records concerning vehicle protection products sold by the warrantor that are necessary to enable the commissioner to reasonably determine compliance or noncompliance with this chapter.

(b) The commissioner may take action that is necessary or appropriate to enforce this chapter, the commissioner's rules and orders, and to protect warranty holders in this state. If a warrantor engages in a pattern or practice of conduct that violates this chapter and that the commissioner reasonably believes threatens to render the warrantor insolvent or cause irreparable loss or injury to the property or business of any person or company located in this state, the commissioner may do any of the following:

(1) Issue an order directed to that warrantor to cease and desist from engaging in further acts, practices, or transactions that are causing the conduct.

(2) Issue an order prohibiting that warrantor from selling or offering for sale vehicle protection products in violation of this chapter.

(3) Issue an order imposing a civil penalty on that warrantor.

(4) Issue any combination of the foregoing, as applicable.

(c) Prior to the effective date of any order issued pursuant to subsection (b), the commissioner must provide written notice of the order to the warrantor and the opportunity for a hearing to be held within 10 business days after receipt of the notice, except prior notice and hearing shall not be required if the commissioner reasonably believes that the warrantor has become, or is about to become, insolvent.

(d) A person aggrieved by an order issued under this section may request a hearing before the commissioner. The hearing request shall be filed with the commissioner within 20 days after the date the commissioner's order is effective, and the commissioner must hold such a hearing within 15 days after receipt of the hearing request.

(e) At the hearing, the burden shall be on the commissioner to show why the order issued pursuant to this section is justified. The provisions of the Alabama Department of Insurance Administrative Code Chapter 482-1-065 shall apply to a hearing request under this section.

(f) The commissioner may bring an action in any court of competent jurisdiction for an injunction or other appropriate relief to enjoin threatened or existing violations of this chapter or of the commissioner's orders or rules. An action filed under this section also may seek restitution on behalf of persons aggrieved by a violation of this chapter or orders or rules of the commissioner.

(g) A person who is found to have violated this chapter or orders or rules of the commissioner may be ordered to pay to the commissioner a civil penalty in an amount, determined by the commissioner, of not more than five hundred dollars ($500) per violation and not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) in the aggregate for all violations of a similar nature. For purposes of this section, violations shall be of a similar nature if the violation consists of the same or similar course of conduct, action, or practice, irrespective of the number of times the conduct, action, or practice that is determined to be a violation of this chapter occurred.

(h) This chapter does not create a separate civil cause of action.

(Act 2006-600, p. 1638, §11.)