(a) Whenever the director determines that any operator has not complied with the provisions of this article and is therefore in violation of this article, the director may cause to have issued and served upon the person alleged to be committing such violation a written notice which shall specify the provision of this article which such operator allegedly is violating and a statement of the manner in and the extent to which said operator is alleged to violate this article and shall require the person so complained against to answer the charges of such formal complaint at a hearing before the director at a time not less than 30 days after the date of notice. The director shall issue subpoenas at the instance of the department and at the request of the charged operator, requiring the attendance of witnesses and the production of such papers and documents as are relevant to such hearing. The charged operator may appear in person or by representative counsel at such hearing. Testimony shall be taken under oath and recorded stenographically at such hearing, and the charged operator may cross-examine witnesses at such hearing. A copy of the record of such hearing shall be furnished to the charged operator upon payment of the cost of such copy. The director shall enter such order as he deems appropriate to effectuate the purposes of this article and forthwith mail a copy thereof to the charged operator or his attorney of record. If such order of the director is not complied with in the required time, the director may then commence proceedings under Section 9-16-11.
(b) Any operator subjected to any order of the director may institute a civil action to have the order reviewed in the circuit court of the judicial circuit in which the operator has his principal place of business in Alabama or of the judicial circuit where the property affected by the order is located, provided the complaint instituting such civil action is filed in said court within 30 days following the date of such order. The director shall be made a party to the court proceeding, and service shall be made upon the director, whose domicile for the purpose of service shall be deemed to be the office of the director in Montgomery, Alabama. The action shall be tried de novo as an original hearing in said circuit court and shall be a preferred case on the docket thereof. The court shall have jurisdiction to determine the reasonableness and lawfulness of the order of the director. Upon a finding by the court that the order is not reasonable or lawful, the action shall be remanded to the director for further proceedings in accordance with the provisions of this article. The parties shall have all rights of exception and appeal as in other civil actions. On any appeal of an order of the director, the operator may, upon application to the court, stay the execution of any judgment entered on giving such supersedeas bond in the amount the court deems proper and necessary to avoid the likelihood of material damage. Such a bond shall be made payable to the State of Alabama. If a supersedeas bond has been given on appeal to the circuit court as hereinabove provided for, such bond shall continue in force and effect during an appeal to the Supreme Court and until final adjudication of the action, and all the conditions of such bond shall be complied with and no other supersedeas bond need be given by the operator unless the court hearing the action shall determine that the amount of such supersedeas bond is either excessive or inadequate, in which case the court may order such supersedeas reduced or increased as the court may decide.