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(1) Upon receipt of a timely filed claim or request for hearing, the department shall schedule a hearing at department headquarters in Helena, Montana, within 5 working days of the receipt of the request. The hearing may be scheduled by telephone, but all interested parties shall be notified of the hearing in writing by certified mail within 2 working days from the date the meeting was scheduled.

(2) The hearing shall be conducted by the department's chief of staff who shall serve as the hearings officer. If the chief of staff is unable to serve as the hearings officer, he shall select as an alternate a division administrator from within the department who was not involved in the decision to seize the fuel in question. The hearing may include representation by the department's legal unit and FTMA unit for the purpose of legal and technical consultation only.

(3) The hearing may include all parties claiming interest or title to the seized fuel and their legal representatives.

(4) Upon the conclusion of the hearing, the hearings officer shall determine that either:

(a) The parties claiming interest or title to the fuel shall forfeit title and interest in the fuel and the department shall deposit the proceeds from the sale of the fuel into the general fund of the state of Montana within 5 working days less tax, penalty, transportation cost and administrative costs; or

(b) The department shall reimburse those claiming interest or title in the fuel the wholesale price of the fuel on the day it was seized, less tax and penalty owed to the state of Montana, within 10 working days from the date of final determination by the department.

(5) The department shall provide written notice of the determination of the hearings officer to those persons claiming interest or title to the seized fuel within 2 working days after the date of the hearing.

History: 15-70-104, MCA; IMP, 15-70-233 and 15-70-357, MCA; NEW, 1998 MAR p. 964, Eff. 4/17/98.

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