A. In every case of a hearing before the Commissioner authorized under this article, the Commissioner shall give reasonable notice of each hearing to all interested parties, and the Commissioner’s decision shall be binding on the parties, subject to the rights of judicial review and appeal as provided in the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).
B. Hearings before the Commissioner under this article shall commence within 90 days of the request for a hearing, and the Commissioner’s decision shall be rendered within 60 days from the receipt of the hearing officer’s recommendation. Hearings authorized under this article shall be presided over by a hearing officer selected from a list prepared by the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court. On request of the Commissioner, the Executive Secretary will name a hearing officer from the list, selected on a rotation system administered by the Executive Secretary. The hearing officer shall provide recommendations to the Commissioner within 90 days of the conclusion of the hearing.
C. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of this article, the Commissioner shall initiate investigations, conduct hearings, and determine the rights of parties under this article whenever he is provided information indicating a possible violation of any provision of this article.
D. For purposes of any matter brought to the Commissioner under subdivisions 3, 4, 5, 6, and 9 of § 46.2-1573.16 with respect to which the Commissioner is to determine whether there is good cause for a proposed action or whether it would be unreasonable under the circumstances, the Commissioner shall consider:
7. Other economic and geographical factors reasonably associated with the proposed action.With respect to subdivision 6, any performance standard or program for measuring dealership performance that may have a material effect on a dealer, and the application of any such standard or program by a manufacturer or distributor, shall be fair, reasonable, and equitable and, if based upon a survey, shall be based upon a statistically valid sample. Upon the request of any dealer, a manufacturer or distributor shall disclose in writing to the dealer a description of how a performance standard or program is designed and all relevant information used in the application of the performance standard or program to that dealer.
E. An interested party in a hearing held pursuant to subsection A shall comply with the effective date of compliance established by the Commissioner in his decision in such hearing, unless a stay or extension of such date is granted by the Commissioner or the Commissioner’s decision is under judicial review and appeal as provided in subsection A. If, after notice to such interested party and an opportunity to comment, the Commissioner finds an interested party has not complied with his decision by the designated date of compliance, unless a stay or extension of such date has been granted by the Commissioner or the Commissioner’s decision is under judicial review and appeal, the Commissioner may assess such interested party a civil penalty not to exceed $ 1,000 per day of noncompliance. Civil penalties collected under this subsection shall be deposited into the Transportation Trust Fund established pursuant to § 33.2-1524.
1996, cc. 1043, 1052, § 46.2-1992.75; 2000, c. 106; 2015, c. 615.