Meat Inspection

Section 427:29

    427:29 Powers of Commissioner. –
I. The commissioner or designee shall also have power:
(a) To gather and compile information concerning, and to investigate from time to time, the organization, business, conduct, practices, and management of any person, firm, or corporation engaged in commerce, and the relation thereof to other persons, firms, and corporations.
(b) To require, by general or special orders, persons, firms, and corporations engaged in intrastate commerce, or any class of them, or any of them to file with the commissioner, in such form as he or she may prescribe, annual or special, or both annual and special, reports or answers in writing to specific questions, furnishing to said commissioner such information as he or she may require as to the organization, business, conduct, practices, management, and relation to other persons, firms, and corporations, of the person, firm, or corporation filing such reports or answers in writing. Such reports and answers shall be made under oath, or otherwise, as the commissioner may prescribe, and shall be filed with the commissioner within such reasonable period as the commissioner may prescribe, unless additional time be granted in any case by him or her.
II. For the purpose of this subdivision, the commissioner:
(a) Shall at all reasonable times have access to, for the purpose of examination, any documentary evidence of any person, firm, or corporation being investigated or proceeded against and the right to copy such evidence. He or she may require by subpoena the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of all documentary evidence of any person, firm, or corporation relating to any matter under investigation.
(b) May sign subpoenas and may administer oaths and affirmations, examine witnesses, and receive evidence.
III. Such attendance of witnesses, and the production of such documentary evidence, may be required at any designated place of hearing. In case of disobedience to a subpoena, the commissioner may invoke the aid of any court designated in RSA 427:26 in requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of documentary evidence.
IV. Any of the courts designated in RSA 427:26 within the jurisdiction in which such inquiry is carried on may, in case of contumacy or refusal to obey a subpoena issued to any person, firm, or corporation, issue an order requiring such person, firm, or corporation to appear before the commissioner or to produce documentary evidence if so ordered, or to give evidence touching the matter in question; and any failure to obey such order of the court may be punished by such court as contempt thereof.
V. Upon the application of the attorney general of this state at the request of the commissioner, the superior court shall have jurisdiction to issue writs of mandamus commanding any person, firm, or corporation to comply with the provisions of this subdivision or any order of the commissioner made in pursuance thereof.
VI. The commissioner may order testimony to be taken by deposition in any proceeding or investigation pending under this subdivision at any stage of such proceeding or investigation:
(a) Such depositions may be taken before any person designated by the commissioner and having power to administer oaths.
(b) Such testimony shall be reduced to writing by the person taking the deposition, or under his or her direction, and shall then be subscribed by the deponent.
(c) Any person may be compelled to appear and depose and to produce documentary evidence in the same manner as witnesses may be compelled to appear and testify and produce documentary evidence before the commissioner as provided in this section.
VII. Witnesses summoned before the commissioner shall be paid the same fees and mileage that are paid witnesses in the courts of this state under RSA 592-A:12, and witnesses whose depositions are taken and the persons taking the same shall severally be entitled to the same fees as are paid for like services in such courts under RSA 516:13.
VIII. No person, firm, or corporation shall be excused from attending and testifying or from producing books, papers, schedules of charges, contracts, agreements, or other documentary evidence before the commissioner or in obedience to the subpoena of the commissioner whether such subpoena is signed or issued by him or her or his or her delegate, or in any cause or proceeding, criminal or otherwise, based upon or growing out of any alleged violation of this subdivision, or of any amendments thereto, on the ground or for the reason that the testimony or evidence, documentary or otherwise, required of him, her, or it may tend to incriminate him, her, or it or subject him, her, or it to a penalty of forfeiture, but no person shall be prosecuted or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture for or on account of any transaction, matter, or thing concerning which he or she is compelled, after having claimed his or her privilege against self-incrimination, to testify or produce evidence, documentary or otherwise, except that any person so testifying shall not be exempt from prosecution and punishment for perjury committed in so testifying.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985. 2011, 130:6, eff. Aug. 5, 2011.