THE STATE AND ITS GOVERNMENT
POOLED RISK MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS
5-B:4-a Authority of the Secretary of State; Investigations; Cease and Desist Orders; Penalties.
I. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the secretary of state shall have exclusive authority and jurisdiction:
(a) To bring administrative actions to enforce this chapter.
(b) To investigate and impose penalties for violations of this chapter, including but not limited to:
(2) Rescission, restitution, or disgorgement.
II. The secretary of state shall have all powers specifically granted or reasonably implied in order to perform the substantive responsibilities imposed by this chapter.
III. For the purpose of any investigation, hearing, or proceeding under this chapter, the secretary of state or any officer designated by him or her may administer oaths and affirmations, subpoena witnesses, compel their attendance, take evidence and require the production of any books, papers, correspondence, memoranda, agreements, or other documents or records which the secretary of state deems relevant or material to the inquiry.
IV. In the event that a person refuses to obey a subpoena issued to him or her or any order or determination the secretary of state is authorized to make, the superior court, upon application by the attorney general or secretary of state or any officer designated by the secretary of state, may issue to the person an order directing him or her to appear before the attorney general or secretary of state, or the officer designated by him or her, to produce documentary evidence if so ordered or to give evidence relative to the matter under investigation or in question. Failure to obey the order of the court may be punished by the court as contempt of court.
V. In any investigation to determine whether any person has violated or is about to violate this chapter or any rule or order under this chapter, upon the secretary of state's prevailing at hearing, or the person charged with the violation being found in default, or pursuant to a consent order issued by the secretary of state, the secretary of state shall be entitled to recover the costs of the investigation, and any related proceedings, including reasonable attorney's fees, in addition to any other penalty provided for under this chapter.
VI. Whenever it appears to the secretary of state that any person has engaged or is about to engage in any act or practice constituting a violation of this chapter or any rule or order under this chapter the secretary of state shall have the power to issue and cause to be served upon such person an order requiring the person to cease and desist from violations of this chapter. The order shall be calculated to give reasonable notice of the rights of the person to request a hearing on the order and shall state the reasons for the entry of the order. All hearings shall be conducted in accordance with RSA 421-B:6-613.
VII. The following fines and penalties may be imposed on any person who has violated this chapter.
(a) Any person who, either knowingly or negligently, violates any provision of this chapter or any rule or order thereunder, may, upon hearing, and in addition to any other penalty provided for by law, be subject to an administrative fine not to exceed $2,500. Each of the acts specified shall constitute a separate violation.
(b) After notice and hearing, the secretary of state may enter an order of rescission, restitution, or disgorgement directed to a person who has violated this chapter, or rule or order under this chapter. Rescission, restitution, or disgorgement shall be in addition to any other penalty provided for under this chapter.
VIII. Decisions of the secretary of state may be appealed to the supreme court pursuant to RSA 541.
Source. 2010, 149:3, eff. June 14, 2010. 2015, 273:3, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.