33 CFR 1.07-20 - Initiation of action.
(a) When a case is received for action, the Hearing Officer makes a preliminary examination of the material submitted. If, on the basis of the preliminary examination, the Hearing Officer determines that there is insufficient evidence to proceed, or that there is any other reason which would make penalty action inappropriate, the Hearing Officer returns the case to the District Commander with a written statement of the reason. The District Commander may close the case or cause a further investigation of the alleged violation to be made with a view toward resubmittal of the case to the Hearing Officer.
(b) If on the basis of the preliminary examination of the case file, the Hearing Officer determines that a violation appears to have been committed, the Hearing Officer notifies the party in writing of:
(1) The alleged violation and the applicable law or regulations;
(2) The amount of the maximum penalty that may be assessed for each violation;
(3) The general nature of the procedure for assessing and collecting the penalty;
(4) The amount of penalty that appears to be appropriate, based on the material then available to the Hearing Officer;
(5) The right to examine all materials in the case file and have a copy of all written documents provided upon request; and,
(6) The fact that the party may demand a hearing prior to any actual assessment of a penalty.
(c) If at any time it appears that the addition of another party to the proceedings is necessary or desirable, the Hearing Officer provides the additional party with notice as described above.