Pursuant to ORS
576.738, all producers or
growers making a complaint of no payment or untimely payment must submit the
complaint in writing to the department.
(1) Prior to filing a complaint of untimely
or nonpayment with the department, a seed grower or producer must send a notice
to the dealer of the amount owed.
(2) Unless expressly provided otherwise in a
seed production contract that is authenticated by the producer and seed dealer
prior to the producer planting the agricultural seed, a producer shall upon
notification to the dealer of seed quality test results, indicating that the
seed is eligible for sale, shall also notify a seed dealer, in writing, no
later than 30 days prior to commencement of storage fees, a rate for storage
fees and the date in which storage fees will commence.
A written complaint must include all
documents and information as required by the department and must include a fee
(a) Upon receipt of the fee and
written complaint the department shall verify that the complainant has provided
all information required to make a determination and request additional
information from the complainant if necessary.
(b) Consistent with law, the agency may
initiate an investigation to determine the validity of the complaint.
Upon the department's
determination that a complaint of untimely or nonpayment is valid and correct
the department shall notify the seed dealer in writing that the dealer has 30
days to pay the producer or seed grower all delinquent monies plus interest on
each delinquent amount at the rate of one percent per month simple interest
from the final payment date for that delinquent amount and that failure to make
payment as described in the notice may result in the suspension of the seed
The department must
notify the seed dealer of its determination consistent with ORS Chapter 183 and
as described in OAR 603-047-0400
, and shall serve its notice on the seed dealer
and on any and all persons to whom payment is due under the contract.
(b) The complainant or respondent may
challenge and offer evidence to prove or disprove the department's notice in a
contested case hearing.
The Department may post a notice issued
pursuant to subsection (2) above on its web page and in a newspaper of general
circulation. This notice shall include the following information:
(a) The name of the seed dealer to whom the
Department has issued a notice;
A statement that the Department has determined as a preliminary matter that the
named seed dealer owes payment to a grower/producer and the name of the
(c) A statement
allowing any person to file a complaint as described in subsection (1) of this
section with the Department within 30 days of publication of the
(6) If it
appears that no determination may be made that payment has not been made in
accordance with the terms of a seed production contract or seed purchase
contract, or that the department does not have jurisdiction over the complaint,
the department shall apprise the complainant in writing of its final decision
not to pursue the complaint.
The complainant producer or grower shall submit to the department a payment of
$150 for each notice of payment demand made to a seed dealer prior to the
department's issuance of the notice.