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  • MLCA


The Commissioner may make an immediate decision at the close of the length of suspension hearing or may take the case under advisement. When the decision is reached, he sends a letter to the lobsterman stating that the suspension stands or that it has been amended in some fashion. A person can appeal his suspension one more time, this time to the Superior Court, if he does so within 30 days of the Commissioner’s letter. At the same time that the administrative suspension process is moving along, the court case is also progressing. A court case is strictly about the civil or criminal penalty attached to the specific violation, which most often is a fine. A license, however, may be suspended or taken only through the administrative process unless the fisherman is convicted on a mandatory suspension charge before the administrative process is complete. “If the hearing officer finds that the person is not at fault but the court system convicts him, then DMR will not suspend the license,” Cornish noted. The administrative suspension process gives the DMR Commissioner certain discretionary powers concerning licenses. For example, if someone has six marine resources convictions within a seven-year period, the Commissioner can permanently revoke all that person’s marine resources licenses. “A license is a privilege,” Cornish said. “This process is well thought out and each case is looked at individually. Fishermen are looking for strict enforcement of the laws, for DMR to send a message that you will be held accountable. They are generally supportive.


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