Chapter 5. Hearings of California Financial Code >> Division 6. >> Chapter 5.
The commissioner, and all persons designated by him, may
administer oaths, take the testimony of witnesses, and issue subpenas
requiring the attendance of witnesses and the production of books,
documents, and other things under their control, at any examination,
investigation, or hearing in any part of the State.
(a) The commissioner may make such investigations as he or
she deems necessary to determine whether any person has violated or
is about to violate any provision of this division or any rule or
order hereunder or to aid in the enforcement of this division. The
commissioner may publish information concerning any violation of this
division or any rule or order hereunder.
(b) In making any investigation authorized by subdivision (a), the
commissioner may, for a reasonable time not exceeding 30 days, take
possession of the books, records, accounts, and other papers
pertaining to the business of any escrow agent or joint control agent
and place a keeper in exclusive charge of them in the place where
they are usually kept. During such possession no person shall remove
or attempt to remove any of the books, records, accounts, or other
papers except pursuant to a court order or with the consent of the
commissioner. However, the directors, officers, partners, and
employees of the escrow agent or joint control agent may examine the
books, records, accounts, or other papers and the employees shall be
permitted to make entries therein reflecting current transactions.
(c) For the purpose of any investigation or proceeding under this
division, the commissioner or any officer designated by the
commissioner 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 commissioner
deems relevant or material to the inquiry.
(d) In case of contumacy by, or refusal to obey a subpoena issued
to, any person, the superior court, upon application of the
commissioner, may issue to the person an order requiring him or her
to appear before the commissioner, or the officer designated by the
commissioner, there to produce documentary evidence, if so ordered,
or to give evidence touching the matter under investigation or in
question. Failure to obey the order of the court may be punished by
the court as a contempt.
(e) No person is excused from attending and testifying or from
producing any document or record before the commissioner, or in
obedience to the subpoena of the commissioner, or any officer
designated by the commissioner, or in any proceeding instituted by
the commissioner, on the ground that the testimony or evidence
(documentary or otherwise) required by the commissioner may tend to
incriminate the person or subject him or her to a penalty or
forfeiture. However, no individual may 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
validly claiming his or her privilege against self-incrimination, to
testify or produce evidence (documentary or otherwise), except that
the individual testimony is not exempt from prosecution and
punishment for perjury or contempt committed in testifying.
The authority to make or conduct any examination,
investigation, or hearing, including the authority to administer
oaths and to subpena witnesses, and to take their testimony may be
delegated by the commissioner to any deputy, investigator, or auditor
appointed by him for that purpose. The appointment shall be made by
an instrument in writing, signed by the commissioner. Upon any
examination, investigation, or hearing the instrument shall be
produced by the deputy, investigator, or auditor at any time upon
All hearings provided for in this division shall be
conducted in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 5, Part 1,
Division 3, Title 2, of the Government Code, and the commissioner has
all the powers granted therein, except that a hearing held in
accordance with Section 17604 may be presided over by a hearing
officer qualified under Section 11502 of the Government Code, or by
any deputy designated by the commissioner.
Every order, decision, license or other official act of the
commissioner is subject to review, in accordance with law.