Section 30-3-172Request for hearing; purpose of hearing; notification of decision; appeal; suspension of license.
(a) Upon receipt of a request for a hearing, the department shall schedule a hearing for the purpose of determining if withholding, restricted use, or suspension of the obligor's license is appropriate. The department shall stay withholding, restricted use, or suspension of the license pending the outcome of the hearing. The hearing shall be for the purpose of contesting the determination of the department of all of the following: (1) That the obligor is at least six months delinquent in child support payments. (2) That the obligor has not entered into a payment plan approved by the department. (3) If appropriate, that the obligor has failed to comply with a warrant or subpoena relating to a paternity or child support case. (4) That the withholding, restricted use, or suspension of the license is appropriate. No evidence with respect to the appropriateness of the support order or the ability of the obligor to comply with the support order shall be received or considered at the hearing.
(b) If the obligor fails to respond to the notice of intent to withhold, restrict the use of, or suspend a license, fails to timely request a hearing, or fails to appear at a scheduled hearing, the obligor's defenses, objections, or request for a payment plan shall be considered to be without merit and the department or its agent shall enter a final decision accordingly.
(c) If the department or its agent determines that the obligor is delinquent in making support payments and that the obligor has not entered into a payment plan, or that the obligor has failed to comply with subpoenas or warrants relating to paternity or child support proceedings, the department or its agent shall notify the obligor of the department's decision and the obligor's right to seek judicial review of the decision pursuant to the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act by filing a notice of appeal and a cost bond with the department within 30 days of receipt of the agency's decision. A petition for review shall be filed in the Circuit Court of Montgomery County or the circuit court of the county where a party resides. The filing of a notice of appeal will result in an automatic stay of withholding, restricted use, or suspension of the obligor's license pending the outcome of the appeal.
(d) If the requirements for seeking judicial review are not met within 30 days, the department shall send a notice to the licensing authority instructing it to suspend the obligor's license. A determination of the department is independent of any proceeding of the licensing authority to withhold, restrict use of, suspend, revoke, deny, terminate, renew, or issue a license.
(Acts 1996, No. 96-563, p. 841, §3; Acts 1997, No. 97-447, p. 772, §12.)