§ 20-3-250.14. Filing complaint against institution or agent

(a) Any person claiming damage or loss as a result of any act or practice by a nonpublic postsecondary educational institution or its agent, or both, which is a violation of this part or of the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto may file with the executive director a complaint against such institution or against its agent, or both. A complaint shall be filed with the executive director within a reasonable period of time, as determined by regulations of the commission, after the event giving rise to the complaint. The complaint shall set forth the alleged violation and shall contain such other information as may be required by the commission. A complaint may also be filed with the executive director by the commission’s representatives or by the Attorney General. A complainant may also file with the executive director as a representative of a class of complainants.

(b) The executive director shall investigate any such complaint and may, at his or her discretion, attempt to effectuate a settlement by persuasion and conciliation. The executive director shall consider a complaint pursuant to rules, regulations, and procedures promulgated by the commission.

(c) If, based upon all the evidence at a hearing or other procedure, the executive director shall find that a nonpublic postsecondary educational institution or its agent, or both, have engaged in or are engaging in any act or practice which violates this part or the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, the executive director shall issue and cause to be served upon such institution or agent, or both, an order requiring such institution or agent, or both, to cease and desist from such act or practice. Additionally, if the executive director shall find that the complainant or class of complainants has suffered loss or damage as a result of such act or practice, the executive director may, at his or her discretion, award the complainant or class of complainants full or partial restitution for such damage or loss and may impose the penalties provided for in Code Section 20-3-250.21. The executive director may also, as appropriate, based on his or her own investigation or the evidence adduced at such hearing or on the basis of such investigation and evidence, commence an action to revoke an institution’s authorization to operate or revoke an agent’s permit.

HISTORY: Code 1981, § 20-3-250.14, enacted by Ga. L. 1990, p. 1166, § 3; Ga. L. 1991, p. 687, § 5; Ga. L. 2000, p. 1589, § 3; Ga. L. 2015, p. 83, § 7/HB 353.

NOTES: THE 2015 AMENDMENT, effective July 1, 2015, deleted “verified” following “director a” near the end of the first sentence of subsection (a); in subsection (b), inserted “or her” near the middle of the first sentence, substituted the present provisions of the second sentence for the former provisions, which read: “The executive director may consider a complaint after ten days’ written notice sent by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, to such institution or to such agent, or both, as appropriate, giving notice of a time and place for hearing thereon.”, and deleted the last sentence, which read: “Such hearing shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the ‘Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.'”; and, in subsection (c), inserted “or other procedure” in the first sentence, and inserted “or her” in the middle of the second sentence and near the beginning of the last sentence.