69-4-526. Civil penalty -- mediation -- contested case hearing -- procedures. (1) An excavator or underground facility owner who receives a civil penalty in accordance with 69-4-524 or 69-4-525 may request a review of the penalty in accordance with this section.
(2) (a) If an excavator or underground facility owner disputes a civil penalty, prior to a contested case the department, in consultation with the advisory council, shall conduct mediation of the disputed penalty in accordance with rules established by the department.
(b) The request must be filed within 20 days after the department issues a civil penalty.
(3) (a) If mediation in accordance with subsection (2) does not resolve the dispute, the request must proceed through the contested case process before the department pursuant to the Montana Administrative Procedure Act.
(b) The request must be filed within 20 days after the mediation report is mailed by the department.
(c) The department shall issue a final decision within 90 days from the close of the contested case.
(4) The department shall issue determinations in writing and provide a copy to all parties named in the dispute.