Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 1. Seed Labeling -- Licensing -- Certification

Administration -- Stop Sale Order -- Violation -- Cancellation Of License -- Enforcement

80-5-136. Administration -- stop sale order -- violation -- cancellation of license -- enforcement. (1) The department shall administer and enforce the provisions of this part and the rules promulgated under this part.

(2) The department may issue and enforce a written or printed stop sale order to the owner or custodian of any lot of seed that the department finds to be in violation of this chapter. The order shall prohibit further sale or movement of the seed until the department has evidence that this chapter has been complied with. Upon proper correction by reconditioning, labeling, or otherwise and when in the judgment of the department the requirements of this chapter have been met, the stop sale order must be lifted and the seed may be sold. If a violation cannot be corrected after adequate opportunity has been provided, the department may order the destruction of any lot of seed remaining in violation. An order for the destruction of a lot of seed is subject to the contested case provisions of Title 2, chapter 4, part 6.

(3) Distribution of seeds that are not legally labeled or failure to comply with this chapter or rules issued under its authority constitutes sufficient grounds for the department to cancel or deny a license to a licensee, provided that the licensee is given a reasonable opportunity to correct inadvertent and nonrecurring deficiencies.

(4) A person who violates or aids in the violation of any provision of this chapter or rules adopted under this chapter is subject to one or both of the following penalties:

(a) an administrative civil penalty of not more than $1,000 for each offense. Assessment of a penalty under this subsection (4)(a) may be made in conjunction with any other warning, order, or administrative action by the department under the authority of this part.

(b) a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $100 or more than $300 plus costs of prosecution for the first violation and not less than $500 or more than $1,000 plus costs of prosecution for each subsequent violation.

(5) The department shall establish by rule a penalty matrix that schedules the types of penalties, the amounts for initial and subsequent offenses, and any other matters necessary for the administration of civil penalties under subsection (4)(a). The issuance of a civil penalty is subject to the contested case procedures of Title 2, chapter 4, part 6.

(6) Nothing in this part may be construed as requiring the department or its representatives to report violations of this part when it believes that the public interest will be best served by a suitable notice of warning.

(7) It is the duty of each county attorney to whom any violation is reported to cause appropriate proceedings to be instituted and prosecuted in a court of competent jurisdiction without delay.

(8) The department is authorized to apply for and the court to grant a temporary or permanent injunction restraining any person from violating or continuing to violate any of the provisions of this part or any rule promulgated under this part notwithstanding the existence of other remedies at law. An injunction is issued without bond.

(9) Any person adversely affected by an act, order, or ruling made pursuant to the provisions of this part may within 30 days bring action in the district court of the county or any county where the alleged violation occurred for trial of the issues bearing upon the act.

(10) (a) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a political subdivision may not regulate by adopting or continuing in effect any local legislation or regulation relating to the cultivation, harvesting, production, processing, sale, storage, transportation, distribution, possession, use, and planting of agricultural seeds or vegetable seeds.

(b) Local legislation adopted or continued in violation of this section is void and unenforceable.

History: En. Sec. 7, Ch. 442, L. 1973; amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 315, L. 1977; R.C.M. 1947, 3-316; amd. Sec. 16, Ch. 373, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 602, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 7, Ch. 345, L. 1999; Sec. 80-5-207, MCA 1997; redes. 80-5-136 by Code Commissioner, 1999; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 420, L. 2017.