(1) General: Within 30 days after the issuance of the citation, the owner or operator of any offending vehicle shall, in the manner prescribed below, pay the amount of the assessment or request an administrative determination of the amount and validity of the assessment. A party requesting an administrative determination shall deposit the amount of the assessment with the department pending the administrative determination. Failure to deposit the amount of the assessment within 30 days after issuance of the citation shall be deemed a waiver of the right to contest the amount and validity of the assessment.
(2) Initial Hearing:
(a) Upon receipt of notification of a request for an administrative hearing, the Department will refer the request to the Office of State Administrative Hearings for a hearing under the provisions of the Georgia Administrative Procedure Act to determine the amount and validity of the assessment. Should the administrative law judge find adversely to the aggrieved party, said officer shall issue an initial decision upholding the assessment and citation thereon.
(b) If the person or company requesting the hearing does not appear within fifteen minutes of the scheduled time or request a postponement in advance, the right to an administrative determination shall be forfeited. The recommended decision will uphold the assessment made by the Department and judgment will be entered by default in accordance with Code Section 50-13-13, (a)(4). Said default may, at any time, before the final agency decision, be opened for providential cause preventing the appearance of the Petitioner at the hearing at the assigned date and time, or for excusable neglect or when the administrative law judge in his or her discretion from all the facts, shall determine that a proper case has been made for the default to be opened. If it is determined by the administrative law judge that justification does not exist for opening the default, the administrative law judge shall assess the additional sum of $75.00 as hearing costs, payable to the Department.
(3) Agency review: An aggrieved party may, within 30 days of the initial determination, submit in writing a request for agency review. The review by the agency shall be conducted pursuant to the provisions of the Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.