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Procedure for hearing by persons aggrieved by action of commissioner; initiation of hearings by commissioner; production of evidence; appeals; bond; grounds for not sustaining commissioner's action; costs

((a) Any person aggrieved by any action of the commissioner or the commissioner's authorized agent may apply to the commissioner, in writing within ten days after the notice of the action is delivered or mailed to the commissioner, for a hearing.  The application shall set forth the reasons why the hearing should be granted and the manner of relief sought.  The commissioner shall notify the applicant of the time and place fixed for the hearing.  After the hearing, the commissioner may make an order as may appear to the commissioner to be just and lawful and shall furnish a copy of the order to the applicant.  The commissioner at any time by notice in writing may order a hearing on the commissioner's own initiative and require the taxpayer or any other person whom the commissioner believes to be in possession of information concerning any manufacture, importation, use, consumption, storage, or sale of cigars, cigarettes, or loose or smokeless tobacco which has escaped taxation to appear before the commissioner or the commissioner's duly authorized agent with any specific books of account, papers, or other documents for examination under oath relative to the information.
(b) Any person aggrieved because of any final action or decision of the commissioner, after hearing, may appeal from the decision to the superior court of the county in which the appellant resides.  The appeal shall be returnable at the same time and shall be served and returned in the same manner as required in the case of a summons in a civil action.  The authority issuing the citation shall take from the appellant a bond of recognizance to the state, with surety, conditioned to prosecute the appeal and to effect and comply with the orders and decrees of the court.  The action of the commissioner shall be sustained unless the court finds that the commissioner misinterpreted this chapter or that there is no evidence to support the commissioner’s action.  If the commissioner's action is not sustained, the court may grant equitable relief to the appellant.  Upon all appeals which are denied, costs may be taxed against the appellant at the discretion of the court.  No costs of any appeal shall be taxed against the state.

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