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WAC 208-680-620

What are the department's investigatory powers under the act?

(1) The department may conduct investigations at any time to determine whether any person has violated or is about to violate chapter 18.44 RCW, or any rule, regulation, or order under chapter 18.44 RCW, or to aid in the enforcement of chapter 18.44 RCW. For that purpose, the department may conduct inquiries, interviews, and examinations of any person deemed relevant to the investigation.
(2) The department may investigate the escrow business or other business or personal financial records of any person subject to investigation under subsection (1) of this section. In conducting investigations, the department may:
(a) Access, during reasonable business hours, any location where any escrow business records are or may be located, including offices, places of business, personal residences, storage facilities, computers, safes, and vaults, for the purposes of obtaining, reviewing, or copying books, accounts, papers, files, or records, including electronic records, or records stored in any format;
(b) Administer oaths or affirmations;
(c) Subpoena witnesses and compel their attendance at a time and place determined by the director or designated person;
(d) Subpoena the production of any evidence or matter which is relevant to the investigation, including the taking of such evidence;
(e) Subpoena any person to determine the existence, description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any books, documents, or other tangible things and the identity and location of persons having knowledge or relevant facts, or any other matter reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of material evidence;
(f) Interview, publicly or privately, under administration of oath or otherwise, or take the sworn testimony of: Any principal party, escrow agent, employee, or independent contractor, of any person subject to the act, or any other person whose testimony is deemed relevant to the department's investigation;
(g) Require the filing of statements, affidavits, or declarations in writing by any person, under administration of oath, notary or otherwise, as to all facts and circumstances concerning the matters under investigation;
(h) Copy, or request to be copied, any items described in this section, or if the department makes a determination that there is a danger that original records may be destroyed, altered, or removed to deny the director access, or that original documents are necessary for the preparation of a criminal referral, the department may take originals of any items described in this section, regardless of the source of such items. Originals and copies taken by the department may be held, returned, or forwarded to other regulatory or law enforcement officials as deemed necessary;
(i) Analyze and review any items described in this section;
(j) Receive assistance, as necessary, from any employee or other person subject to RCW 18.44.021;
(k) Conduct meetings with owners, management, officers, or employees of any person subject to RCW 18.44.021;
(l) Conduct meetings and share information with other regulatory or law enforcement agencies;
(m) Prepare and deliver, as necessary, a report of investigation requiring a response from the recipient.
(3) For purposes of this section and RCW 18.44.420(1), "public" means open to the public as determined by the department.
(4) For purposes of this section and RCW 18.44.420(1), "private" means closed to the public or any person, including attorneys for witnesses, as determined by the department.
[Statutory Authority: Chapter 43.320 RCW, RCW 18.44.410. WSR 16-08-028, § 208-680-620, filed 3/30/16, effective 4/30/16. Statutory Authority: RCW 43.320.040 and 18.44.410. WSR 13-24-022, § 208-680-620, filed 11/22/13, effective 1/1/14. Statutory Authority: RCW 43.320.040 and chapter 18.44 RCW (as amended by 2010 c 34). WSR 10-20-124, § 208-680-620, filed 10/5/10, effective 11/5/10.]
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