§ 150B-22. Settlement; contested case.
(a) It is the policy of this State that any dispute between an agency and another person that involves the person's rights, duties, or privileges, including licensing or the levy of a monetary penalty, should be settled through informal procedures. In trying to reach a settlement through informal procedures, the agency may not conduct a proceeding at which sworn testimony is taken and witnesses may be cross-examined.
(b) If the agency and the other person do not agree to a resolution of the dispute through informal procedures, either the agency or the person may commence an administrative proceeding to determine the person's rights, duties, or privileges, at which time the dispute becomes a "contested case." A party or person aggrieved shall not be required to petition an agency for rule making or to seek or obtain a declaratory ruling before commencing a contested case pursuant to G.S. 150B-23. (1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 1022, s. 1(11); 1991, c. 418, s. 16; 2019-140, s. 2(a).)