(1) A successorship is the permission granted to a person to renew the license of a deceased or incapacitated outfitter for a limited period of time for the purposes of operating or selling the business. Only a successor may renew the license of an outfitter who has deceased.
(2) A successor acceptable to the board must be designated by the family of a deceased outfitter within six months of the date that the outfitter becomes deceased. If a successor for a deceased outfitter is not designated within those six months, then no successor will be approved.
(3) The family of an outfitter designates a proposed successor by submitting an application completed by the proposed successor on a form provided by the department; a sworn statement by the proposed successor explaining how the proposed successor has been involved with the outfitting industry, in general, and how the successor has been involved with the outfitting business for which the successorship is sought, in particular; and a sworn statement by someone on behalf of the family of the deceased or incapacitated outfitter, affirming the person's authority and how the authority was obtained to designate a successor on behalf of the family, and that the person so acting is at least 18 years of age. A successorship application must specify whether the successor will operate the business or will only seek to sell it.
(4) When a successorship is approved for the purpose of selling the business, the outfitter license is placed on inactive status and may be renewed only on inactive status and only until the successorship terminates or until the business sells, whichever occurs earlier. No clients may be contracted with or served under authority of an inactive license. All requests for successorship for the sole purpose of selling the business shall be routinely approved by staff upon the board's receipt of all the required information.
(5) An application for the purpose of operating the business shall require the same information that is required of an outfitter applicant. The decision of whether to approve a successorship for the purpose of operating the business shall be processed by the department unless the application is nonroutine under ARM 24.171.403, in which case the matter will be brought to the board.
(6) Prior to approval, a successor must meet all qualifications for licensure aside from the experience and testing requirements. Approval may be granted upon the condition that documentation of licensure requirements will be received by the board no later than a specified date. If the documentation of licensure requirements is not received in a timely manner, board staff shall immediately place the license on inactive status and all outfitting under that license shall immediately cease until the board is able to reconsider the approval.
(7) A successor stands in the shoes of the outfitter for purposes of the board's power to administer and enforce the statutes and rules applicable to outfitters. Notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary, a successor and the original licensee, or the estate if the original licensee is deceased, are jointly and severally liable and responsible for all conduct affecting the outfitter license occurring during that successor's service as the successor. The successor may operate the license subject to the authority of the board to the same extent as if the successor were the outfitter. An action addressing unprofessional conduct may be taken against an outfitter license regardless of the status of the successorship, and regardless of whether the conduct was that of the deceased or incapacitated outfitter or of one or more successors. Each living outfitter and successor who is alleged to be responsible for misconduct may be made a party to the action.
(8) A successor shall report to the board each year at the next regularly scheduled meeting following the renewal period. To report, the successor shall either personally appear for the meeting or shall submit a written report to the board no less than 15 days before the meeting. The report shall inform the board of the progress made toward licensure of an outfitter for the business, or of the progress made toward sale of the business.
(9) If the board wishes to revoke a successorship for unprofessional conduct or for failing to appear or report, the public health, safety, or welfare is more likely to imperatively require emergency action because a successor is presumed to be less qualified than an outfitter and to be less invested in the protection of the public. If a successorship is revoked, then the outfitter license status becomes the status applicable to it as if the original licensee had deceased or become incapacitated on the date of the revocation. A successor shall not perform any outfitter functions if the successorship or the license is suspended or revoked.
(10) A successorship terminates the earlier of the date that is five years from the date that the successorship was approved under this rule, or the date that the successorship is revoked or voluntarily surrendered, or the date that the successor becomes a licensed outfitter.
(11) While operating the business as a successor, the successor may accumulate verified experience days in the same manner that a guide accumulates experience days to satisfy the requirements of ARM 24.171.502. In the discretion of the board, and in addition to all other waivers that a successor may qualify for, a successor may request a waiver of up to 50 days of experience for each license function (hunting and fishing) by sufficiently documenting the successor's past experience and involvement with the particular outfitting business that occurred prior to the date the successorship was approved.
History: 37-1-131, 37-47-201, MCA; IMP, 37-1-131, 37-47-310, MCA; NEW, 2011 MAR p. 2149, Eff. 10/14/11; AMD, 2015 MAR p. 58, Eff. 1/30/15; AMD, 2017 MAR p. 1900, Eff. 10/14/17.