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Library: Policy

340:2-5-120. Hearing procedures

Revised 9-15-16

(a) Hearings.All hearings scheduled by the Appeals Unit are conducted by an administrative hearing officer (AHO), who:

(1) designates the hearing location;

(2) administers oaths;  ​• 1

(3) conducts the hearing in an orderly manner;

(4) rules on the admissibility of evidence; and

(5) takes such action as the AHO deems necessary to reach a proper disposition of the case.

(b) Hearings are not open to the public.

(1) In order that the confidential nature of case material and the relationship between the appealing party and the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) is maintained, hearings are not open to the public.

(2) With approval of the AHO, in addition to the appealing party and the local office representative, persons permitted to attend the hearing are:

(A) persons invited by the appealing party;

(B) witnesses, subject to the AHO's direction that witnesses are excluded from the hearing prior to their testimony; and

(C) any member of the Child Care Advisory Committee who wants to attend the hearing.

(c) Pre-hearing conference.A conference may be conducted by the AHO prior to the formal beginning of a hearing.• 2  The pre-hearing conference is not recorded.

(d) Recording the hearing.

(1) The AHO is responsible for arranging for the hearing to be recorded.The hearing may be recorded electronically or by a certified court reporter.

(2) The AHO's recording of the hearing is the official recording.The appealing party may provide his or her own recording device for use during the hearing if such recording is not disruptive.Videotaping is not allowed.

(3) Upon written request to the Appeals Unit, DHS provides the appealing party a copy of the:

(A) tape recording of the hearing.A transcript of the recording is provided only when required by federal or state law; or

(B) court reporter's transcript.

(e) Sequestration of witnesses.The AHO may require that any witness, other than the appealing party or the Child Care Services representative, absent himself or herself from the hearing room except when the witness is testifying.

(f) Presentation of the case.

(1) The AHO directs the order of presentation of the case.  • 3

(2) When presentation of the evidence is complete, the AHO allows closing statements.

(3) The AHO renders a decision immediately following closing statement.

Revised 9-15-16

1.   An oath is administered by the administrative hearing officer (AHO) to the appealing party witnesses, and representative(s) of the local office. The following form is used for the oath, "Do you solemnly swear or affirm that the evidence you give in this case will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?" In hearings in which an appealing party is assisted by an interpreter, the AHO also administers an oath to the interpreter. The following form is used for the oath, "Do you solemnly swear or affirm that you will truthfully translate from English into (state the other language) the questions about to be asked, and from (state the other language) into English the answers about to be given in the case to the best of your ability?"

2. The purpose of the pre-hearing conference is to reduce the actual amount of time spent in the hearing. In the pre-hearing conference the AHO identifies all:

(1) witnesses;

(2) exhibits; and

(3) issues to be covered in the hearing.    

3.  Order of presentation.

(1) The AHO begins the presentation of evidence by asking for short statements from the representative of Child Care Services, or the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) assistant general counsel assigned to the case, and the appealing party regarding the reason for appeal.The AHO may aid in development of these statements.

(2) The AHO makes a brief summary of these statements in order to define the point(s) at issue.

(3) The AHO explains:

(A) the testimony and other evidence presented by the representative of the local office must be confined to the factual information and verifications used in reaching the decision made by the local office on the point(s) at issue; and

(B) any presentation by or on behalf of the appealing party must be related to the point(s) at issue.

(4) Evidence.

(A) DHS normally presents evidence first, including witnesses and non-testimonial evidence.

(B) The appealing party presents evidence after the DHS presentation is completed.

(C) DHS may present rebuttal evidence, and the appealing party surrebuttal, until both sides, in the judgment of the AHO, have adequately addressed all issues.

(D) Each party is given a reasonable time in which to complete its case.The hearing is not considered complete until both sides have been given a reasonable opportunity to present evidence and complete their arguments.

(E) The testimony of each witness is subject to appropriate cross-examination by the opposite party and questioning by the AHO.

(F) The AHO may call and/or examine witnesses to develop the record fully and ensure all evidence favorable to an unrepresented appealing party is presented.

(G) If during the hearing, the AHO determines that a party can submit evidence after the hearing, without the necessity of reconvening the hearing, the AHO:

(i) clearly states what evidence is to be submitted, who submits the evidence, and a deadline for submission;

(ii) when the evidence is to be submitted by the appealing party, directs the appealing party to submit the evidence to the local office, which forwards the evidence to the AHO;

(iii) when the evidence is to be submitted by the local office, directs the local office to send a copy to the appealing party at the same time the evidence is sent to the AHO;

(iv) tells the parties that within five calendar days following receipt of the evidence, the other may submit comments to the AHO or request the hearing be reconvened; and

(v) tells the parties that it is within the sole discretion of the AHO whether to reconvene the hearing.

(5) When presentation of the evidence is complete, the AHO allows closing statements, with the party bearing the burden of proof going last.

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