(1) Contested cases are initiated by service of a notice as provided in the Montana Administrative Procedure Act, applicable sections of Title 40, chapter 5, MCA and 17-4-105, MCA. Absent service of such notice there is no contested case, no jurisdiction and no corresponding right to an administrative hearing.
(2) A person served with a contested case notice may request an administrative hearing as provided in (5). Except as provided in (3) and (4), no additional answer or responsive pleading to any contested case notice is required.
(3) When the contested case notice is to initiate income withholding proceedings under 40-5-412 and 40-5-414, MCA, any request for hearing must allege a mistake of fact. If a mistake of fact is not alleged, the request for hearing may be denied. Notwithstanding the omission of a mistake of fact, a person may be entitled to a hearing for the purpose of contesting the jurisdiction of the CSSD to withhold the person's income.
(4) When requesting a hearing, the person must include with the request a brief statement of any affirmative defense the party may have to the contested case notice.
(5) To request a hearing, the person must:
(a) make the request in writing; and
(b) within the time permitted by statute or these rules for requesting the hearing, file the request with the OALJ as provided in ARM 37.62.911.
(6) In addition to the provisions of (4) through (5)(b), the written request must include the name, mailing address and telephone number at which the person requesting the hearing can be reached for service of subsequent documents and orders.
(7) The CSSD will make hearing request forms consistent with this rule available for use by persons requesting a hearing. Except for a request for hearing that omits a mistake of fact required by (3), a timely request for hearing that is generally in compliance with this rule shall not be dismissed solely for failure to strictly satisfy the requirements of this rule.
(8) A request for hearing is not deemed made until a written request is actually received by the OALJ. The OALJ shall deny untimely requests for hearing.
(9) Informal contact with the CSSD or OALJ, whether written or oral, will not constitute a hearing request, and will not extend the time in which a hearing must be requested.
(10) The CSSD, as the party initiating a contested case proceeding, does not need to request a hearing. If no other party requests a hearing, a default decision and order may be entered. However, if no other party requests a hearing, the CSSD may at its discretion request a hearing.