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37.62.953    BENCH RULINGS

(1) In order to more promptly deliver decisions and orders following any hearing in a case, particularly when the hearing does not involve complex factual questions or unique questions of law, the ALJ may, at his or her discretion, issue a bench ruling following the close of testimony and the closing arguments of the parties.

(2) The ALJ will announce the decision or order orally to the parties, on the record, outlining the factual and legal reasons for the decision. Except as provided in (3) , the ALJ will prepare and issue a written decision or order within 20 days after the announcement of the bench ruling.

(3) A bench ruling which is to be a final disposition in a contested case shall be in lieu of the proposed order provided for in ARM 37.62.949. A party may move to review the bench ruling and the review may be conducted as provided in ARM 37.62.951, except the time for filing the motion shall be within 20 days after the announcement of the bench ruling. When the time for filing a motion to review has expired and no motion is filed or following resolution of a motion to review, the ALJ will prepare and issue a written final decision and order.

History: Sec. 17-4-105, 40-5-202, 40-5-262, 40-5-272, 40-5-273, 40-5-405, 40-5-713, 40-5-825 and 40-5-906, MCA; IMP, Sec. 17-4-105, 40-5-157, 40-5-202, 40-5-208, 40-5-226, 40-5-233, 40-5-261, 40-5-271, 40-5-273, 40-5-414, 40-5-431, 40-5-703, 40-5-710, 40-5-821, 40-5-822, 40-5-823, 40-5-824 and 40-5-906, MCA; NEW, 2000 MAR p. 3547, Eff. 12/22/00.

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