(1) The impartial hearing officer may:
(a) administer oaths;
(b) issue subpoenas;
(c) upon request of a party, as deemed appropriate by the hearing officer, allow for the taking of testimony by video, audio, or deposition of witnesses who will not be available for the hearing, or when procurement of the witness in person at the hearing will be unduly costly and burdensome for a party;
(d) set the time, place, and length of the hearing and direct parties to appear and confer to consider simplifications of the issues by consent of the parties involved;
(e) fix the time for filing of briefs or other documents; and
(f) request the submission of proposed findings of facts and conclusions of law at the conclusion of the hearing.
(2) The impartial hearing officer shall be bound by common law and the Montana Rules of Evidence, except as provided by these rules. All evidence and objections to evidence shall be noted in the record.
(3) Educational records of the student who is the subject of the proceeding as defined in FERPA, and its implementing regulations at 34 CFR 99, shall be allowed as self-authenticating, and shall require no extrinsic evidence of authenticity as a condition precedent to admissibility.
(4) Any part of the evidence may be received in written form. Documentary evidence may be received in the form of copies or excerpts if the original is not readily available. Upon request, parties shall be given an opportunity to compare the copy with the original. Notice may be taken of judicially cognizable facts. In addition, notice may be taken of generally recognized technical or scientific facts within the impartial hearing officer's specialized knowledge.