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(1) When the department orders a contested case hearing, the director shall assign a hearing examiner to hear the case. The director may not assign as hearing examiner an individual that was involved in the preliminary determination on the application. The file that is submitted to the hearing examiner, subsequent to the assignment of the case, shall contain the parties' applications, notices of applications, petitions, objections to applications, or permits under consideration to be modified or revoked. After reviewing the file, the hearing examiner shall contact the parties and advise them as to the location and time during which a hearing should be held. Except as required under the circumstances of ARM 36.12.232, no hearing shall be scheduled on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.

(2) Consistent with law, the hearing examiner shall perform the following duties:

(a) regulate the course of the hearing, including the scheduling, recessing, reconvening and adjournment thereof;

(b) grant or deny motions for discovery including the taking of depositions;

(c) receive and act upon requests for subpoenas where appropriate;

(d) hear and rule on motions;

(e) preside at the contested case hearing;

(f) administer oaths and affirmations;

(g) grant or deny requests for continuances;

(h) examine witnesses where the hearing examiner deems it necessary to make a complete record;

(i) rule upon offers of proof and receive evidence;

(j) make preliminary, interlocutory or other orders as he deems appropriate;

(k) recommend a summary disposition of any part of the case where there is no genuine issue as to any material fact or recommend dismissal where the case or any part thereof has become moot or for other reasons;

(l) require testimony, upon the motion of a party or upon the hearing examiner's motion, to be prefiled in whole or in part when prefiling will expedite the hearing and the interests of the parties will not be prejudiced substantially;

(m) hold conferences for settlement, simplification of the issues, or any other proper purpose;

(n) appoint a staff expert;

(o) prepare a proposal for decision or a final order containing findings of fact, conclusions of law and a proposed or final order;

(p) after issuing a proposal for decision, participate in the final decision-making process;

(q) do all things necessary and proper to the performance of the foregoing; and

(r) as authorized by law and rule, perform such other duties as well as any that may be delegated by the director.

History: 2-4-201(2), 85-2-113(2), MCA; IMP, 2-4-611, 2-4-612, 2-4-621, MCA; NEW, 1984 MAR p. 697, Eff. 4/27/84; AMD, 1994 MAR p. 307, Eff. 2/11/94; AMD, 2014 MAR p. 598, Eff. 3/28/14.

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