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(1) In any action, the county superintendent within 10 working days of receipt of the reply to the appeal shall order a prehearing conference, which may be held by telephone conference call, to consider:

(a) the simplification of the issues;

(b) the necessity or desirability of amendments to the pleading;

(c) the possibility of obtaining admissions of fact and documents which will avoid unnecessary proof;

(d) a limitation of the number of expert witnesses;

(e) the date for hearing;

(f) such other matters as may aid in the disposition of the action.

(2) In addition to the matters to be considered, the prehearing conference notice shall include a provision advising the parties of their right to be represented by counsel at their own expense.

(3) The county superintendent shall issue an order which recites the action taken at the conference, the amendments to the notice of appeal and the agreements made by the parties as to any of the mattes considered, and which limits the issues for the hearing to those not disposed of by admissions or agreements of the parties. Such order when entered will control the subsequent course of action, unless modified at the hearing to prevent manifest injustice.

(4) County superintendents shall ensure the privacy of matters before them as is required by law. Parents maintain the right to waive their right of confidentiality and privacy in the hearing and may request that the hearing be open to the public. The county superintendent shall also provide or allow an opportunity for the minor to be present at the hearing upon request of the parent or guardian.

(5) The county superintendent shall conduct the hearing in a location stipulated to by all parties and the county superintendent. In the event of disagreement, the county superintendent will make the final determination.

History: 20-3-107, MCA; IMP, 20-3-107, MCA; NEW, 1982 MAR p. 1689, Eff. 9/17/82; AMD, 1988 MAR p. 1251, Eff. 6/24/88; AMD, 1993 MAR p. 344, Eff. 3/12/93; AMD, 2005 MAR p. 2658, Eff. 12/23/05.

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