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(1) A party may disqualify a hearing officer from presiding over any matter governed by these rules only upon an affirmative showing, made in good faith, of personal bias, a lack of independence, disqualification by law, or other ground for disqualification allowed by law.

(2) A party seeking to disqualify a hearing officer may do so only upon the filing of a motion which is supported by a sufficient affidavit showing the particular facts and matters which constitute good cause for disqualification under (1). The party must file the motion and affidavit no later than 30 days after that party has notice of the assigned presiding hearing officer.

(3) Following the filing of a motion and affidavit of disqualification and a reasonable period of time for an opposing party to comment upon it, the bureau chief of the Office of Administrative Hearings or his or her designee shall either enter an order of recusal or decline disqualification. That order must specify the particular facts and grounds upon which it is based.

(4) When disqualification is declined, a party objecting to the ruling must petition the commission for an order of disqualification within ten days following the date of the order declining disqualification. If no such petition is filed, the order is not appealable to the commission.

(5) A hearing officer may make an order or give a notice of recusal or self-disqualification at any time.

History: 49-2-204, 49-3-106, MCA; IMP, 2-4-611, 49-2-505, 49-3-315, MCA; NEW, 2008 MAR p. 2636, Eff. 12/25/08.

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