2-4-604. Informal proceedings. (1) In proceedings under this section, the agency shall, in accordance with procedures adopted under 2-4-201:
(a) give affected persons or parties or their counsel an opportunity, at a convenient time and place, to present to the agency or hearing examiner:
(i) written or oral evidence in opposition to the agency's action or refusal to act;
(ii) a written statement challenging the grounds upon which the agency has chosen to justify its action or inaction; or
(iii) other written or oral evidence relating to the contested case;
(b) if the objections of the persons or parties are overruled, provide a written explanation within 7 days.
(2) The record must consist of:
(a) the notice and summary of grounds of the opposition;
(b) evidence offered or considered;
(c) any objections and rulings on the objections;
(d) all matters placed on the record after ex parte communication pursuant to 2-4-613;
(e) a recording of any hearing held, together with a statement of the substance of the evidence received or considered, the written or oral statements of the parties or other persons, and the proceedings. A party may object in writing to the statement or may order at that party's cost a transcription of the recording, or both. Objections become a part of the record.
(3) Agencies shall give effect to the rules of privilege recognized by law.
(4) In agency proceedings under this section, irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious evidence must be excluded but all other evidence of a type commonly relied upon by reasonably prudent persons in the conduct of their affairs is admissible, whether or not the evidence is admissible in a trial in the courts of Montana. Any part of the evidence may be received in written form, and all testimony of parties and witnesses must be made under oath. Hearsay evidence may be used for the purpose of supplementing or explaining other evidence, but it is not sufficient in itself to support a finding unless it is admissible over objection in civil actions.
(5) A party may petition for review of an informal agency decision pursuant to part 7 of this chapter.