Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 6. Contested Cases

Hearing Examiners -- Legal Services Unit -- Conduct Of Hearings -- Disqualification Of Hearing Examiners And Agency Members

2-4-611. Hearing examiners -- legal services unit -- conduct of hearings -- disqualification of hearing examiners and agency members. (1) An agency may appoint hearing examiners for the conduct of hearings in contested cases. A hearing examiner must be assigned with due regard to the expertise required for the particular matter.

(2) An agency may elect to request a hearing examiner from an agency legal assistance program, if any, within the attorney general's office or from another agency. If the request is honored, the time, date, and place of the hearing must be set by the agency, with the concurrence of the legal assistance program or the other agency.

(3) Agency members or hearing examiners presiding over hearings may administer oaths or affirmations; issue subpoenas pursuant to 2-4-104; provide for the taking of testimony by deposition; regulate the course of hearings, including setting the time and place for continued hearings and fixing the time for filing of briefs or other documents; and direct parties to appear and confer to consider simplification of the issues by consent of the parties.

(4) On the filing by a party, hearing examiner, or agency member in good faith of a timely and sufficient affidavit of personal bias, lack of independence, disqualification by law, or other disqualification of a hearing examiner or agency member, the agency shall determine the matter as a part of the record and decision in the case. The agency may disqualify the hearing examiner or agency member and request another hearing examiner pursuant to subsection (2) or assign another hearing examiner from within the agency. The affidavit must state the facts and the reasons for the belief that the hearing examiner should be disqualified and must be filed not less than 10 days before the original date set for the hearing.

History: En. Sec. 11, Ch. 2, Ex. L. 1971; R.C.M. 1947, 82-4211(part); amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 467, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 3, L. 1985.