2010 Arkansas Code
Title 25 - State Government
Chapter 15 - Administrative Procedures
Subchapter 2 - Administrative Procedure Act
§ 25-15-213 - Hearings generally.

25-15-213. Hearings generally.

In every case of adjudication, and in cases of rule making in which rules are required by law to be made on the record after opportunity for an agency hearing, and in cases of rule making in which, pursuant to 25-15-204(a)(2), the agency shall direct that oral testimony be taken or a hearing held:

(1) Any person compelled to appear before any agency or representative thereof shall have the right to be accompanied and advised by counsel. Every party shall have the right to appear in person or by counsel;

(2) (A) There shall preside at the hearing:

(i) The agency;

(ii) One (1) or more members of the agency; or

(iii) One (1) or more examiners or referees designated by the agency.

(B) All presiding officers and all officers participating in decisions shall conduct themselves in an impartial manner and may at any time withdraw if they deem themselves disqualified.

(C) Any party may file an affidavit of personal bias or disqualification. The affidavit shall be ruled on by the agency and granted if timely, sufficient, and filed in good faith;

(3) (A) Presiding officers shall have power, pursuant to published procedural rules of the agency:

(i) To issue subpoenas if the agency is authorized by law to issue them;

(ii) To administer oaths and affirmations;

(iii) To maintain order;

(iv) To rule upon all questions arising during the course of a hearing or proceeding;

(v) To permit discovery by deposition or otherwise;

(vi) To hold conferences for the settlement or simplification of issues;

(vii) To make or recommend decisions; and

(viii) Generally to regulate and guide the course of the pending proceeding.

(B) In any proceeding before any agency, if any person refuses to respond to a subpoena, refuses to take the oath or affirmation as a witness or thereafter refuses to be examined, or refuses to obey any lawful order of an agency contained in its decision rendered after hearing, the agency or the presiding officer of the agency hearing may apply to the circuit court of the county where the proceedings were held or are being held or to the circuit court of the county where a petition for judicial review was filed for an order directing that person to take the requisite action or to otherwise comply with the order of the agency. The court shall issue the order in its discretion. Should any person willfully fail to comply with an order so issued, the court shall punish him or her as for contempt;

(4) Except as otherwise provided by law, the proponent of a rule or order shall have the burden of proof. Irrelevant, immaterial, and unduly repetitious evidence shall be excluded. Any other oral or documentary evidence, not privileged, may be received if it is of a type commonly relied upon by reasonably prudent people in the conduct of their affairs. Objections to evidentiary offers may be made and shall be noted of record. When a hearing will be expedited and the interests of the parties will not be substantially prejudiced, any part of the evidence may be received in written form;

(5) Parties shall have the right to conduct such cross examination as may be required for a full and true disclosure of the facts; and

(6) Official notice may be taken of judicially cognizable facts and of generally recognized technical or scientific facts within the agency's specialized knowledge. Parties shall be notified of material so noticed, including any staff memoranda or data, and shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity to show the contrary.

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