2010 Maryland Code
Subtitle 9 - State Correctional Officers' Bill of Rights
Section 10-909 - Hearings.

§ 10-909. Hearings.

(a)  Stay of charges and proceedings.- A correctional officer who has been charged with a felony may request a stay of all charges and proceedings under this section until after a verdict has been reached in the felony case. 

(b)  When hearing not allowed.- A correctional officer who has been convicted of a felony is not entitled to a hearing under this section. 

(c)  Hearing board.-  

(1) (i) The hearing board authorized under this section shall consist of at least three members. 

1. For correctional officers holding the rank of sergeant or below, the hearing board shall be composed of two correctional officers who are members of the bargaining unit, one of whom is the same rank as the correctional officer facing charges, and one correctional officer ranked lieutenant or higher. 

2. For correctional officers holding the rank of lieutenant and above, the hearing board shall be composed of one correctional officer of equal rank, one correctional officer of equal or lower rank, and one correctional officer of equal or higher rank. 

(ii) Correctional officers assigned to serve on a hearing board shall be randomly selected from a rotating list of correctional officers eligible to serve on disciplinary hearing boards maintained by the Department. 

(iii) The Department, after consultation with the exclusive representative for the correctional officers who are covered by this subtitle, shall determine: 

1. the manner of selection of correctional officers who are eligible to serve on a rotating list; and 

2. the manner of the selection of correctional officers for a hearing board. 

(iv) Correctional officers assigned to serve on a hearing board shall be from a facility other than the facility to which the correctional officer facing charges is regularly assigned, and may not have had a role in the investigation or the interrogation of the correctional officer against whom the charges are filed, or be involved in any way with the incidents that are the subject of the complaint. 

(v) 1. The highest ranking member of the hearing board shall serve as the hearing board chair. 

2. The chair of the hearing board: 

A. shall participate in any deliberations; but 

B. may only vote on the decision in the event of a tie; and 

C. may file a statement of position for the record. 

3. The chair of the hearing board shall be from a different facility than the other board members. 

(vi) The appointing authority and the exclusive bargaining representative may negotiate an alternative method of forming the hearing board for members of the collective bargaining unit. 

(2) (i) Decisions of the hearing board shall be by majority vote of all members of the board. 

(ii) The votes of the hearing board are confidential, and decisions shall be reported by the chair. 

(d)  Subpoenas.-  

(1) In connection with a disciplinary hearing, the hearing board may issue subpoenas to compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of documents as relevant or necessary. 

(2) The subpoenas may be served without cost in accordance with the Maryland Rules that relate to service of process issued by a court. 

(3) Each party may request the hearing board to issue a subpoena or order under this subtitle. 

(4) In case of refusal to obey a subpoena served under this subsection, the parties to the proceeding may apply without cost to the circuit court of a county where the subpoenaed party resides or conducts business, for an order to compel the attendance and testimony of the witness or the production of the documents sought. 

(5) On a finding that the attendance and testimony of the witness or the production of the documents sought is relevant or necessary, the court may: 

(i) issue without cost an order that requires the attendance and testimony of witnesses or the production of documents; and 

(ii) impose punishment for failure to obey the order. 

(e)  Procedure.-  

(1) The hearing shall be conducted by the hearing board. 

(2) The hearing board shall give the Department and correctional officer ample opportunity to present evidence and argument about the issues involved. 

(3) (i) The correctional facility and correctional officer may be represented by legal counsel they each may select. 

(ii) In the alternative, a correctional officer may be represented: 

1. by an agent of the exclusive representative of the correctional officer designated under § 3-406 of the State Personnel and Pensions Article; or 

2. if the correctional officer is not within the bargaining unit for which an exclusive representative is designated under § 3-406 of the State Personnel and Pensions Article, by any person chosen by the correctional officer. 

(4) Each party has the right to cross-examine witnesses who testify, and each party may submit rebuttal evidence. 

(f)  Evidence.-  

(1) Evidence with probative value that is commonly accepted by reasonable and prudent individuals in the conduct of their affairs is admissible and shall be given probative effect. 

(2) The hearing board shall give effect to the rules of privilege recognized by law and may exclude incompetent, irrelevant, immaterial, and unduly repetitious evidence. 

(3) Each record or document that a party desires to use shall be offered and made a part of the record. 

(4) Documentary evidence may be received in the form of copies or excerpts or by incorporation by reference. 

(g)  Taking notice of certain facts.-  

(1) The hearing board may take notice of: 

(i) judicially and administratively cognizable facts; and 

(ii) general, technical, or scientific facts within its specialized knowledge. 

(2) The hearing board shall: 

(i) notify each party of the facts so noticed either before or during the hearing or by reference in preliminary reports or otherwise; and 

(ii) give each party an opportunity and reasonable time to contest the facts so noticed. 

(3) The hearing board may use its experience, technical competence, and specialized knowledge in the evaluation of the evidence presented. 

(h)  Oaths.- The officiating member of a hearing board shall administer oaths or affirmations and examine individuals under oath. 

(i)  Release time and expenses.-  

(1) A correctional officer shall be granted release time from the correctional officer's normal work schedule to attend a conference or hearing as a witness. 

(2) Expenses incurred in connection with attendance by a correctional officer at conferences or hearings, whether as a grievant, as a grievant's representative, or as a witness, shall be borne by the Department. 

(j)  Official record.- An official record, including testimony and exhibits, shall be kept of the hearing. 

(k)  Administrative Procedure Act.- To the extent that any provision of this section is inconsistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, the Administrative Procedure Act shall govern. 

[2010, ch. 194.] 

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