2017 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 227. Administrative procedure and review.
227.44 Contested cases; notice; parties; hearing; records.

Universal Citation: WI Stat § 227.44 (2017)

227.44 Contested cases; notice; parties; hearing; records.

(1) In a contested case, all parties shall be afforded an opportunity for hearing after reasonable notice. Except in the case of an emergency, reasonable notice shall consist of mailing notice to known interested parties at least 10 days prior to the hearing.

(2) The notice shall include:

(a) A statement of the time, place, and nature of the hearing, including whether the case is a class 1, 2 or 3 proceeding.

(b) A statement of the legal authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing is to be held, and, in the case of a class 2 proceeding, a reference to the particular statutes and rules involved.

(c) A short and plain statement of the matters asserted. If the matters cannot be stated with specificity at the time the notice is served, the notice may be limited to a statement of the issues involved.

(d) If the subject of the hearing is a decision of the department of natural resources or the department of transportation, the name and title of the person who will conduct the hearing.

(2m) Any person whose substantial interest may be affected by the decision following the hearing shall, upon the person's request, be admitted as a party.

(3) Opportunity shall be afforded all parties to present evidence and to rebut or offer countervailing evidence.


(a) In any action to be set for hearing, the agency or hearing examiner may direct the parties to appear before it for a conference to consider:

1. The clarification of issues.

2. The necessity or desirability of amendments to the pleadings.

3. The possibility of obtaining admissions of fact and of documents which will avoid unnecessary proof.

4. The limitation of the number of witnesses.

5. Such other matters as may aid in the disposition of the action.

(b) The agency or hearing examiner presiding at a conference under this subsection shall make a memorandum for the record which summarizes the action taken at the conference, the amendments allowed to the pleadings and the agreements made by the parties as to any of the matters considered, and which limits the issues for hearing to those not disposed of by admissions or agreements of the parties. Such memorandum shall control the subsequent course of the action, unless modified at the hearing to prevent manifest injustice.

(5) Unless precluded by law, informal disposition may be made of any contested case by stipulation, agreed settlement, consent order or default. In any proceeding in which a hearing is required by law, if there is no such hearing, the agency or hearing examiner shall record in writing the reason why no such hearing was held, and shall make copies available to interested persons.

(6) The record in a contested case shall include:

(a) All applications, pleadings, motions, intermediate rulings and exhibits and appendices thereto.

(b) Evidence received or considered, stipulations and admissions.

(c) A statement of matters officially noticed.

(d) Questions and offers of proof, objections, and rulings thereon.

(e) Any proposed findings or decisions and exceptions.

(f) Any decision, opinion or report by the agency or hearing examiner.

(7) All staff memoranda and staff data, not admitted as evidence in a contested case, which are submitted to the hearing examiner or officials of the agency in connection with their consideration of the case, are not part of the official record but shall be made a part of the file and shall be served on all parties. Any party may, within 10 days of service of such memoranda or data, submit comments thereon to the examiner or officials and such comments shall also be served on all parties and placed in the file.

(8) A stenographic, electronic or other record of oral proceedings shall be made in any class 2 or class 3 proceeding and in any class 1 proceeding when requested by a party. Each agency may establish rules relating to the transcription of the record into a written transcript and the providing of free copies of the written transcript. Rules may require a purpose for transcription which is deemed by the agency to be reasonable, such as appeal, and if this test is met to the satisfaction of the agency, the record shall be transcribed at the agency's expense, except that in preparing the record for judicial review of a decision that was made in an appeal under s. 227.47 (2) or in an arbitration proceeding under s. 292.63 (6s) or 230.44 (4) (bm) the record shall be transcribed at the expense of the party petitioning for judicial review. Rules may require a showing of impecuniousness or financial need as a basis for providing a free copy of the transcript, otherwise a reasonable compensatory fee may be charged. If any agency does not promulgate such rules, then it must transcribe the record and provide free copies of written transcripts upon request. In any event, an agency shall not refuse to provide a written transcript if the person making the request pays a reasonable compensatory fee for the transcription and for the copy. This subsection does not apply where a transcript fee is specifically provided by law.

(9) The factual basis of the decision shall be solely the evidence and matters officially noticed.

History: 1975 c. 414; 1977 c. 26, 418; 1985 a. 182 ss. 32, 52, 55 (1); Stats. 1985 s. 227.44; 1993 a. 16; 1997 a. 237; 2003 a. 33, 118; 2013 a. 20.

It was not an abuse of discretion for a hearing examiner to not use an interpreter. Kropiwka v. DILHR, 87 Wis. 2d 709, 275 N.W.2d 881 (1979).

Procedural due process is violated when the scope of the hearing exceeds that stated in a notice. The parties have a right to be apprised of the issues to insure the right to be heard. Bracegirdle v. Board of Nursing, 159 Wis. 2d 402, 464 N.W.2d 111 (Ct. App. 1990).

A reprimand may be imposed only after affording an opportunity for a hearing as provided for in a class 2 contested case. 67 Atty. Gen. 188.

Administrative Review of DNR Decisions. Boldt. Wis. Law. July 1993.

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