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Regulations: Reconsideration/Hearing Procedure

1300.01 Request for Reconsideration/Petition for Hearing - A Claimant or any person aggrieved by a decision of the Review Board may petition the Review Board for a hearing pursuant to this section within twenty-one (21) days of notification of the Review Board's decision.

1300.02 Applicability - The procedures set forth in this Part apply to all hearings, except for rule making procedures, allowed by the Review Board or required by law.

1300.03 Petition for Reconsideration/Hearing - All petitions for reconsideration/hearing shall set forth in writing the salient facts and reasons as to why the petitioner's request for reconsideration warrants further Review Board action.

1300.04 Place of Hearings - All hearings before the Review Board shall be held at a location specified by the Review Board.

1300.05 Computation of Time - All time periods referenced in these regulations shall be calendar days. Computation of any period of time referred to in these regulations shall begin with the first day following that on which the act which initiates such period of time occurs. The last day of the period so computed shall be included. If the last day of the period so computed falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, then the time period shall be extended to include the first business day following the Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday.

1300.06 Extensions of Time - Any party to an action before the Review Board may petition the Review Board to extend any time limit prescribed by these regulations if meeting the prescribed time limit would unduly burden the party or if an extension is otherwise necessary to the orderly or efficient conduct of the hearing. A request for an extension shall be submitted in writing to the Review Board prior to the expiration of the prescribed period and shall state the reasons for the extension request. A copy of the request shall also be sent to all other parties directly involved in the action. Any other party to the action, may object to the request by filing a written objection with the Review Board within five (5) days of receipt of the request, stating the reasons why the request should not be granted. If there is no opposition to the request and if the delay would not prejudice the interests of any other party to the action, the Review Board shall grant the request. If an objection to a request is filed, the Review Board shall consider the reasons for and against the extension and shall rule on the request as on any other motion or appeal. The Review Board Administrator shall notify all parties of the Review Board's actions.

1300.07 Date of Filing - All exhibits, decisions, findings of fact, correspondence, motions, petitions, applications and any other documents governed by these regulations shall be deemed to have been issued by the Review Board on the actual date of issuance, and shall be deemed to have been filed with or received by the Review Board on the actual date of receipt by the Review Board.

1300.08 Identification of Communications - Communications shall contain the name and address of the communicator and the appropriate site identification number, where applicable, pertaining to the subject of the communication. When the subject matter pertains to a pending proceeding, the title of the proceeding shall be given.

1300.09 Appearance Before the Review Board

a) Any party to a Review Board hearing or their designated representative, as allowed under R.I. General Laws 11-27-1 et seq., shall be entitled to enter an appearance, introduce evidence, make agreements and generally participate in the conduct of the hearing. Appearances may be entered either in writing or upon the record of the hearing. Other persons, not parties to a proceeding but having an interest in the subject matter as members of the public, may participate in the hearing to the extent required by statute or as the Review Board may permit, in accordance with subsection (b) hereof.

b) Any person having an interest in the proceeding as a member of the public and not otherwise entitled by law to participate may request to be heard by the Review Board and shall briefly state the reason (s) why the person wishes to be heard. The person shall be allowed to be heard if the Review Board determines that the testimony the person proposes to give is relevant, material, not duplicative of other testimony, and necessary to a fair and just proceeding.

1300.10 Representatives - Any party to a hearing before the Review Board shall be represented by an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Rhode Island or only such other individual as allowed under R.I. General Laws 11-27-1 et seq.

1300.11 Notice of Hearings - When a hearing is scheduled to consider issues raised by a petition for reconsideration/hearing filed pursuant to Part 1400, then notice shall be provided to all parties in a timely manner not to be less that fifteen (15) days prior to the hearing date. The notice shall contain the time, date and place of the hearing and shall contain a statement that the hearing is to consider the issues raised in the petition for hearing.

1300.12 Hearing Record

a) The record of the hearing shall consist of all written comments, staff memoranda prepared for and submitted at the hearing, application form (s) (submitted to the Review Board or the Department), notice (s) of the hearing, the records of the hearing, and all exhibits, motions and findings.

b) All parties and other witnesses testifying at a hearing shall be sworn prior to giving such testimony and all testimony shall be recorded. The Review Board, upon request of a party shall provide, at cost, a duplicate tape of the hearing. Any person desiring a transcript of the hearing prepared by a qualified stenographer shall provide the stenographer and shall bear all expenses associated with the preparation of the transcript. Any transcript so prepared shall be made available to all other parties to the proceeding for copying.

1300.13 Hearing Procedures

a) The presiding officer at a hearing shall be the chairperson of the Review Board if present and willing to preside. If the chairperson is unavailable for whatever reason, the presiding officer shall be the vice-chairperson, if available, or a member of the Review Board selected by those members present at the hearing. The presiding officer shall have the authority to: Rule on issues of evidence; Regulate the course of the hearing; Rule upon issues of procedure; and Take such other action that is necessary for the efficient and orderly conduct of the hearing, consistent with these regulations and state law.

b) The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the following provisions: The presiding officer shall open the hearing by describing the general terms, the purpose of the hearing and the general procedure governing its conduct. Any person testifying before the Review Board shall be required to state for the record his or her name, address, and if a representative of a party, the identity of the party so represented. Whenever it appears that testimony to be offered at the hearing would be more readily understood if presented in written form, the presiding officer shall require the party offering such testimony to submit the testimony in written form provided such requirement will not substantially prejudice the interests of any party to the hearing. Upon request of the party who has been required to submit written testimony, the presiding officer shall direct that the record be held open after the close of the hearing or that the hearing be continued to a later date for the sole purpose of allowing sufficient time to prepare the written submission. All persons offering testimony in written form shall be subject to questioning. This subparagraph shall not be construed to prevent oral testimony at a scheduled hearing by any member of the public who requests and is granted time to testify at a hearing.

c) Direct testimony shall be offered in the following order: The party who filed the petition for hearing and such witnesses as the party may call; Any person (other than Review Board staff) having a direct interest in the matter, including but not limited to, a person to who a determination of eligibility was issued; Review Board staff members; Representatives from other governmental agencies; and Such other persons as the Review Board has determined will be allowed to testify in accordance with 1300.09(b).

d) The presiding officer shall have the authority to modify the order in which witnesses appear, testify, or are questioned when the order set forth in subsections (c) (1) through (5) cannot be followed or when otherwise necessary to the efficient conduct of the proceeding.

e) The presiding officer and Review Board members shall be allowed to cross examine witnesses. The presiding officer shall allow other parties having a direct interest in the proceeding to cross examine witnesses by asking questions directly of the witnesses, so long as such direct questioning is not disruptive to the proceedings. If the presiding officer determines that such cross examination is disruptive to the orderly conduct of the proceedings, then the presiding officer shall require cross examination to be conducted indirectly, by addressing questions through the presiding officer.

1300.14 General Evidence

a) Evidence which is relevant and material to the subject matter of the hearing shall be admissible. Evidence which is irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious shall be excluded. The experience, technical competence, and specialized knowledge of the Review Board members may be utilized in the evaluation of all evidence submitted to the Review Board.

b) The presiding officer may, at any time, take official notice of the staff file, relevant laws, official regulation and transcripts of other hearings, judicially recognizable facts, generally recognized facts of common knowledge to the general public and physical, technical or scientific facts of common knowledge to the general public and physical, technical or scientific facts within its specialized knowledge. The Review Board shall include in its final decision those facts of which it took official notice unless those facts are included in the transcript of the record.

c) Documentary and real evidence. All documents, materials and objects offered in evidence as exhibits shall, if accepted, be numbered or otherwise identified. Documentary evidence may be received in the form of copies or excerpts if the original is not readily available. The presiding officer shall require, after prior oral or written reasonable notice, that any person offering any documentary or photographic evidence shall provide the council with a specified number of copies of such documents or photographs, unless such documents or photographs are determined to be of such form, size or character as not to be reasonable suitable for reproduction. All written testimony and documents, materials, and objects admitted into evidence shall be made available during the course of the hearing for public examination.

d) In any proceeding involving an application, the application and other documents filed with the Review Board, including exhibits and amendments thereto, shall be placed into evidence.

e) All objections to rulings of the presiding officer regarding evidence or procedure and the grounds therefore shall be timely stated during the course of the hearing.

1300.15 Exhibits

a) Where evidence to be presented consists of tabulations and figures so numerous as to make oral presentation difficult to follow, it shall be presented in exhibit form. Exhibits may be summarized, supplemented and explained.

b) Space shall be provided in the upper right hand corner of each such exhibit for the insertion of the number of the exhibit and the name of the witness through whom it is presented.

c) The party offering an exhibit shall supply the original and three (3) copies thereof to the Review Board.

1300.16 Late Filing of Exhibits - A party may request that the record be left open for a specified period of time to accommodate the filing of exhibits or copies of exhibits not available at the hearing. If the other parties to the hearing have no objection to the request of it the Review Board determines that such exhibits are necessary to a full consideration of the subject matter, the presiding officer shall set a date by which the exhibits shall be filed.

1300.17 Advance Filing of Exhibits and Testimony - The Review Board shall require any party intending to use exhibits to file an original and three (3) copies thereof with the Review Board at a specified time prior to the hearing at which such exhibits are to be introduced.

1300.18 Signatures - Every application, exhibit, notice, motion, petition, complaint, brief and memorandum shall be signed by the filing person or by one or more attorneys in their individual names.

1300.19 Continuance - Any party may request that a hearing conducted pursuant to this Part be continued for reasonable cause and reconvened or rescheduled. Reasonable cause shall include, but not be limited to, unavailability of an individual party or a representative or critical witness. Requests for a continuance made prior to a hearing shall be in writing and shall state the reason (s) for the request. Requests for a continuance made at a hearing may be made orally and shall be entered in the record of the hearing. If the Review Board determines that reasonable cause exists and that no other party will be prejudiced by the delay, the Review Board shall grant the request. All orders for continuance shall specify the time and place at which such hearing shall be reconvened. The presiding officer shall notify the parties and the public, if applicable, in such a manner as is appropriate to insure that reasonable notice shall be given of the time and place of such continued hearing.

1300.20 Recess and Adjournment - The Review Board shall, from time to time, at the request of any party or on its own initiative, recess or adjourn any hearings as may be necessary to the orderly conduct of the proceeding.

1300.21 Conclusion of Hearing

a) After the conclusion of the hearing, no other evidence or testimony shall be allowed into the record, except as allowed pursuant to subsection (b).

b) Prior to the conclusion of the hearing a party may request that the record be left open for a specified period of time to accommodate the filing of evidence or testimony not available at the hearing. If the other parties to the hearing have no objection to the request or if the Review Board determines that such evidence or testimony is necessary to a full consideration of the subject matter, the presiding officer shall set a date by which the additional evidence or testimony shall be filed.

1300.22 Reopening of the Record - At any time prior to a final decision any party to a proceeding or any member of the Review Board may request the presiding officer to reopen the record to consider testimony, evidence or arguments not previously considered. If the presiding officer determines that such testimony, evidence or arguments are necessary to a full consideration of the subject matter of the proceeding the record shall be reopened, provided that written notice of such further proceedings shall be given if the parties are no longer present and further provided that other affected parties and the public shall be notified in an appropriate manner.

1300.23 Orders - Any final orders of the Review Boards shall include findings of fact and conclusions of law, separately stated. Findings of fact, as set forth in statutory language, shall be accompanied by a concise and explicit statement of the underlying facts supporting the findings. If a party, in accordance with permission from the Review Board, submits proposed findings of fact, the order shall including a ruling on each proposed finding. Parties shall be notified either personally or by mail of any order. Upon request a copy of the order shall be delivered and mailed forthwith to each party and to his or her attorney of record.

1300.24 Judicial Review of Review Board Decisions - Any person who has exhausted all administrative remedies available to him or her before the Review Board and who has been aggrieved by a final order of the Review Board is entitled to judicial review as pursuant to Chapter 35, Title 42, of the Rhode Island General Laws.

1300.25 Proceedings for Review shall be instituted by filing a complaint in the Superior Court in and for Providence County within thirty (30) days after final order is entered by the Review Board.


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