|(a) Rules of evidence.
(1) The Texas Rules of Evidence as applied in a nonjury
civil case in district court govern contested case hearings conducted
(2) Evidence may be admitted if it meets the standards
set out in Tex. Gov't Code §2001.081.
(b) Physical evidence: Exhibits.
(1) Paper size. Documents shall not be submitted on
paper other than 8-1/2 x 11 inches unless good cause is shown that
the documents cannot be reduced without loss of information, or if
allowed by the judge.
(2) Numbering of pages. A multipage document shall
(3) Physical limits.
(A) Exhibits offered as evidence must not unduly encumber
the records of SOAH by their size or other qualities.
(B) Physical evidence that is bulky, dangerous, perishable,
or otherwise not suitable for inclusion in agency records shall not
be offered into the record.
(C) A party seeking to admit an exhibit contrary to
this section must make reasonable efforts to use photographs, recordings,
or other mechanical or electronic means to substitute for physical
evidence that would encumber SOAH's records.
(D) Maps, drawings, blueprints, and other documents
not reasonably susceptible to reduction shall be rolled or folded
to avoid physically encumbering the record.
(4) Numbering of exhibits.
(A) Each exhibit to be offered shall first be numbered
by the offering party or court reporter.
(B) Copies of the original exhibit shall be furnished
by the party offering the exhibit to the presiding judge and to each
party present at the hearing unless otherwise ordered by the judge.
(5) Excluded exhibits. An exhibit excluded from evidence
will be considered withdrawn by the offering party and will be returned
to the party, unless the party makes an offer of proof in accordance
with the TRE.
(6) Exhibits deemed withdrawn. Prefiled exhibits that
are not offered and admitted at the hearing will be deemed withdrawn.
(7) Non-conforming exhibits. The judge may exclude
exhibits not conforming to this section.
(c) Prefiled evidence.
(1) Prefiled testimony.
(A) The judge may require that direct testimony of
witnesses to be called at the hearing, and any exhibits to be presented
through those witnesses, be filed in writing prior to hearing and
served on other parties. The written testimony of a witness may be
prepared in narrative or question-and-answer form.
(B) Prefiled testimony and related exhibits shall be
subject to evidentiary objections. The judge may require that objections
to prefiled testimony of witnesses and related exhibits be submitted
in writing, filed prior to hearing, and served on other parties.
(C) After a witness has been sworn and has identified
his or her written testimony as a true record of what the testimony
would have been if given orally, the written testimony may be admitted
into evidence at the hearing as if read or presented orally.
(D) When written testimony is offered into evidence,
the witness must attend the hearing for cross-examination, unless
cross-examination is waived by the other parties.
(E) A party may object to the prefiling of exhibits,
testimony, and objections if the hearing will not be expedited and
the interests of the parties will be substantially prejudiced by the
entry of an order under this section.
(2) Prefiled exhibits. The judge may require parties
to prefile some or all exhibits and provide those exhibits to the
other parties. The judge may also require that objections to prefiled
exhibits be submitted in writing, filed prior to the hearing, and
provided to other parties.
(d) Exclusion of witnesses.
(1) At the request of either party or by the judge's
own action, the judge may:
(A) order witnesses excluded from the hearing room
so that they may not hear the proceedings;
(B) instruct the witnesses not to converse about the
case with each other or any person other than the attorneys in the
proceeding except by permission of the judge; and
(C) instruct the witnesses not to read any report of,
or comment upon, the testimony in the case while under order of this
(2) This section does not authorize the exclusion of:
(A) a party who is a natural person or the spouse of
such natural person;
(B) an officer or employee of a party that is not a
natural person and who is designated by the party as its representative;
(C) a person whose presence is shown by a party to
be essential to the presentation of the party's case.