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RULE §681.182Formal Hearing Procedures

(a) For purposes of this section, default means the failure of the respondent to appear in person or by legal representative on the day and at the time set for hearing in a contested case or the failure to appear by telephone in accordance with the notice of hearing.

(b) Remedies available upon default. The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) may proceed in the party's absence and such failure to appear entitles the commission to seek informal disposition as provided by the APA. The ALJ may grant any motion by the commission to remove the case from the contested hearing docket and allow for informal disposition by the commissioner.

(c) The board may enter a default judgment by issuing an order against the defaulting party in which the factual allegations in the notice of hearing are deemed admitted as true without the requirement of submitting additional proof, if it is established that proper notice was provided to the defaulting party opponent. For purposes of this section, proper notice means notice sufficient to meet the provisions of the Texas Government Code, Chapter 2001, and the State Office of Administrative Hearings Rules of Procedure.

(d) Motion to set aside and reopen. A timely motion by the respondent to set aside the default order and reopen the record may be granted if the respondent establishes that the failure to attend the hearing was neither intentional nor the result of conscious indifference, and that such failure was due to mistake, accident, or circumstances beyond the respondent's control.

  (1) A motion to set aside the default order and reopen the record must be filed with the board prior to the time that the order of the board becomes final pursuant to the provisions of the Texas Government Code.

  (2) A motion to set aside the default order and reopen the record is not a motion for rehearing and is not to be considered a substitute for a motion for rehearing. The filing of a motion to set aside the default order and reopen has no effect on either the statutory time periods for the filing of a motion for rehearing or on the time period for ruling on a motion for rehearing, as provided in the Texas Government Code.

(e) This subsection also applies to cases where service of the notice of hearing on a defaulting party is shown only by proof that the notice was sent to the party's last known address as shown on the commission's records, with no showing of actual receipt by the defaulting party or the defaulting party's agent. In that situation, the default procedures described in subsection (c) of this section may be used if there is credible evidence that the notice of hearing was sent by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, to the defaulting party's last known address.

Source Note: The provisions of this §681.182 adopted to be effective September 1, 2005, 30 TexReg 4978; amended to be effective April 27, 2008, 33 TexReg 3268; amended to be effective December 12, 2013, 38 TexReg 8889; amended to be effective February 28, 2019, 44 TexReg 844

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