<<Prev Rule

Texas Administrative Code

Next Rule>>
RULE §9.4212Arbitration Proceedings

(a) Necessary Parties. Necessary parties to LBA under Tax Code, §41A.015, include the property owner or the property owner's agent, the chief appraiser, and the ARB. Necessary parties to RBA under Tax Code, §41A.01, include the property owner or the property owner's agent and the appraisal district.

(b) Requirements. An arbitrator who accepts an appointment shall conduct each arbitration proceeding pursuant to the terms of Tax Code, Chapter 41A, and this subchapter, and for a fee that is not more than the applicable amount stated in Tax Code, §41A.015(p)(2) or §41A.06(b)(4), as applicable.

(c) Arbitrator professionalism. The arbitrator shall determine the level of formality or informality of arbitration proceedings; however, the arbitrator must behave professionally while rendering arbitration services. The arbitrator shall not engage in conduct that creates a conflict of interest.

(d) Arbitration hearing types. Arbitrations may be conducted in person or by telephone or video conference call. The arbitrator may decide the manner of the arbitration hearing unless the property owner or the property owner's agent selects a specific format on the request for binding arbitration.

(e) In-person arbitration hearing requirements. Unless all necessary parties agree otherwise, if the arbitration is conducted in person, the arbitrator and all necessary parties shall appear in person for the arbitration hearing. If the arbitration is in person, the arbitration hearing must be held in the county where the subject property is located, unless all necessary parties agree to another location. The selected location must be in an office-like setting generally open to the public or to the arbitrator. The arbitrator is responsible for identifying and reserving the arbitration hearing location and is responsible for any location costs incurred. Neither the property owner, the appraisal district, nor the ARB, may be charged an additional fee or requested to provide additional monies to participate in an in-person arbitration.

(f) Arbitrator initiation of arbitration hearing. Promptly upon acceptance of an appointment, the arbitrator shall contact all necessary parties by telephone or email to notify the parties of the arbitrator's appointment, propose one or more dates for the arbitration hearing, and request alternate arbitration hearing dates from the parties if the date(s) proposed is not acceptable. The arbitrator should cooperate with all necessary parties in scheduling the arbitration hearing.

(g) Notice of arbitration hearing. The arbitrator shall set the arbitration hearing date and serve written notice of the arbitration hearing under subsection (h) of this section as follows:

  (1) where the arbitrator received written agreement from all necessary parties on an arbitration hearing date, the arbitrator shall serve the written notice of arbitration hearing to all necessary parties in the method acceptable to each party; or

  (2) where written agreement from all necessary parties is not obtained after 14 calendar days of the arbitrator's initial contact attempt under subsection (f) of this section, the arbitrator shall set the arbitration hearing date, providing a minimum of 21 calendar days' notice before the arbitration hearing, and shall serve the notice of arbitration hearing by:

    (A) serving a copy of the notice to all necessary parties by email, if available; and

    (B) providing a paper copy of the notice to the property owner through the U.S. Postal Service or a private third-party service such as FedEx or United Parcel Service (UPS) as long as proof of delivery is provided.

(h) Contents of arbitration hearing notice. The arbitrator shall include the following information in the written notice of arbitration hearing:

  (1) the arbitration number;

  (2) the date and time of the arbitration hearing;

  (3) the physical address of the arbitration hearing location if the arbitration hearing is in person, or instructions concerning how to participate in the arbitration hearing if the hearing is by telephone or video conference call;

  (4) the date by which the parties must exchange evidence before the arbitration hearing;

  (5) the arbitrator's contact information, including email address, phone number, and mailing address, as well as a fax number, if available;

  (6) a copy of the arbitrator's written procedures for the arbitration hearing;

  (7) the methods by which the parties are to communicate and exchange materials, including by electronic means, U.S. first-class mail, or overnight or personal delivery; and

  (8) any other matter about which the arbitrator wishes to advise the parties before the arbitration hearing.

(i) Continuance. The arbitrator may continue an arbitration hearing:

  (1) for reasonable cause; or

  (2) if all necessary parties agree to the continuance.

(j) Failure to appear and waiver of defective notice. The arbitrator may hear and determine the controversy on the evidence produced at the arbitration hearing as long as notice was provided pursuant to subsection (g) of this section. Appearance at the arbitration hearing waives any defect in the notice.

(k) Evidence. Each party at the arbitration hearing is entitled to be heard, present evidence material to the controversy, and cross-examine witnesses. The arbitrator shall ask each witness testifying to swear or affirm that the testimony they are about to give shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The arbitrator's decision is required to be based solely on the evidence provided at the arbitration hearing.

(l) Availability of arbitration hearing procedures. The arbitrator shall have a written copy of the arbitrator's hearing procedures available at the arbitration hearing.

(m) Recording proceedings. The parties shall be allowed to record audio of the proceedings. Video recordings require the consent of the arbitrator.

(n) Confidentiality. Information provided to an arbitrator that is made confidential by law may not be disclosed except as provided by law. That portion of the materials considered confidential must be designated as such to protect it from disclosure.

(o) Ex parte communications. The arbitrator shall not initiate, permit, or consider an ex parte communication made to the arbitrator by a party outside the presence of the other parties at any time before the LBA or RBA award is issued, concerning specific evidence, argument, facts, or the merits of the arbitration. Such ex parte communications may be grounds for the removal of the arbitrator from the comptroller's registry of arbitrators.

(p) Processing time. The arbitrator must complete an arbitration proceeding in a timely manner and must make every effort to complete the proceeding within 120 calendar days after the arbitrator's acceptance of the appointment. Failure to timely complete arbitration proceedings may constitute good cause for removal from the comptroller's registry of arbitrators.

Source Note: The provisions of this §9.4212 adopted to be effective April 16, 2024, 49 TexReg 4302

Link to Texas Secretary of State Home Page | link to Texas Register home page | link to Texas Administrative Code home page | link to Open Meetings home page