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TITLE 37PUBLIC SAFETY AND CORRECTIONS
PART 15TEXAS FORENSIC SCIENCE COMMISSION
CHAPTER 651DNA, CODIS, FORENSIC ANALYSIS, AND CRIME LABORATORIES
SUBCHAPTER DPROCEDURE FOR PROCESSING COMPLAINTS AND LABORATORY SELF-DISCLOSURES
RULE §651.309Procedure for Hearing on and Appeal of a Final Investigative Report by the Commission Regarding an Individual Not Licensed Under this Chapter or an Entity that Performs Forensic Analysis as the Term is Defined in Article 38.01, Code of Criminal Procedure

(a) Notice of Commission Final Investigative Report and Procedure for Opportunity for Hearing and Participation.

  (1) Notice. The Commission shall, within ten (10) business days of issuance of any final investigative report as the term is defined in §651.302 of this subchapter (relating to Definitions), provide a copy of the final investigative report to any person or party that is the subject of the investigative report by the Commission.

  (2) Appeals by a Commission License Holder. Final investigative reports or actions adverse to a license holder licensed under subchapter C of this chapter (relating to Forensic Analyst Licensing Program) are governed by the rules of the Judicial Branch Certification Commission in accordance with the procedure provided in §651.216(d) of this chapter (relating to Disciplinary Action).

  (3) Appeals by an Individual not Licensed under this Chapter or an Entity that Performs Forensic Analysis as the Term is Defined in Article 38.01, Code of Criminal Procedure. Any person or party that is the subject of an investigation by the Commission under this subchapter and is not licensed by the Commission pursuant to subchapter C of this chapter (relating to Forensic Analyst Licensing Program) may appeal any final investigative report by the Commission as the term is defined in §651.302 of this subchapter by submitting the Notice of Investigative Appeal form as provided on the Commission's website. Notice of Investigative Appeal forms must be submitted within thirty (30) days of the date the Commission's notice described in subsection (a)(1) of this section is received by the person or party, or the right to a hearing shall be waived and the final investigative report by the Commission stands.

  (4) State Office of Administrative Hearings. Final investigative reports by the Commission issued pursuant to the Commission's investigative authority under Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 38.01 §4(b) that concern an individual not licensed under this chapter or an entity that performs forensic analysis as the term is defined in Article 38.01, Code of Criminal Procedure are governed by Chapter 2001, Government Code. A hearing under this section shall be conducted by an administrative law judge of the State Office of Administrative Hearings.

  (5) State Office of Administrative Hearings procedural rules governed by Chapter 2001, Government Code apply to the extent not inconsistent with Commission rules in this subchapter.

  (6) Proposals for decision issued by a State Office of Administrative Hearings judge shall be considered by the Commission to be proposals for final decision and either adopted, changed or reversed by the Commission to the extent permitted by Chapter 2001, Government Code.

(b) Notice of Hearing; Contents. The Commission shall provide timely notice of any scheduled hearing before the State Office of Administrative Hearings related to a final investigative report by the Commission to the person or party against which the final investigative report is issued. The notice must include:

  (1) a statement of the time, place, and nature of the hearing;

  (2) a statement of the legal authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing is to be held;

  (3) a reference to the particular sections of the statutes and rules involved; and

  (4) either;

    (A) a short, plain statement of the factual matters asserted; or

    (B) an attachment that incorporates by references the factual matters asserted in the appeal, complaint or petition filed with the Commission.

(c) Notice of Hearing; Limited Statement. If the Commission is unable to state factual matters in detail at the time notice is served, an initial notice may be limited to a statement of the issues involved. A more definite and detailed statement of the facts shall be furnished not less than seven (7) days before the date set for the hearing.

(d) Right to Counsel. Each party in a contested case is entitled to the assistance of counsel. The Commission is not responsible for any legal fees. A party may expressly waive the right to assistance of counsel.

(e) Interpreters for Deaf or Hearing Impaired Parties and Witnesses.

  (1) In contested cases, the Commission shall provide an interpreter whose qualifications are approved by the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services to interpret the proceedings for a party or subpoenaed witness who is deaf or hearing impaired.

  (2) In this section, "deaf or hearing impaired" means having a hearing impairment, whether or not accompanied by a speech impairment, that inhibits comprehension of the proceedings or communication with others.

(f) Informal Disposition of Contested Case. Unless precluded by law, an informal disposition may be made of a contested case by:

  (1) stipulation;

  (2) agreed settlement;

  (3) consent order; or

  (4) default.


Source Note: The provisions of this §651.309 adopted to be effective August 26, 2020, 45 TexReg 5932

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