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RULE §705.1525What happens if a party fails to appear at a pre-hearing conference or a hearing on the merits?

(a) If either party fails, without good cause, to appear at a scheduled pre-hearing conference or a hearing on the merits, the administrative law judge may issue a default judgment against the party that failed to appear.

(b) A party against whom a default judgment is rendered may, within 10 calendar days of receipt of the default judgment, request a hearing on the issue of whether good cause existed for failing to appear.

(c) The administrative law judge may make a determination on the issues of good cause based on a review of the assertions and evidence submitted with the party's request for a good cause hearing or may schedule the matter for a hearing if additional testimony and evidence are deemed necessary for making the good cause finding. If a hearing is scheduled on the issue of good cause for failure to appear, the administrative law judge may limit the hearing solely to the issue of good cause or may combine the hearing with other pre-hearing conference matters or with the hearing on the merits, at the discretion of the administrative law judge.

(d) Unless a default judgment for failure to appear is challenged and reversed, as described in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, the default judgment is considered the final order (Final Order) of DFPS and may not be further appealed except as provided under §705.1531 of this chapter (relating to How is judicial review requested and what is the deadline?).

(e) If a default judgment rendered against an employee becomes the Final Order, DFPS will submit the employee's name for inclusion in the Employee Misconduct Registry in the same manner as it would following any other Final Order that affirms the finding of reportable conduct, as provided in this subchapter.

(f) If a default judgment rendered against DFPS becomes the Final Order, DFPS shall amend its records to reverse the findings at issue in the EMR hearing and shall issue an amended Notice of Finding to the employee reflecting that change.

Source Note: The provisions of this §705.1525 adopted to be effective February 1, 2021, 46 TexReg 317

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