|(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) shall proceed in the party's absence and such failure to appear
shall entitle the department to seek informal disposition as provided by the
Texas Government Code, Chapter 2001. The ALJ shall grant any motion by the
department to remove the case from the contested hearing docket and allow
for informal disposition by the commissioner.
(c) The commissioner 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, upon the offer of proof 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, 1 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 155.
(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 shall be filed with the commissioner prior to the time that the order
of the commissioner becomes final pursuant to the provisions of the Texas
(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 department'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.