Texas Register

RULE §9.4313Conduct of Oral Hearing
ISSUE 01/08/2021
ACTION Proposed
Preamble Texas Admin Code Rule

(a)Except as otherwise provided in this subchapter, the ALJ shall convene a hearing for a protest.

(b)All oral hearings under this subchapter shall be recorded. The comptroller or petitioner will be provided a copy of the recording after a written request and payment of a cost-based fee to SOAH. Upon written notice provided to the ALJ and comptroller, and at least ten calendar days prior to a scheduled hearing, a petitioner may make arrangements for and bear the cost of having a hearing recorded and transcribed by a court reporter.

(c)Oral hearings are generally open to the public and shall be held in Austin. The ALJ may close a hearing on the ALJ's own motion or on the motion of a party to the protest if confidential information will be disclosed during the hearing.

(d)Hearings shall be conducted in accordance with this subchapter. The Texas Administrative Procedures Act, the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, the Texas Rules of Evidence, and the SOAH procedural rules do not apply. Nothing in this subsection shall preclude general application by an ALJ of evidentiary principles addressed in the Texas Rules of Evidence as an advisory tool in making evidentiary determinations in protests of the comptroller's findings under Government Code, §403.302(g) and (h).

(e)Except as otherwise provided by this subchapter, the comptroller shall present its evidence and argument prior to each petitioner. After each petitioner has presented its evidence and argument, the comptroller shall be given the opportunity to present rebuttal evidence and argument. The ALJ may otherwise establish the order of proceeding and is responsible for closing the record.

(f)No party may offer documentary evidence at the hearing that was not filed and served in accordance with the requirements of this subchapter. No evidence may be submitted to SOAH on any ground for objection of a protest of the comptroller's findings under Government Code, §403.302(g) and (h) except as identified and submitted by the comptroller.

(g)Testimony of witnesses shall be confined to the documentary evidence that has been timely submitted pursuant to the terms of this subchapter and identified and submitted to SOAH according to subsection (f) of this section.

(h)The following individuals are considered qualified to testify in a hearing before SOAH conducted pursuant to this subchapter: comptroller employees, chief appraisers, and individuals registered as Class IV Appraisers with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

(i)Argument shall be confined to the evidence for the grounds for objection identified and submitted by the comptroller and to the arguments of the other parties.

(j)Admissions, proposals, offers, or agreements made or reached in the compromise of disputed issues prior to referral to SOAH may not be admitted in a hearing. Admissions, proposals, offers, or agreements made or reached in the compromise of disputed issues regarding other protests or prior study years may not be admitted in a hearing.

(k)Unless permitted by the ALJ, no more than two representatives for each party shall present argument and introduce evidence at a hearing.

(l)An attorney, agent or other representative who appears at a protest hearing to argue and present evidence on behalf of a petitioner shall not testify at the hearing.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 21, 2020


Victoria North

General Counsel for Fiscal and Agency Affairs

Comptroller of Public Accounts

Earliest possible date of adoption: February 7, 2021

For further information, please call: (512) 475-2220

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