Texas Register

RULE §9.4260Arbitration Proceedings
ISSUE 01/01/2010
ACTION Proposed
Rule Withdrawn: 01/13/2010
Preamble Texas Admin Code Rule

(a)As soon as practicable after the initial contact in which the arbitrator accepts the arbitration and upon consultation with the parties, the arbitrator shall set the time, date and place for the hearing. In the event the parties cannot agree, the arbitrator shall set the time, date and place for the hearing. The arbitrator shall comply with Civil Practice and Remedies Code, §171.044 to notify the parties of the setting.

(b)Unless the arbitrator's procedures permit the parties to request an alternative hearing method, including a hearing on written submission, by telephone, or other means of transmission, the arbitration hearing is a traditional "in person" hearing. If the arbitrator's procedures provide for alternate hearing methods, a party may request an alternate method by giving notice to the arbitrator and the other party. The requesting party shall send the notice by a method provided in §9.4252(f) of this title (relating to General Provisions). The notice requirement is not met by filing the request for binding arbitration form. The arbitrator shall allow a reasonable amount of time for the other party to object. The arbitrator will grant the request for an alternative hearing method unless a party has demonstrated that an alternative method would create an unreasonable burden.

(c)An arbitrator may continue a hearing, but may not exceed the time set by Tax Code, §41A.031 if the matter is an expedited arbitration.

(d)The arbitrator shall continue or postpone a hearing in the manner required by Tax Code, §41A.08(a). If the arbitrator postpones or continues a hearing, that arbitrator shall schedule a new hearing date and time as provided by Civil Practices and Remedies Code, §171.045(2)(A) and (B). The arbitrator may grant a continuance or postponement for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to the representation of the owner by an agent who was not named on the request for binding arbitration. If a party requests continuance or postponement on the following grounds, reasonably documented, the arbitrator shall find that reasonable cause has been shown and shall grant the request:

  (1)a conflict between the hearing as scheduled and another, previously scheduled arbitration, protest, judicial, or administrative hearing; or

  (2)a documented medical condition or medical procedure that conflicts with the hearing as scheduled.

(e)The appraisal district does not document a scheduling conflict that meets the requirements of subsection (d)(1) of this section, by showing that the employees who are assigned to represent the appraisal district in arbitrations have been previously scheduled and have conflicting arbitration hearings. The appraisal district is not entitled to a postponement or continuance under subsection (d)(1) of this section, unless it provides the arbitrator with a sworn statement that it has no available employees competent to represent the appraisal district at the time that the arbitration hearing is scheduled to be held.

(f)The confidentiality provisions of Tax Code, §22.27, concerning information provided to an appraisal office, apply to information provided to arbitrators. The information may not be disclosed except as provided by law.

(g)An arbitrator may not engage in an ex parte contact with the parties to the arbitration. An ex parte contact is a contact or communication that occurs before the arbitration hearing and concerns the evidence, argument, facts, merits, or the property subject to arbitration. This subsection does not apply to the arbitrator's:

  (1)receipt of evidence forwarded by a party; or

  (2)communications or contacts that concern procedural matters, such as the initial contact required by this section, and other conversations or contacts necessary to coordinate the time, date, and place of the hearing, are not ex parte contacts.

(h)The arbitrator shall dismiss with prejudice a pending arbitration if the arbitrator determines at any time during the arbitration proceedings that:

  (1)taxes on the property that is the subject of the arbitration are delinquent;

  (2)the order determining a protest is for a property not within the limits set by Tax Code, §41A.01;

  (3)the request for arbitration was not timely filed; or

  (4)the owner appealed the appraisal review board's determination concerning the property that is the subject of the arbitration to district court under Tax Code, Chapter 42.

(i)The arbitrator shall complete each arbitration proceeding in a timely manner, but no later than the 121st day after the date on which the arbitrator accepted the arbitration. An arbitrator who completes a proceeding after the deadline set by this section may be required to show the comptroller good cause why the deadline could not be met before the comptroller will make a determination concerning the party required to pay the arbitrator's fee.

(j)An arbitrator may withdraw from an arbitration before the hearing by giving the parties and the comptroller notice of the withdrawal. An arbitrator who withdraws from an arbitration is not entitled to payment from either party.

This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be within the agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 17, 2009


Ashley Harden

General Counsel

Comptroller of Public Accounts

Earliest possible date of adoption: January 31, 2010

For further information, please call: (512) 475-0387

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