§ 46-23-20.3. Prehearing procedure.
(a) Prior to the commencement of any hearing, the hearing officer may in his or her discretion direct the parties or their attorneys to appear before him or her for such conferences as shall be necessary. At the conferences, the hearing officer may order any party to file, prior to the commencement of any formal hearing, exhibits that the party intends to use in the hearing, and the names and addresses of witnesses that the party intends to produce in its direct case, together with a short statement of the testimony of each witness. Following entry of an order, a party shall not be permitted, except in the discretion of the hearing officer, to introduce into evidence, in the party’s direct case, exhibits which are not filed in accordance with the order. At the conference, the hearing officer may designate a date before which he or she requires any party to specify what issues are conceded, and further proof of conceded issues shall not be required. The hearing officer shall also require the parties to simplify the issues, to consider admissions of fact and of documents which will avoid unnecessary proof, and to limit the number of expert witnesses. The hearing officer shall enter an order reciting the concessions and agreements made by the parties, and shall enter an order on such other matters as are pertinent to the conduct of the hearing, and unless modified, the hearing shall be conducted by the order.
(b) The hearing officer may also order the parties to file, prior to the commencement of any hearing, the testimony of any or all of their respective witnesses, and to submit the testimony to the hearing officer and the opposing party or the opposing counsel by such date as the hearing officer shall determine. The witness shall testify under oath, and all of the testimony shall be in a question and answer format. Save for good cause shown, said testimony shall be the direct examination of the witness; provided, however, that the witness shall be available at the hearing for cross-examination by the opposing party or opposing counsel.
(c) The council, with the assistance of the chief hearing officer, shall promulgate, by regulation, such other prehearing procedures and/or hearing procedures as deemed necessary, including the use of portions of the superior court civil rules of discovery where such are not inconsistent with the applicable provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act, chapter 35 of title 42.
History of Section.
P.L. 1990, ch. 461, § 11.