1600, Evidence

Revision 10-1; Effective January 15, 2010

1610 Discovery — 1 TAC §357.13(b)(7)

Revision 10-1; Effective January 15, 2010

All parties in the hearing have the right to examine the documents, before the hearing, that will be considered at the hearing and used to make a decision.

Before the hearing, the agency representative sends copies of all documents to be used in the hearing to the hearing officer and the appellant. The packet includes, but is not limited to:

  • the agency action notice that prompted the appeal;
  • application form and worksheets relevant to the appealed action;
  • verifications used to make the decision that is being appealed;
  • forms, notices and other correspondence sent to and received from the client concerning the appealed action;
  • assistance authorization documents;
  • all other materials relating to the appealed action; and
  • appropriate policy on which the agency is relying.

If the appellant or the appellant's representative submits documents to be considered at the hearing, the hearings officer will fax them to the agency representative before the hearing.

1620 Written Interrogatories

Revision 10-4; Effective July 16, 2010

An appellant or an appellant representative or legal counsel may send written interrogatories or request a pre-hearing conference to get additional information.

The written interrogatories must:

  • be clear and concise,
  • contain no more than 30 questions, and
  • be submitted no less than 20 business days before the hearing.

The interrogatories may be introduced at the hearing. The hearings officer will determine if they are relevant to the issue on appeal.

The hearings officer does not have a role in the interrogatory process beyond his role in the hearing itself.

The hearings officer does not have the authority to compel either party to respond to interrogatories.

1630 Evidence — 1 TAC §357.5

Revision 12-5; Effective November 8, 2012

The hearings officer conducts the fair hearing as an informal proceeding, not as a formal court hearing, and is not required to follow the Texas Rules of Evidence or the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

Evidence includes any relevant documents or testimony provided by the appellant, the appellant's witness, the agency representative or the agency witness.

Hearsay evidence may be considered by the hearings officer and given the appropriate weight. Hearsay evidence is a statement made by a third party and repeated by one of the hearing participants during the hearing.

Note: When both the appellant and the agency have an attorney, the attorneys are required to share their evidence with each other, the agency representative and the hearings officer at least 20 days before the hearing appointment date. Rebuttals or responses to such submittals may be submitted up until the 10th day before the hearing appointment date. Failure to share evidence may be grounds for a postponement at the request of the side not notified.

1640 Additional Medical Assessment — 1 TAC §357.5(c)(2)(L)

Revision 10-1; Effective January 15, 2010

If the hearing involves medical issues such as those concerning a diagnosis, an examining physician's report or a medical review team's decision, and if the hearing official considers it necessary to have a medical assessment other than that of the person involved in making the original decision, the hearings officer orders that medical assessment must be obtained at the operating agency's expense and made part of the record.

If the hearings officer requests an additional medical assessment, he will recess the hearing until the assessment is complete. Once the hearings officer receives the new medical assessment, he will mail a copy to all parties and schedule a time to reconvene the hearing. The reconvened hearing will focus on the additional medical assessment.