.09 Review of Denial.

A. If a written request is denied by the custodian for a reason other than that the record is temporarily unavailable, the applicant may request an administrative hearing within 10 working days after receipt of the notice of the denial. The hearing request shall be made in writing to the custodian who denies the request.

B. Hearing Procedures.

(1) If an applicant requests a hearing, the hearing shall be conducted by the Secretary, an administrative law judge employed by the Office of Administrative Hearings, or the Secretary's designee.

(2) The hearing shall be governed by State Government Article, Title 10, Subtitle 2, Annotated Code of Maryland, and COMAR 08.01.04.

(3) After the hearing, the designee shall prepare a decision for the Secretary.

(4) The Secretary shall issue the final decision of the Department within 30 days of the receipt of the recommended decision.

(5) If the hearing results in a total or partial denial of the written request, the applicant may file an appropriate action in the circuit court under State Government Article, §10-623, Annotated Code of Maryland.

C. If the applicant chooses not to request a hearing under §A of this regulation, the applicant may file an action for judicial review under State Government Article, §10-623, Annotated Code of Maryland. The applicant need not exhaust the administrative remedy provided under §A of this regulation before filing suit.