09.12.01.09

.09 Hearings.

A. A hearing shall be held in accordance with the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, Title 10, Subtitle 2, State Government Article, Annotated Code of Maryland.

B. The Commissioner delegates the authority to issue a proposed decision on a citation or penalty to the Office of Administrative Hearings.

C. A proposed decision of the Office of Administrative Hearings becomes a final order of the Commissioner 20 days after the date it is issued, unless:

(1) The person found to have violated Public Safety Article, Title 12, Subtitle 9, Annotated Code of Maryland, or a regulation or order issued to carry out this law, requests a review; or

(2) The Commissioner orders review.

D. Review of Proceedings Before the Commissioner.

(1) A request for review by a person found to have violated Public Safety Article, Title 12, Subtitle 9, Annotated Code of Maryland, or a regulation or order issued to carry out this law, shall:

(a) Be in writing;

(b) Contain a concise statement identifying each portion of the determination for which a review is requested;

(c) Be filed with the Commissioner within 20 days after the date the determination is issued; and

(d) Be mailed by the requesting party to all other parties to the proceeding.

(2) Affected parties have the opportunity to present argument to the Commissioner based on the record before the Office of Administrative Hearings.

(3) Order of the Commissioner.

(a) After review of the proceedings, with or without a hearing, the Commissioner shall:

(i) Issue an order based on findings of fact; and

(ii) Mail copies of the order to all affected parties.

(b) The Commissionerís order shall affirm, modify, or vacate the citation or proposed penalty, or direct other appropriate relief.

E. Hearings Before the Board of Boiler Rules.

(1) A hearing before the Board of Boiler Rules shall be held before at least four members of the Board.

(2) A request for postponement of a hearing may not be considered unless the presiding officer receives a request:

(a) In writing;

(b) At least 5 days before the scheduled hearing date; and

(c) Setting forth the reasons for the request.

(3) Presiding Officer.

(a) At a hearing before the Board, the chairman of the Board or, in the chairmanís absence, the chairmanís designee, shall be the presiding officer.

(b) A presiding officer may:

(i) Administer oaths and affirmations;

(ii) Rule on offers of proof and procedural matters;

(iii) Regulate the course of the hearing, including the conduct of parties and counsel;

(iv) Receive relevant evidence;

(v) Examine a witness; and

(vi) Take other action authorized by statute or regulation.

(4) A hearing shall be recorded verbatim.

(5) Hearing Procedure.

(a) The presiding officer shall:

(i) Call the title of the case;

(ii) Briefly explain the purpose and nature of the hearing;

(iii) Recite any charges, complaints, or other matters involved;

(iv) Administer the oath to all persons who are to testify; and

(v) Receive any stipulation entered into by the parties.

(b) Counsel or a party may address any preliminary matter, exception, or motion.

(c) The following exhibits shall be introduced:

(i) A copy of the petition, complaint, or other matter involved in the hearing; and

(ii) A copy of the notice of hearing.

(d) In a hearing on an application for variance, the applicant shall proceed first and present evidence to demonstrate either that the subject regulation is unreasonable or that it imposes an undue burden on the applicant, and that equivalent safety can be maintained. The presenter of evidence shall then present information obtained as a result of the agencyís investigation of the application.

(e) Subject to statutes and rules governing the practice of law, a party or counsel representing a party may:

(i) Call witnesses;

(ii) Offer evidence, including rebuttal evidence;

(iii) Cross-examine a witness called by another party or the agency; and

(iv) Present argument and summation.

(f) Any member of the Board may examine a witness.

(g) The Board may permit or require a party to file a written memorandum, which may include proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law.

F. The Board shall:

(1) Issue a written determination which includes findings of fact and conclusions of law, and an order disposing of the proceedings; and

(2) Promptly serve a copy of the determination on each party or the party's counsel of record.

G. A party aggrieved by a final order issued pursuant to this regulation may obtain judicial review by filing a written petition with the appropriate circuit court within 30 days of issuance of the final order.