182-16-3010  <<  182-16-3015 >>   182-16-3030

WAC 182-16-3015

Hearing officersAssignment, motions of prejudice, and disqualification.

(1) Assignment. A hearing officer will be assigned at least five business days before a hearing. A party may ask which hearing officer is assigned to a hearing by contacting the hearing officer's office listed on the notice of hearing. If requested by a party, the hearing officer's office must send the name of the assigned hearing officer to all parties, by electronic mail or in writing, at least five business days before the scheduled hearing date.
(2) Motion of prejudice. Any party requesting a different hearing officer may file a written motion of prejudice against the hearing officer assigned to the matter before the hearing officer rules on a discretionary issue in the case, admits evidence, or takes testimony.
(a) A motion of prejudice must include a declaration stating that a party does not believe the hearing officer can hear the case fairly. Service of copies of the motion must also be made to all parties listed on the notice of hearing.
(b) Any party's first motion of prejudice will be automatically granted. Any subsequent motion of prejudice made by a party may be granted or denied at the discretion of the hearing officer no later than seven days after receiving the motion.
(c) A party may make an oral motion of prejudice at the beginning of a hearing before the hearing officer rules on a discretionary issue in the matter, admits evidence, or takes testimony if:
(i) The hearing officer was not assigned at least five business days before the date of the hearing; or
(ii) The hearing officer was changed within five business days of the date of the hearing.
(3) Disqualification. A hearing officer may be disqualified from presiding over a hearing for bias, prejudice, conflict of interest, or ex parte contact with a party to the hearing.
(a) Any party may file a petition to disqualify a hearing officer as described in RCW 34.05.425. A petition to disqualify must be in writing and service promptly made to all parties and the hearing officer upon discovering facts of possible grounds for disqualification.
(b) The hearing officer whose disqualification is requested will determine whether to grant or deny the petition in a written order, stating facts and reasons for the determination. The hearing officer must serve the order no later than seven days after receiving the petition for disqualification.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.05.021 and 41.05.160. WSR 18-22-033 (Admin #2018-03), § 182-16-3015, filed 10/29/18, effective 1/1/19.]
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