(1) If a party
fails to appear or participate in a contested case proceeding after proper
service of notice, the presiding officer may, if no adjournment is granted,
enter a default decision or proceed with the hearing and render a decision in
the absence of the party.
appropriate and not contrary to law, any party may move for default against a
party who has requested the contested case proceeding and has failed to file a
required pleading or has failed to appear after proper service.
Default decisions or decisions rendered
on the merits after a party has failed to appear or participate in a contested
case proceeding become final agency action unless, within 15 days after the
date of notification or mailing of the decision, a motion to vacate is filed
and served on all parties or an appeal of a decision on the merits is timely
initiated within the time provided by rule
(17A). A motion to vacate must state all facts relied upon by the moving party
which establish that good cause existed for that party's failure to appear or
participate at the contested case proceeding. Each fact so stated must be
substantiated by at least one sworn affidavit of a person with personal
knowledge of each such fact, which affidavit(s) must be attached to the
(4) The time for further
appeal of a decision for which a timely motion to vacate has been filed is
stayed pending a decision on the motion to vacate.
(5) Properly substantiated and timely filed
motions to vacate shall be granted only for good cause shown. The burden of
proof as to good cause is on the moving party. Adverse parties shall have ten
days to respond to a motion to vacate. Adverse parties shall be allowed to
conduct discovery as to the issue of good cause and to present evidence on the
issue prior to a decision on the motion, if a request to do so is included in
that party's response.
cause" for purposes of this rule shall have the same meaning as "good cause"
for setting aside a default judgment under Iowa Rule of Civil Procedure
A decision denying a
motion to vacate is subject to further appeal within the time limit allowed for
further appeal of a decision on the merits in the contested case proceeding. A
decision granting a motion to vacate is subject to interlocutory appeal by the
adverse party pursuant to rule
(8) If a motion to vacate is
granted and no timely interlocutory appeal has been taken, the presiding
officer shall issue another notice of hearing and the contested case shall
(9) A default
decision may award any relief consistent with the notice of hearing and the
commission's remedial authority under the Iowa civil rights Act.
(10) A default decision may provide either
that the default decision is to be stayed pending a timely motion to vacate or
that the default decision is to take effect immediately.