La. Admin. Code tit. 34, § V-3111 - Rules of Evidence; Official Notice; Oaths and Affirmations; Subpoenas; Depositions and Discovery; and Confidential Privileged Information [Formerly LAC 34:I.3111]

Current through Register Vol. 48, No. 3, March 20, 2022

A. Rules of Evidence
1. The hearing officer may admit and give probative effect to evidence which possesses probative value commonly accepted by reasonable prudent persons in the conduct of their affairs. He shall give effect to the rules of privilege recognized by law. He may exclude incompetent, irrelevant, immaterial, and unduly repetitious evidence. Objections to evidentiary offers may be made and shall be noted in the record. Subject to these requirements, when a hearing will be expedited and the interests of the parties, aggrieved person, or interested persons will not be prejudiced substantially, any part of the evidence may be received in written form.
2. All evidence, including records and documents in the possession of the governmental agency of which the hearing officer desires to avail himself, shall be offered and made a part of the record, and all such documentary evidence may be received in the form of copies or excerpts, or by incorporation by reference. In case of incorporation by reference, the materials so incorporated shall be available for examination by the parties before being received in evidence.
B. Official Notice. Notice may be taken of judicially cognizable facts. In addition, notice may be taken of generally recognized technical or scientific facts within a governmental agency's specialized knowledge. Parties, aggrieved persons, or interested persons shall be notified either before or during the hearing, or by reference in preliminary reports or otherwise, of the material noticed, including any staff memoranda or data, and they shall be afforded an opportunity to contest the material so noticed. A governmental agency's experience, technical competence, and specialized knowledge may be utilized in the evaluation of the evidence.
C. Oaths and Affirmations. The hearing officer shall have the power to administer oaths and affirmations, regulate the course of the hearings, set the time and place for continued hearings, fix the time for filing of briefs and other documents, and direct the parties to appear and confer to consider the simplification of the issues. The hearing officer shall also have authority to raise issues not otherwise raised by persons party to a hearing where such an issue is pertinent to a proper disposition of the matter.
D. Subpoenas. The hearing officer shall have power to sign and issue subpoenas requiring attendance and giving of testimony by witnesses and the production of books, papers, and other documentary evidence. No subpoena shall be issued until the party, aggrieved person, interested person, or governmental agency who wishes to subpoena the witness first deposits a sum of money sufficient to pay all fees and expenses to which a witness in a civil case is entitled pursuant to R.S. 13:3661 and R.S. 13:3671. Witnesses subpoenaed to testify only to an opinion founded on special study or experience in any branch of science, or to make scientific or professional examinations, and to state the results thereof, shall receive such additional compensation from the party, aggrieved person, interested person, or governmental agency who wishes to subpoena such witness as may be fixed by the hearing officer with reference to the value of the time employed and the degree of learning or skill required. Whenever any person summoned neglects or refuses to obey such summons, or to produce books, papers, records, or other data, or give testimony, as required, the hearing officer may apply to the judge of the district court for the district within which the person so summoned resides or is found, for an attachment against him as for a contempt.
E. Depositions and Discovery. The hearing officer, governmental agency, or any party, aggrieved person, or interested person may take the depositions of witnesses, within or without the state, in the same manner as provided by law for the taking of depositions in civil actions in courts of record. Depositions so taken shall be admissible in the record of the hearing. The admission of such depositions may be objected to at the time of hearing and may be received in evidence or excluded from the evidence by hearing officer in accordance with the rules of evidence provided in these rules.
F. Confidential and Privileged Information
1. Records and documents, in the possession of a governmental body, the hearing officer, or any officer or employee, including conclusions drawn therefrom which are deemed confidential and privileged shall not be made available for adjudication proceedings and shall not be subject to subpoena by any person or other state or federal agency.
2. Such records or documents shall only include any private contracts, geological and geophysical information and data, trade secrets and commercial or financial data, which are obtained by an agency through a voluntary agreement between the agency and any person, which said records and documents are designated as confidential and privileged by the parties when obtained, or records and documents which are specifically exempt from disclosure by statute.

Notes

La. Admin. Code tit. 34, § V-3111
Promulgated, by the Office of the Governor, Division of Administration, Office of State Purchasing, LR 9:211 (April 1983), repromulgated LR 40:1367 (July 2014).
AUTHORITY NOTE: Promulgated in accordance with R.S. 39:1581.

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