It is the Appeals Officer's role to administer the appeal
process and to render a fair and impartial recommended decision to the Board. The
recommended decision must be based on the record as a whole and resolve all material
issues in the appeal. In fulfilling this role, the Appeals Officer is authorized to
do the following:
To hold case
management conferences, which may be conducted via telephone, if the Appeals Officer
believes they may achieve one or more of the following purposes:
(1) Identifying and clarifying the
(2) Developing agreement as to
(3) Identifying witnesses and
exhibits, and apprising the parties as fully as is practicable of the evidence to be
offered by the opposing party in order to eliminate as far as possible the element
(4) Identifying and
resolving disputes regarding the production and admissibility of evidence, including
the making of evidentiary rulings; and
(5) Taking any other action the Appeals Officer
determines is appropriate for the provision of a fair, efficient and effective
B. To rule on
any request that may be made at the Appeals Conference, or at any other time during
the appeal process prior to delivery of the recommended decision to the
C. To regulate the presentation
of evidence, including the order of witnesses, and to otherwise regulate the
participation of the parties.
examine parties and witnesses.
rule on the admissibility of evidence pursuant to section 203 of this
F. To ensure that relevant
evidence is incorporated into the record.
G. In the event that either the Taxpayer or the
Bureau's Representative fails to appear at a conference, to prepare a recommended
decision for the Board based upon the arguments and evidence presented by the party
attending the conference and the written materials submitted by both parties prior
to the scheduled date of the conference.
H. With the agreement of the parties, to conduct a
consolidated conference concerning the appeals of more than one Taxpayer when those
appeals involve substantially similar issues of fact and law.
I. To set deadlines for the submission of
additional evidence and materials, after the expiration of which the Appeals Officer
will not consider additional evidence and materials submitted by the parties.
Ex Parte communications
In accordance with 36 M.R.S. §151-D(10)(G), the Appeals
Officer shall not have any ex parte communications with or on behalf of any party,
except on questions that involve ministerial or administrative matters that do not
address the substance of the issues or the positions taken by the Taxpayer or the
Bureau. To prevent such ex parte communications, all parties shall furnish a copy of
any requests, filings, or other communications with the Appeals Officer to the
opposing party. The Appeals Officer may communicate with the Board and other
employees of the Appeals Office.
An Appeals Officer may be recused from participating in an
appeal as follows:
By request of a
party. Either party may request that the assigned Appeals Officer be recused
if that party believes the Appeals Officer has a conflict of interest or for some
other reason will not be able to fairly conduct the proceedings and issue an
impartial recommended decision. In the event such a request is made, the Chief
Appeals Officer shall determine whether to assign another Appeals Officer to the
Upon the Appeals
Officer's own determination. If the Appeals Officer assigned to an appeal
believes he or she may have a conflict of interest, or for any other reason may not
be able to fairly conduct the proceedings and issue an impartial recommended
decision in an assigned appeal, the Appeals Officer shall so notify the Chief
Appeals Officer, who may assign another Appeals Officer to the matter.