18-674 C.M.R. ch. 100, § 2-203 - Evidence

Current through 2022-14, April 6, 2022

1. Formal Rules of Evidence; Privilege; Admissibility

The Appeals Officer need not observe the rules of evidence observed by the Maine courts, but shall observe the rules of privilege and the protection of work product recognized under Maine law. The Appeals Officer shall admit evidence if it is the kind of evidence upon which reasonable persons are accustomed to rely in the conduct of serious affairs. The Appeals Officer may exclude evidence which is irrelevant or unduly repetitious.

2. Testimony

Evidence may be given orally at the Appeals Conference or, if no conference was requested, by an unsworn statement or sworn affidavit. If an Appeals Conference was requested such statements and affidavits must be submitted in advance of the Appeals Conference in accordance with section 201 of this chapter. If evidence is offered through a sworn affidavit, the submitting party shall make the affiant available for cross-examination unless the opposing party waives the opportunity to cross-examine the affiant. Such cross-examination may be conducted with the affiant present in person or via telephone during the Appeals Conference. If the affiant is not made available for cross-examination as requested, the affidavit may be excluded from evidence by the Appeals Officer. In an appeal in which no conference was requested, the Appeals Officer may, upon the request of a party and for good cause shown, allow cross-examination of an affiant. Such cross-examination may be conducted via telephone and shall be limited to questions concerning the information contained in the affidavit. At the conclusion of any cross-examination, the party that submitted the affidavit will also be given an opportunity to question the affiant.

3. Weight of evidence; Credibility

In issuing a recommended decision, the Appeals Officer shall determine the weight to be given to the evidence submitted and the credibility of witness statements, although, as provided by 36 M.R.S. §151-D(10)(I), and as set forth in section 304 of this chapter, the Board is not bound by the Appeals Officer's determinations.

4. Agreement on facts

When the parties agree on a fact or facts, the Appeals Officer may make a finding of fact on the basis of that agreement. Signed statements or oral statements made by parties during Board proceedings, including those made at a case management conference conducted via telephone, are sufficient to show agreement.

5. Official notice of facts

The Appeals Officer may take official notice of a fact upon the Appeals Officer's own motion or at the request of a party. Official notice may be taken of any fact of which judicial notice could be taken, and, in addition, of any general or technical matter within the specialized experience or knowledge of the Appeals Officer and of any non-confidential public records. The Appeals Officer will notify the parties of any material of which he or she intends to take official notice and shall afford the parties an opportunity to contest the substance or materiality of the material to be noticed.

6. Burden of proof

The Taxpayer has the burden of proving that it is more likely than not that the Bureau erred in applying or interpreting the relevant law.

7. Nature of the Board's evidentiary process

All proceedings before the Board, including those related to obtaining evidence, are designed to be informal, efficient, inexpensive, and to not require professional legal assistance. To this end, the production of documents and other evidence by the parties is governed by the primarily voluntary process set forth in section 201 of this chapter. Except in extraordinary circumstances, an Appeals Officer will only consider evidence that is submitted pursuant to that process, in response to a request from the Appeals Officer for additional information, or in response to a subpoena issued by the Appeals Officer.

Notes

18-674 C.M.R. ch. 100, § 2-203

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