26-239 C.M.R. ch. 106, § 10 - THE HEARING

Current through 2022-14, April 6, 2022

A. Presentation of evidence. The conduct of the hearing shall encourage a full and complete disclosure of the facts.

The formal rules of evidence shall not apply. The parties may introduce any relevant evidence that will assist the arbitrator in making a decision. It shall, however, be in the arbitrator's sole discretion whether to personally examine or ride in the consumer's vehicle.

The consumer or his representative shall present his evidence and witnesses, then the manufacturer or its representative shall present its case.

Each party may question the other after his presentation, and may question each witness after his testimony. The arbitrator may question any party or witness at any time.

The consumer may provide a rebuttal at the close of the manufacturer's evidence and witnesses.

Each party is responsible for presenting at the hearing all his evidence in a concise manner.

B. Suspension of hearing due to disruption. After a warning, the arbitrator may suspend any hearing which becomes unmanageable due to the behavior of either party.
1. Such suspended hearing shall be considered a withdrawal with prejudice if caused primarily by the consumer.
2. Such suspended hearing shall be considered a default without good cause if caused primarily by the manufacturer.
C. Delayed decisions. Unless the arbitrator obtains the consumer's written consent to a delayed decision, the arbitrator may keep the record open only for additional evidence that he requests if that delay will not interfere with the timely rendering of a decision. Such additional evidence shall be provided to both parties and the arbitrator may grant the parties the opportunity to respond in writing.

Unless the arbitrator obtains the consumer's written consent to a delayed decision, the arbitrator may continue a hearing only if that continuance will not interfere with the timely rendering of a decision.

D. Hearing procedures. The arbitrator shall make all reasonable efforts to tape record the hearing.

The arbitrator shall administer an oath or affirmation to each individual who testifies.

The hearing procedure contemplates that both parties will be present. However, either party may offer written testimony only, as long as the arbitrator and the other party are informed of such and are in receipt of the evidence 3 business days prior to the day of the hearing.

Upon approval by the arbitrator, a party may present its case by telephone, provided that adequate advance notice is given to the arbitrator and to the other party. In such cases, the party requesting the telephonic hearing shall pay all costs associated therewith, including but not limited to costs for long distance calls, conference calls, and telephone amplification equipment.

E. Neutral arbitrator. There shall be a single arbitrator conducting each hearing. The arbitrator shall be neutral and must not have a financial or personal interest in the outcome of any hearing.

Notes

26-239 C.M.R. ch. 106, § 10

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