110 CMR 10.14 - Discovery

(1) The Appellant and/or his or her authorized representative may examine and/or request copies of the Appellant's file to which they are legally entitled, subject to the confidentiality requirements which govern the Department at 110 CMR 12.00: Records, by submitting a written request to the area office or provider at least 30 calendar days prior to the time the Appellant wishes to see the material.
(2) An Appellant shall be entitled to obtain a copy of the "51A and 51B" reports if any, which form the basis of the appeal. To request such documents, the Appellant shall make a written request to the Director of Areas, at least 30 calendar days in advance of the scheduled hearing date. The Area Office shall ensure that the record is available to the Appellant within 30 days from receipt of the request or ten calendar days prior to the hearing, whichever is earlier. In releasing copies of these reports the name of (and any other reasonably identifying data concerning) the reporter shall be redacted. Other information may be redacted if it is privileged (e.g. attorney-client communication) or if the release of the information would be contrary to the best interest of the child.
(3) Upon request, copies of papers contained in the Appellant's file shall be provided to the Appellant at a rate of $.10 per page. However, the Department shall waive the fee for 20 or fewer pages.
(4) Requests for any other form of discovery must be made in writing and may be made any time after a request for a Fair Hearing has been filed and up to 30 calendar days before the scheduled hearing date. Such requests should include not only the type of discovery requested but the reasons for the necessity of such discovery. The Hearing Officer, Director of Fair Hearings or designee shall rule upon such requests, and shall give each party written notice of this ruling.
(5) It is the Department's specific intention that Fair Hearings not be abused as an opportunity for criminal or civil discovery. The Department's Fair Hearing Officers may, in his or her discretion, limit the Fair Hearing in order to ensure that the Fair Hearing is not so used.

Notes

110 CMR 10.14

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