N.J. Admin. Code § 7:1J-9.9 - Conduct of hearing

Current through Register Vol. 54, No. 7, April 4, 2022

(a) The board shall set the date, time, and place for each hearing. The board shall mail to each party notice thereof at least 10 days in advance, unless the parties by mutual agreement waive such notice or modify the terms thereof. For good cause shown, the board may postpone any hearing upon the request of a party or upon the board's own initiative.
(b) Any party may be represented by counsel or other authorized representative. A party intending to be so represented shall notify the other party and the board of the name and address of the representative at least three days prior to the date set for the hearing at which the person is first to appear. When such a representative initiates an arbitration or responds for a party, notice is deemed to have been given.
(c) The board shall make arrangements to obtain a record, stenographic or otherwise, and the administrator shall bear the expense thereof.
(d) Any party wishing an interpreter shall make all arrangements directly with the interpreter and shall pay the costs of the service.
(e) The arbitrator shall maintain the privacy of the hearings unless the Act or any other applicable law or regulation provides to the contrary. Any person having a direct interest in the arbitration is entitled to attend hearings. The arbitrator shall otherwise have the power to require the exclusion of any witness, other than a party or other essential person, during the testimony of any other witness. It shall be discretionary with the arbitrator to determine the propriety of the attendance of any other person.
(f) The parties shall have leave to present to the arbitrator such motions as the arbitrator deems appropriate for purposes of resolving procedural and substantive issues and evidentiary issues. The arbitrator may require oral argument upon such motions.
(g) A hearing shall be opened by the filing of the oath of the arbitrator, by the recording of the date, time, and place of the hearing, and the presence of the board, the parties, and their representatives, if any; and by the receipt by the arbitrator of the statement of the claim and the answering statement.
(h) Following the opening of the hearing, the board may ask for opening statements from the parties or from parties' counsel, clarifying the issues involved.
(i) After any opening statements, the claim shall be presented. If the board, in its discretion, so directs, the claimant shall appear and present his or her proofs. Any witness appearing for the purpose of substantiating the validity or amount of the claim shall then submit to questions and cross-examination by the board and by all other parties. The potentially responsible party or other party contesting the validity and amount of a damage claim shall then present its proofs and direct examination of its witnesses, who shall submit to questions and cross-examination by the board and by all other parties. In its discretion, the board may allow rebuttal testimony. The board may vary this procedure but shall afford full and equal opportunity to all parties for the presentation of any material and relevant evidence concerning a contest to the validity or amount of damage claims or damages presented to the Fund for payment. The requirements of 7:1J-2.3 shall apply to all proceedings under this subchapter.
(j) The arbitrator may receive in evidence exhibits offered by either party. The names and addresses of all witnesses and a description of the exhibits in the order received shall be made a part of the record.
(k) The order in which multiple claimants and multiple potentially responsible parties present their cases shall be determined by the board. The order in which contesting parties present their respective cases shall be determined by the board.
(l) Unless the Act or any other applicable law or regulation provides otherwise, the arbitration may proceed in the absence of any party or representative who, after due notice, fails to be present or fails to obtain a postponement. The arbitrator shall require the party who is present to submit such evidence as the arbitrator may require for the making of an award.
(m) The hearing shall be completed within one day; provided however, that the board may, for good cause shown, schedule one or more additional days of hearing, which shall be consecutive days if possible.
(n) Before closing the hearing, the board shall specifically inquire of the parties whether they have any further proofs to offer or witnesses to be heard. Upon receiving negative replies or if satisfied that the record is complete, the board shall declare the hearing closed and the time of such closing shall be recorded. If post-hearing submissions (such as briefs or finding of facts and conclusions of law) are to be filed after the presentation of all proofs and witnesses in the hearing, the hearing shall be declared closed as of the final date set by the board for the receipt of such post-hearing submissions. If documents are to be filed with the board after the presentation of proofs and witnesses, and the date set for their receipt is later than that set for the receipt of briefs, the later date shall be deemed the date of closing of the hearing.
(o) The board may reopen the hearing on its own initiative, or upon application of a party, at any time before the award is made. If reopening the hearing would prevent the making of the award within the specific time mandated in 7:1J-9.16, in 7:1J-9.20, or in the Act, the matter may not be reopened unless the parties agree on an extension of time. When no specific date is fixed, the arbitrator may reopen the hearing and shall have 30 days from the closing of the reopened hearing within which to make an award.
(p) There shall be no oral communication between the parties and any member of the board, except at the hearing, unless the parties and the arbitrator agree otherwise. Any written communication from the parties to the board shall be directed to the board, the administrator, and to all of the parties.
(q) All pleadings, notices, motions, correspondence or any submissions whatsoever to the board shall be served upon all parties and upon the administrator.


N.J. Admin. Code § 7:1J-9.9

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