(a) The purpose of the prehearing conference is to simplify the issues to be determined; to obtain stipulations in regard to foundations for testimony or exhibits; to obtain stipulations of agreement on undisputed facts or the application of particular laws; to consider the proposed witnesses for each party; to identify and exchange documentary evidence intended to be introduced at the hearing; to determine deadlines for the completion of any discovery; to establish hearing dates and locations if not previously set; to consider such other matters that may be necessary or advisable; and, if possible, to reach a settlement without the necessity for further hearing. Any final settlement shall be set forth in a settlement agreement or consent order and made a part of the record.

(b) Upon the request of any party or upon the hearing officer's own motion, the hearing officer may hold a prehearing conference before a contested case hearing. The hearing officer may require the parties to file prehearing statements in accordance with 11 NCAC 01 .0415. A prehearing conference shall be an informal proceeding conducted expeditiously by the hearing officer. Agreements on the simplification of issues, amendments, stipulations, or other matters may be entered on the record or may be made the subject of an order by the hearing officer. Venue for purposes of a prehearing conference shall be determined in accordance with G.S. 150B-38(e).

(Authority G.S. 58-2-40(1); 58-2-50; 58-2-55; 58-2-70; 150B-38(h); Eff. July 1, 1992; Amended Eff. May 1, 2008.)

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