(a) As used in this Rule, "good cause" includes death or incapacitating illness of a party, representative, or attorney of a party; a court order requiring a continuance; lack of proper notice of the hearing; a substitution of the representative or attorney of a party if the substitution is shown to be required; a change in the parties or pleadings requiring postponement; and agreement for a continuance by all parties if either more time is clearly necessary to complete mandatory preparation for the case, such as authorized discovery, and the parties and the hearing officer have agreed to a new hearing date or the parties have agreed to a settlement of the case that had been or is likely to be approved by the final decision maker.

(b) As used in this Rule, "good cause" does not include: intentional delay; unavailability of counsel or other representative because of engagement in another judicial or administrative proceeding unless all other members of the attorney's or representative's firm familiar with the case are similarly engaged; unavailability of a witness if the witness' testimony can be taken by deposition; or failure of the attorney or representative to properly utilize the statutory notice period to prepare for the hearing.

(c) A request for a continuance of a hearing shall be granted upon a showing of good cause. Unless time does not permit, a request for a continuance of a hearing shall be made in writing to the hearing officer and shall be served upon all parties of record. In determining whether good cause exists, due regard shall be given to the ability of the party requesting a continuance to proceed effectively without a continuance. A request for a continuance filed within five days before a hearing shall be denied unless the reason for the request could not have been ascertained earlier.

(d) During a hearing, if it appears in the interest of justice that further testimony should be received and sufficient time does not remain to conclude the testimony, the hearing officer shall either order the additional testimony taken by deposition or continue the hearing to a future date for which oral notice on the record is sufficient.

(e) A continuance shall not be granted if granting it would prevent the case from being concluded within any statutory or regulatory deadline.

(Authority G.S. 58-2-40(1); 58-2-50; 58-2-55; 58-2-70; 150B-38(h); Eff. August 3, 1992.)

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