(1) Notice. In all contested cases parties
shall be afforded reasonable notice of an opportunity for hearing. If a hearing
is requested or deemed advisable by the Commissioner the State shall serve upon
the "Respondent" or "Complainant" a written notice or a copy thereof specifying
the time, place, nature of the hearing and the right to be represented by
counsel. In addition, the Complainant must detail the legal authority and
jurisdiction under which the hearing is to be held and a short and plain
statement of the matters asserted. The notice or copy of the notice must be
delivered by return receipt mail or served personally by the Commissioner or a
person designated by the Commissioner on the party to be affected; or if the
Respondent evades or attempts to evade service, by leaving the notice or a copy
thereof at his dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of
suitable age and discretion residing therein, whose name shall appear on the
proof of service to return receipt card, or by delivering the notice or copy to
an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service on behalf of
the individual served. The person making personal service on a party shall
return a statement indicating the time and place of service. No hearing shall
be held, unless otherwise specified by statute, until the expiration of thirty
(30) days from service of the notice upon the Respondent.
Answer. The party may respond to the
charges set out in the notice by filing a written answer with the Commissioner
in which he may:
(a) Object to the notice upon
the ground that it does not state acts or omissions upon which the Commissioner
(b) Object to lack of
jurisdiction over the subject matter.
(c) Object to lack of jurisdiction over the
(d) Object to insufficiency
of the notice.
(e) Object to the
insufficiency of service of the notice.
(f) Object to failure to join an
deny all the allegations contained in the notice or state that he is without
knowledge to each and every allegation, both of which shall be deemed a general
denial of all charges.
(h) Admit in
part or deny in part allegations in the notice and may elaborate on or explain
relevant issues of fact in a manner that will simplify the ultimate
(i) Present new matter by
way of defense.
defense relevant to the issues in the case.
(The answer shall be deemed a specific denial of all parts of
the answer not expressly admitted.)
(3) Parties may file a Pre-Hearing Motion to
Dismiss or other motion of law prior to or at the hearing based on any defense
in law. This motion will be addressed to the Commissioner, Hearing Officer, or
Administrative Law Judge who will hear the case, and the Commissioner, Hearing
Officer or Administrative Law Judge may convene a hearing on this motion giving
all parties a reasonable opportunity to argue and present evidence relative to
(4) The Commissioner,
Hearing Office, or Administrative Law Judge may in his discretion set
reasonable times for the filing of pre-hearing motions of law.
(5) Place for Filing. All pleadings, motions
and notices for pre-hearing conferences and hearings must be filed with the
Administrative Procedures Division, William Snodgrass Tennessee Tower, 312
Eighth Avenue North, 8th Floor, Nashville, TN 37243, when heard by a Hearing
Officer provided by the Secretary of State. Where the case is heard by the
Commissioner, all pleadings, motions, and notices for pre-hearing conferences
must be filed with the Commissioner of Financial Institutions, 414 Union
Street, Suite 1000, Nashville, TN 37219.
(6) Motion for a More Definite Statement.
Within two (2) weeks after service of a notice a party may file with the
Commissioner, Hearing Officer or Administrative Law Judge a motion for a more
definite statement, pursuant to T.C.A. §
4-5-108(3), on the
grounds that the notice is so indefinite or uncertain that he cannot identify
the transaction or prepare his defense. The Commissioner, Hearing Officer, or
Administrative Law Judge assigned to hear the case may continue the hearing
until such time as a more definite statement is provided.
Amendment to Notice.
(a) Time. The Commissioner or Complainant may
amend the notice within two (2) weeks from service of the notice before an
answer is filed, unless the Respondent shows to the Commissioner, Hearing
Officer, or Administrative Law Judge that undue prejudice will result from this
amendment. Otherwise the Commissioner or Complainant may only amend the notice
by written consent of the Respondent or by leave of the Commissioner, Hearing
Officer, or Administrative Law Judge and leave shall be freely given when
justice so requires. No amendment may introduce a new statutory violation
without original service and running of times applicable to service of the
original notice. The Commissioner, Hearing Officer, or Administrative Law Judge
may grant a continuance in consequence of an amendment to enforce this
(b) Amendments to Conform
to the Evidence. When issues not raised by the notice are tried by express or
implied consent of the parties, they shall be treated in all respects as if
they had been raised in the pleadings. Such amendment of the notice as may be
necessary to cause them to conform to the evidence and to raise these issues
may be made upon motion of any party at any time; but failure to so amend does
not affect the result of the determination of these issues. If evidence is
objected to at the hearing on the ground that it is not within the issues in
the notice, the Commissioner, Hearing Officer, or Administrative Law Judge may
allow the notice to be amended unless the objecting party shows that the
admission of such evidence would prejudice his defense. The Commissioner,
Hearing Officer, or Administrative Law Judge may grant a continuance to enable
the objecting party to have reasonable notice to the amendments.