(6) 122.6 Chapter 119. Hearings: Appointment and Powers of a Hearing Examiner and Rules of Practice
The director may assign a hearing examiner to conduct any hearing held subject to rule 1301:7-7 of the Administrative Code. Any person assigned to be a hearing examiner must be admitted to the practice of law in the state of Ohio and have such other qualifications as the director deems necessary. The hearing examiner may be an employee of the department or under contract to the department. The hearing examiner has the same powers as granted to the department in conducting the hearing. These powers include, but are not limited to, the following:
(i) The general authority to regulate the course of the hearing and to issue orders governing the conduct of the hearing.
(ii) The authority to administer oaths or affirmations, order the production of documents and the attendance of witnesses, call and examine witnesses in a reasonable and impartial manner, and to determine the order in which the participants to a hearing will present testimony and be examined in a manner consistent with essential fairness and justice.
(iii) The authority to pass upon the admissibility of evidence, and rule on objections, procedural motions, and other procedural matters.
(iv) The authority to issue orders intended to facilitate settlement of the case, including the scheduling of settlement conferences, directing the exchange of offers and demands, and any other actions that may facilitate the prompt resolution of disputed matters.
(v) The authority to hold one or more pre-hearing conferences of the participants for the purpose of resolving issues that can be resolved by the participants including facilitation of a settlement, identifying the witnesses to be presented and the subject of their testimony, discussing possible admissions or stipulations regarding the authenticity of records, identifying and marking exhibits, and ruling on any procedural motions of the participants, resolving outstanding discovery claims, and clarifying the issues to be addressed at the hearing, and discussing any other matters deemed appropriate by the hearing examiner for the thorough and expeditious preparation and disposition of the case.
(vi) The authority to take such other actions as might be necessary to avoid unnecessary delay, prevent presentation of irrelevant or cumulative evidence, prevent argumentative, repetitious, or irrelevant examination or cross-examination, and to assure that the hearing proceeds in an orderly and expeditious manner.
(vii) Nothing in this rule, nor in any other state fire marshal rule, is to be construed as granting a hearing examiner the authority to dismiss any hearing. Nothing in this rule nor in any other state fire marshal rule limits the state fire marshal's authority to withdraw a proposal to enter an order of adjudication or limits the authority of the state fire marshal to define the scope of any hearing.
(viii) Upon the motion of the hearing examiner, the state fire marshal, or the appellant, the hearing examiner may require the submission of briefs and memoranda at any time during the proceeding. The hearing examiner may limit these filings to one or more specific issues and may prescribe procedures and time schedules for their submission. All briefs, memoranda, motions, or other pleadings are subject to the following requirements:
(a) All briefs, memoranda, motions or other pleadings must be filed with the state fire marshal within three days after service. A certificate of service is to be attached attesting both to the service of a copy of the pleading on the opposing party and the provision of a copy to the hearing examiner. Service is governed by rule 5 (7/1/2007) of the Ohio rules of civil procedure except that any reference to "court" in rule 5 will be interpreted to refer to the state fire marshal.
(b) Only those pleadings, order, and other papers filed with the state fire marshal will be a part of the official record.
(c) All briefs, memoranda, motions, or other pleadings and papers must be on eight-and-one-half-inch by eleven-inch paper and double-spaced.
(d) All orders, reports, recommendations, and rulings issued by the hearing examiner are to be signed, dated, and filed with the state fire marshal.