Administrative rule R657-2
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KEY: wildlife, administrative procedure
Date of Last Substantive Change: October 1, 2023
Notice of Continuation: April 4, 2022
Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted law: 63G-4-203
R657-2-1. Purpose and Authority.
(1) This rule sets forth the standards and procedures governing all adjudicative proceedings before the Wildlife Board and the division, except as provided in subsection (2), and specifically governs the following adjudicative proceedings:
(a) requests for agency action;
(b) declaratory orders brought pursuant to Section 63G-4-503;
(c) requests for species reclassification under Section R657-3;
(d) requests for a variance under Section R657-3;
(e) post-issuance requests for a variance or amendment to a license, permit, tag or certificate of registration;
(f) request for review of a division action taken to deny a certificate of registration under Section R657-3;
(g) requests for agency action brought to contest the division's determination of eligibility for issuance or renewal of a license, permit, tag, or certificate of registration;
(h) appeals of divisions actions taken pursuant to Section 23A-11-201; and
(i) a petition brought requesting the making, amendment, or repeal of a rule brought pursuant to Section 63G-3-601.
(2)(a) Unless otherwise specifically provided, this rule does not govern actions taken under Sections 23A-4-1106 and R657-26 to suspend a wildlife license, permit, tag, or certificate of registration.
(b) The hearing officer or Wildlife Board hearing an appeal of a hearing officer's decision to revoke a person's license, permit, tag, or certificate of registration, or to suspend receipt of privileges granted thereunder, may use any of the provisions established in this rule in conducting an adjudicative proceeding to the extent such provisions do not conflict with any of the procedural provisions of Section 23A-4-1106 or R657-26 and where conducting the proceeding according to this rule would promote fairness and equity to the parties.
(3) All rights, powers, and authorities provided in Chapter 4, Title 63G are hereby reserved to the division and Wildlife Board in conducting adjudicative proceedings under this rule and to the extent this rule does not address a specific procedural matter, the provisions of Chapter 4, Title 63G shall govern.
(1) Terms used in this rule are defined in Section 23A-1-101 and 63G-4-103.
(2) In addition:
(a)(i) "Adjudicative proceeding" means:
(A) a division or Wildlife Board action or proceeding that determines the legal rights, duties, privileges, immunities, or other legal interests of one or more identifiable persons, including all division or Wildlife Board actions to grant, deny, revoke, suspend, modify, annul, withdraw, or amend an authority, right, or license; and
(B) judicial review of any action provided in Subsection (A).
(ii) "Adjudicative proceeding" does not mean any matter not governed by Title 63G, Chapter 4, Utah Administrative Procedures Act.
(b) "Assistant director" means the assistant director of the division.
(c) "Director" means the director of the division.
(d) "Division" means the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
(e) "Petitioner" means a person or entity who files a request for agency action initiating an adjudicative proceeding.
(f) "Presiding Officer" means the director, chairman of the Wildlife Board, or an individual or body of individuals designated by the director, the chairman of the Wildlife Board, or by statute or division rule to conduct an adjudicative proceeding.
(g) "Regional advisory council" means the entities created by Section 23A-2-303.
(h) "Respondent" means any person or entity against whom a proceeding is initiated or whose property interest may be affected by a proceeding initiated by the division, the Wildlife Board or any other person.
R657-2-3. Construction - Deviation from Rule.
(1) This rule shall be construed in accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 4.
(2) This rule shall be liberally construed to secure a just, speedy, and economic determination of issues.
(3)(a) The presiding officer may, for good cause, deviate from the provisions of this rule if:
(i) the presiding officer finds that strict compliance with this rule is impractical or unnecessary; or
(ii) a deviation from the rule promotes the furtherance of justice or the statutory purposes for which the action is brought.
(b) All parties shall be notified by the presiding officer of any deviation from this rule.
R657-2-4. Computation of Time.
The time within which any act shall be done, as provided in this rule, shall be computed by excluding the first day and including the last, unless the last day is a Saturday, Sunday, or State holiday, in which case it is excluded and the period runs until the end of the next day which is neither a Saturday, Sunday, or State holiday.
R657-2-5. Commencement of Adjudicative Proceedings.
(1) An adjudicative proceeding may be commenced by either:
(a) a notice of agency action, if the proceeding is commenced by the division or the Wildlife Board; or
(b) a request for agency action, if the proceeding is commenced by a person other than the division or Wildlife Board.
(2) A notice of agency action shall be filed and served according to the requirements of Section 63G-4-201(2).
(3) A request for agency action brought by a person other than the division or Wildlife Board shall be filed and served in accordance with the requirements of Section 63G-4-201(3) and R657-2-6.
R657-2-6. Request for Agency Action.
(1) A request for agency action must be filed with the presiding officer of the entity that has authority to provide relief to the petitioner. The presiding officer may refuse acceptance of any request for agency action if there is reason to believe:
(a) the request is frivolous or brought in bad faith;
(b) the matter has already been acted upon and further consideration is unnecessary;
(c) the relief sought is beyond the agency's jurisdiction; or
(d) the request fails to comply with the procedural requirements of this rule.
(2) At the time the request for agency action is filed, the petitioner shall also file any motions, affidavits, briefs, or memoranda in support of the request for agency action.
(3) The presiding officer shall review the request for agency action.
(a) If the request for agency action is made to the division, the person designated as the presiding officer shall take action upon the request within a reasonable time.
(b)(i) If the request for agency action is made to the Wildlife Board, and the request concerns a matter over which the Wildlife Board has authority, the presiding officer may:
(A) have the request for agency action placed on the Wildlife Board's agenda for action;
(B) submit the request for agency action to the appropriate regional advisory council or councils, requesting the council or councils to hold public hearings, take input, and make recommendations to the Wildlife Board as provided in Section 23A-2-303; or
(C) deny the request and notify the requesting party in writing of the denial and that the party may request a hearing before the Wildlife Board to challenge the denial.
(ii) In determining when to schedule the matter for hearing before the Wildlife Board, the presiding officer may consider the following:
(A) If the matter is general in nature, and the Wildlife Board's agenda allows, the matter may be brought at the next regularly-scheduled Wildlife Board meeting;
(B) If the matter involves a serious or irreparable harm to a person or entity that may be resolved by holding a hearing before the next regularly-scheduled meeting, the Wildlife Board may hold an emergency meeting; or
(C) If the matter involves an issue that is part of an annual decision making process, the matter may be scheduled at the next annual meeting where such decisions are made, but no later than one year after the date the request is received.
(4)(a) The presiding officer may schedule the request for agency action on the Wildlife Board agenda for action without regional advisory council input if:
(i) the presiding officer determines that the public interest in deciding the matter without seeking input from the regional advisory councils outweighs the benefit of considering recommendations of the regional advisory councils;
(ii) the request for agency action seeks a remedy that affects only one person or a small number of persons, thus making broad public input unnecessary; or
(iii) the delay associated with seeking regional advisory council input will result in serious or irreparable harm to the petitioner or the respondent, provided the petitioner or respondent has not been negligent in filing the request for agency action in a timely fashion.
(b) Upon a majority vote of the Wildlife Board, any request for agency action submitted to it by the presiding officer that has not been considered by the regional advisory councils may be referred to the regional advisory councils for the purpose of gathering input prior to the Wildlife Board taking further action.
(5) The petitioner shall provide a copy of the request for agency action to any person known by the petitioner to have a direct interest in the proceeding or who will be directly affected by its outcome.
R657-2-7. Designation of Adjudicative Proceedings.
(1) Except as otherwise provided in this rule or at the discretion of the presiding officer, all adjudicative proceedings before the division and the Wildlife Board are designated as informal.
(2) Any time before a final order is issued in any adjudicative proceeding, the presiding officer may convert an informal adjudicative proceeding to a formal adjudicative proceeding or a formal adjudicative proceeding to an informal adjudicative proceeding if:
(a) conversion of the proceeding is in the public interest; and
(b) conversion of the proceeding does not unfairly prejudice the rights of any party.
(3) Any party to an adjudicative proceeding, including the division, may by motion request a formal hearing.
(1) Pleadings shall consist of a notice of agency action, a request for agency action, responses, motions and affidavits, briefs, and memoranda of law and fact in support thereof.
(2) A notice of agency action, request for agency action, and any pleadings relative thereto must be double-spaced, typewritten or legibly handwritten, and presented on standard 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper. Pleadings filed relative to a notice of agency action or request for agency action shall contain a clear and concise statement of the matter that is the basis of the pleading, with an appropriate description of the relief sought.
(3) The presiding officer may allow pleadings to be amended at any time. Initiatory pleadings may be amended without leave of the presiding officer at any time before a responsive pleading has been filed. Defects in pleadings which do not affect substantial rights of the parties shall be disregarded.
(4) Motions may be submitted either by written motion or oral argument and the filing of affidavits in support or contravention thereof may be permitted. A written motion must be accompanied by a supporting memorandum of fact and law.
(5) Pleadings shall be signed by the party or the party's representative and shall show the signer's address. The signature shall be deemed to certify that the signer has read the pleading and that, to the best of the signer's knowledge and belief, there is good ground to support it.
(6) Exhibits must be clearly marked to show the party proffering the exhibit, and the exhibit number.
(7) All pleadings shall be submitted to the presiding officer at least 20 days prior to the date upon which the matter that is the subject of the pleadings will be decided.
(8) An original of all pleadings, affidavits, briefs, memoranda, and exhibits will be filed with the division. The presiding officer may direct any party to provide additional copies as needed.
(9)(a) Upon the issuance of a notice of agency action or after receipt of a request for agency action, the presiding officer shall provide notice to all parties of the pending adjudicative proceeding.
(b) Any response to a notice of agency action or request for agency action must be submitted within 30 days of the mailing date of the notice of agency action or the notice required under Subsection 63G-4-201(3)(d), which shall include:
(i) the docket number or other reference number;
(ii) the name of the adjudicative proceeding;
(iii) a statement of the relief that the respondent seeks;
(iv) a statement of the facts; and
(v) a statement summarizing the reasons that the relief requested should be granted.
(10) The presiding officer may extend the response time for good cause.
(1) Parties to an adjudicative proceeding shall be persons who have a statutory right to be parties and persons who have a legally-protected interest or right in the subject matter which may be affected by the proceeding.
(2) The division will be considered a party to all adjudicative proceedings conducted by the Wildlife Board.
R657-2-10. Appearances and Representation.
(1) Parties shall enter their appearances at the beginning of the hearing or at such time as may be designated by the presiding officer by stating:
(a) the party's full name and address; and
(b) the party's position or interest in the proceeding.
(2) Any individual or an agent designated by an individual, partnership, corporation, association, political subdivision or its units, governmental subdivision or its units, public or private organization or entity of any character, or another agency, may represent his, her, or its interest in the proceeding.
(3) Any party may be represented by an attorney or legal representative as authorized and permitted by the Utah State Bar and state law.
(4) Subject to the limitations imposed by the presiding officer to ensure the adjudicative proceeding is conducted in an orderly and efficient manner, each party to an adjudicative proceeding may participate in the hearing and may introduce evidence, examine and cross-examine each witness, make arguments, and participate generally in the proceeding.
R657-2-11. Notice and Service.
(1) Timely notice of all proceedings shall be given to all parties and any other person who, in the opinion of the presiding officer, has a direct interest in the proceeding.
(2) When a party is represented by an attorney or other authorized representative, service upon the attorney or representative shall constitute service upon the party.
(3) Any person desiring notification by mail from the Wildlife Board or division of specific matters may request to be notified by filing the name, address, telephone number, and specific matters for which the person seeks notification.
(1)(a) Discovery for informal hearings is prohibited and the division or Wildlife Board may not issue subpoenas or other discovery orders.
(b) Upon motion by a party to a formal hearing, and for good cause shown, the presiding officer may authorize discovery against another party to a formal hearing, including the division, as provided in the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure.
(2) All parties may have access, upon request, to information contained in division files and all materials and information gathered in any investigation pertinent to the adjudicative proceeding, to the extent permitted under Title 63G, Chapter 2 - Governmental Records Access and Management Act and under Title 63G, Chapter 4 - Administrative Procedures Act.
(3) Subpoenas and other orders to secure the attendance of witnesses or the production of evidence in formal adjudicative proceedings shall be issued by the presiding officer when requested by any party, or may be issued by the presiding officer at the presiding officer's discretion in the interest of just, fair, and economic decision making.
R657-2-13. Prehearing Procedure.
The presiding officer may, upon written notice to all parties of record, hold a prehearing conference to:
(1) formulate or simplify the issues;
(2) obtain admission of fact and documents that will avoid unnecessary introduction of evidence or other efforts of establishing proof of a matter asserted;
(3) arrange for the exchange of proposed exhibits; and
(4) agree to matters that may expedite the orderly conduct of the proceedings or its settlement.
(1) Any party may, by filing a motion, request the presiding officer to continue an adjudicative proceeding, provided the motion is filed within a reasonable time prior to the date of the hearing and proper notice is given to the other parties to the proceeding. The presiding officer may grant such a request and continue the proceeding until the next regularly scheduled meeting, or another more convenient time, unless in the presiding officer's judgement, it would be contrary to the just and fair resolution of the proceeding.
(2) The Wildlife Board, on its own motion, or on the motion of the division, may order the continuance of any proceeding until the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Wildlife Board in order to allow adequate time for division staff to evaluate any evidence presented during a hearing.
(1) A person may not intervene in an informal adjudicative proceeding, unless allowed by the presiding officer for good cause.
(2) A person may file a petition for an order granting leave to intervene in a formal adjudicative proceeding as provided in Section 63G-4-207 and in accordance with the following:
(a) Any petition to intervene or materials filed after the date a response is due may be considered at the next regularly scheduled meeting only upon separate motion of the intervenor made at or before the hearing for good cause shown.
(b) Any party to a formal adjudicative proceeding in which intervention is sought may make an oral or written response to the petition for intervention. The response shall:
(i) state the basis for opposition to intervention and may suggest limitations to be placed upon the participation of the intervenor if intervention is granted; and
(ii) be presented or filed at or before the hearing.
(3) The presiding officer will consider the petition for an order granting leave to intervene and any response in determining whether to allow a party to intervene.
(4) If it appears during the course of the proceeding that an intervenor has no direct or substantial interest in the proceeding and that the public interest does not require the intervenor's participation in the hearing, the presiding officer may dismiss the intervenor from the proceeding.
(5) Where two or more intervenors have substantially the same interests and positions in the proceeding the presiding officer may at any time during the proceeding limit the number of intervenors who will be permitted to testify, cross-examine witnesses, or make and argue motions and objections.
R657-2-16. Hearings, Evidence and Argument.
(1)(a) After the commencement of an adjudicative proceeding, the presiding officer may hold a hearing if:
(i) a hearing is required by statute or rule; or
(ii) a hearing is requested by a party within 30 days after the commencement of the adjudicative proceeding.
(b) The presiding officer may, at the presiding officer's discretion, initiate a hearing to determine matters within the presiding officer's authority.
(2) Notice of the hearing shall be served on all parties by regular mail at least 10 days prior to the hearing.
(3) If the hearing is informal, it shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of Section 63G-4-203. If the hearing is formal it shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of Section 63G-4-206.
(4)(a) An informal hearing may be conducted without adherence to the rules of evidence required in judicial proceedings. The Utah Rules of Evidence shall be used as a guide for evidentiary matters in formal hearings.
(b) The presiding officer may exclude irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious evidence from the hearing.
(c) The weight given to evidence shall be determined by the presiding officer.
(5) Hearsay evidence is admissible in informal and formal hearings consistent with Utah law governing the admissibility of such in administrative adjudicative proceedings.
(6) Documentary evidence may be received in the form of copies or excerpts and, upon request, parties shall be given an opportunity to compare the copy with the original.
(7) Upon the conclusion of taking evidence, the presiding officer may, in the presiding officer's discretion, permit the parties to make closing oral arguments.
R657-2-17. Burden of Proof.
The petitioner shall have the burden of proof by preponderance of the evidence in all adjudicative proceedings.
R657-2-18. Record of Hearing.
(1) The division or Wildlife Board may record any informal hearing. The division or Wildlife Board shall record formal hearings.
(2)(a) Any party, at the party's own expense, may have a reporter, approved by the division or Wildlife Board, prepare a transcript from the record of the hearing and shall furnish a transcript of the testimony to the division or Wildlife Board free of charge.
(b) This transcript shall be available at the Salt Lake division office to any party to the hearing.
R657-2-19. Failure to Appear - Default.
(1) When a party or the party's authorized representative to a proceeding fails to appear at a hearing after due notice has been given, the presiding officer may:
(a) continue the matter;
(b) enter an order of default as provided by Section 63G-4-209; or
(c) hear the matter in the absence of the defaulting party.
R657-2-20. Decisions and Orders.
(1) After the presiding officer has reached a final decision upon the adjudicative proceeding, the presiding officer shall issue a signed order in writing:
(a) in accordance with Section 63G-4-203(1)(c) for orders issued at the conclusion of an informal hearing; and
(b) in accordance with Section 63G-4-208 for orders issued at the conclusion of a formal hearing.
R657-2-21. Agency Review.
(1)(a) When a division action is taken by a division employee, other than the director acting as the presiding officer, any aggrieved party may seek review of the order.
(b) The request for review shall be made to the director in accordance with Section 63G-4-301(1).
(c) Except as provided in Section 63G-4-401(2), review by the director is a prerequisite for judicial review.
(2) Requests for review of an action within the statutory or regulatory purview of the division shall:
(a) be filed with the director within 30 days after the issuance of the order; and
(b) be sent to each party.
(3) The request for review shall be reviewed by the director or the assistant director, when designated by the director.
(4)(a) Unless otherwise provided by law, all reviews shall be based on the record before the presiding officer.
(b) In order to assist in review, parties, upon request, may be allowed to file briefs or other documents explaining their position.
(5) Parties are not entitled to a hearing on review unless:
(a) specifically allowed by statute; or
(b) the director grants a hearing to assist the review.
(6) Notice of any hearing shall be mailed to all parties within 10 days of the hearing.
(7)(a) Within a reasonable time after the filing of any response, other filings, or after any hearing, the director shall issue a written order on review and mail a copy of the order on review to each party.
(b) The order on review shall contain the items, findings, conclusions, and notices set forth in Subsection 63G-4-301(6)(c).
R657-2-22. Judicial Review.
(1) Any party aggrieved by final division or Wildlife Board action may obtain judicial review of such action pursuant to Sections 63G-4-401, 63G-4-402, and 63G-4-403, except where judicial review is expressly prohibited by statute.
(2) A petition for judicial review shall be filed within 30 days after the date the order constituting final agency action is issued.
(3) A party may seek judicial review of an action taken by the division or Wildlife Board only after exhausting all administrative remedies available, including those available through the Wildlife Board and the regional advisory councils, as required herein, unless a court of competent jurisdiction makes a finding that requiring exhaustion:
(a) would result in irreparable injury; or
(b) would serve no useful purpose.
R657-2-23. Declaratory Orders.
(1) Pursuant to Section 63G-4-503, any person may file a request for agency action requesting that the division or Wildlife Board issue a declaratory order determining the applicability of any statute, rule, or order within the primary jurisdiction of the division or Wildlife Board.
(2) A request for a declaratory order shall set forth:
(a) the specific statute, rule, or order which is in question;
(b) the specific facts for which the order is requested;
(c) the manner in which the person making the request claims the statute, rule, or order may affect him or her; and
(d) the specific questions for which a declaratory order is requested.
(3) The division or Wildlife Board may, in their discretion, decline to issue declaratory orders where they deem the facts presented to be conjectural, or where the public interest would best be served by not issuing such an order.
R657-2-24. Emergency Orders.
The division or Wildlife Board may issue an order on an emergency basis without complying with this rule under the circumstances and procedures set forth in Section 63G-4-502.