73B-20.024. Conduct of the Hearing  

Effective on Monday, August 5, 2019
  • 1(1) Hearings before appeals referees shall be open to the public; provided that the referee may, upon motion of a party or upon the referee’s own motion, exclude witnesses, other than the parties, until called to testify. The referee may also exclude any observer, witness or party who is disruptive to the conduct of the hearing; however, such person shall be readmitted upon cessation of disruptive conduct.

    68(2) When calling a party or a party’s witness on the telephone for the hearing, if the party or witness is initially unavailable, the referee shall wait at least ten minutes, and then make a second attempt to call the party or witness.

    111(3) The appeals referee shall review the issues presented and set forth the procedures to be followed during the hearing.

    131(4) Evidence.

    133(a) Oral evidence shall only be taken upon oath or affirmation.

    144(b) The appeals referee shall prescribe the order in which testimony shall be taken and examine or cross-examine any witness as is necessary to properly develop the record. The referee shall also preserve the right of each party to present evidence relevant to the issues, cross-examine opposing witnesses, impeach any witness, and rebut the evidence presented against him or her. The referee shall restrict the inquiry of any witness to the scope of the proceedings.

    219(c) If the referee determines that the examiner or adjudicator who issued the determination did not apply the correct provision or provisions of law to the factual situation presented, the referee may modify the determination and, with the consent of the parties, expand or otherwise alter the scope of the hearing to include the correct issues involved. If one or more parties object to the change in the scope of the hearing, the referee shall continue the hearing and provide a corrected notice of hearing designating the proper issues.

    308(d) The hearing need not be conducted according to the technical rules regarding evidence and witnesses. 324When the appeals referee declines to accept as evidence any written or physical material presented for consideration, the appeals referee should specifically address on the record or in the written decision the reason the material was rejected. A party or the party’s representative may state an objection to the referee’s acceptance of written or physical material or refusal to accept written or physical material as evidence. 390A party or the party’s representative may also advise the appeals referee of a defect in the character of any evidence introduced by voicing an objection. The objecting party shall be given an opportunity to explain the grounds for the objection. A lack of an objection does not relieve the referee of the duty to determine the competency of the evidence under the applicable evidentiary standards.

    456(e) All documents introduced as evidence shall be labeled and certified by the appeals referee as being the actual document received or a true and correct photocopy thereof. Whenever practicable, demonstrative and physical evidence shall also be labeled and placed in the record; otherwise it shall be described in detail on the record by the referee.

    512(5) Prior to the close of the hearing, the appeals referee shall give each party a reasonable amount of time for closing argument.

    535(6) All parties may submit briefs to the appeals referee at the hearing. A party may request permission to submit a brief subsequent to the hearing within a reasonable time set by the referee; however, the referee shall not delay rendition of the decision for a period of time which would constitute an undue burden on any party.

    593(7) Preservation of testimony. The proceedings shall be mechanically recorded by the appeals referee or by a court reporter under the supervision of the referee. The recording of the testimony shall be placed in the official record and shall be preserved for at least 120 days from the date of the decision of the referee, unless review by the Reemployment Assistance Appeals Commission is initiated; in which case the recording shall be preserved for a period of at least 120 days from the date of the Commission’s final order. If the recording is transcribed for purposes of administrative or judicial review, it shall constitute the official transcript of the proceedings.

    703Rulemaking Authority 705443.012(11) FS. 707Law Implemented 709443.151(4)(a), 710(b), (d) FS. History–New 5-22-80, Formerly 38E-5.24, Amended 8-20-86, Formerly 38E-5.024, Amended 3-11-12, Formerly 72460BB-5.024, 725Amended 8-5-19.


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