Tennessee Code Annotated

Title 4: State Government

Chapter 5: Uniform Administrative Procedures Act

Part 3: Contested Cases

TCA 4-5-306: Pre-hearing conferences.

(a)  (1)  In any action set for hearing, the administrative judge or hearing officer assigned to hear the case, upon the administrative judge's or the hearing officer's own motion, or upon motion of one (1) of the parties or such party's qualified representatives, may direct the parties or the attorneys for the parties, or both, to appear before the administrative judge or hearing officer for a conference to consider:

          (A)  The simplification of issues;

          (B)  The necessity or desirability of amendments to the pleadings;

          (C)  The possibility of obtaining admissions of fact and of documents that will avoid unnecessary proof;

          (D)  The limitation of the number of expert witnesses; and

          (E)  Such other matters as may aid in the disposition of the action.

     (2)   The administrative judge or hearing officer shall make an order that recites the action taken at the conference, the amendments allowed to the pleadings, and the agreements made by the parties as to any of the matters considered, and that limits the issues for hearing to those not disposed of by admissions or agreements of the parties, and such order when entered controls the subsequent course of the action, unless modified at the hearing to prevent manifest injustice.

(b)  Upon reasonable notice to all parties, the administrative judge or hearing officer may convene a hearing or convert a pre-hearing conference to a hearing, to be conducted by the administrative judge or hearing officer sitting alone, to consider argument or evidence, or both, on any question of law. The administrative judge or hearing officer may render an initial order, as otherwise provided by this chapter, on the question of law.

(c)  In the discretion of the administrative judge or hearing officer, all or part of the pre-hearing conference may be conducted by telephone, television or other electronic means, if each participant in the conference has an opportunity to participate in, to hear, and, if technically feasible, to see the entire proceeding while it is taking place.

(d)  If a pre-hearing conference is not held, the administrative judge or hearing officer for the hearing may issue a pre-hearing order, based on the pleadings, to regulate the conduct of the proceedings.

History: [Acts 1974, ch. 725, § 8; 1975, ch. 370, §§ 3, 12; 1978, ch. 938, §§ 4, 5; T.C.A., §§ 4-514, 4-5-108(d); Acts 1982, ch. 874, §§ 44, 54.]