Code of Maryland Regulations
Title 05 - DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Subtitle 04 - SPECIAL LOAN PROGRAMS
Chapter 05.04.14 - Weatherization Program
05.04.14.11 - Fair Hearings Process
05.04.14.11. Fair Hearings Process
A. The applicant has 15 working days from the date that the notice of a right to a fair hearing was sent by the Agency to file a request.
B. The Agency shall establish a process by which the request forwarded to the Department contains the following basic information:
(1) Date of request;
(2) Name and address of the applicant making the request;
(3) The reason for making the request; and
(4) The date of the action or decision being appealed or the date the notice of the action or decision was mailed to the applicant.
C. The Agency shall assist the applicant in completing the required form for the request to ensure that all the information required by the Department to process the request is present.
D. The applicant shall file the completed form requesting a fair hearing at the Agency. At the time of the filing the applicant shall be informed that the:
(1) Applicant may be represented at the hearing by a lawyer, a relative, a friend, or other person;
(2) Department shall provide an interpreter if the applicant does not speak English or is hearing impaired;
(3) Applicant may present witnesses, documentary evidence, and oral argument, and cross-examine any employee required to be present. The applicant may examine any documents introduced in the hearing by any party to the hearing.
E. The Agency shall, within 2 working days, forward the completed request for a fair hearing form and pertinent case information to the Program.
F. The Agency shall also include all pertinent information regarding the case that is part of the Agency's records.
G. The Department shall decide within 7 working days of the date the request was received to accept or deny the applicant's request for a fair hearing.
H. The Department may deny the request for a hearing if the:
(1) Sole issue is one of either State or federal law or policy and the issue is not one of incorrect determination of ineligibility or computation;
(2) Request has not been filed within the required time limits; or
(3) Issue is not one of those allowed in Regulation .09B of this chapter.
I. The Department may dismiss a request for a fair hearing if the applicant:
(1) Withdraws the request in writing;
(2) Dies; or
(3) Without good cause, does not appear at the hearing.
J. If the Department accepts the request, the hearing officer shall record the date that the request was filed with the Agency and shall schedule the hearing within 10 working days of the date of the request.
K. The hearing officer shall notify the applicant and the Agency of the date and place of the fair hearing at least 15 days prior to the scheduled fair hearing. The notice to the applicant shall include:
(1) A summary of the regulations governing the fair hearings process, including the legal authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing is to be held;
(2) A reference to the particular statute or rule, including a rule of procedure, involved;
(3) A short and simple statement of the matters asserted;
(4) The right of the applicant to be represented by a lawyer or other person at the hearing;
(5) The availability of free legal services;
(6) The right of the applicant to present documents and witnesses to support the case at the hearing;
(7) The right of the applicant to examine the case record in the preparation for the hearing;
(8) The name and phone number of the person to call if the applicant cannot attend the hearing or wishes to change the time and place of the hearing; and
(9) The fact that the hearing will be dismissed if the applicant fails, without good cause, to attend the hearing.
L. The Agency may be represented by the Director or the Director's designee.
M. The hearing shall be recorded. The recordings, together with all papers and requests filed in the proceedings and the findings and conclusions constitute the exclusive record of the hearing. The record is kept available to the applicant for a period of 3 years or until litigation involved in the decision is ended, whichever is later.
N. The hearing officer shall render a written decision within 45 days after the hearing is held.
O. The hearing officer shall mail the written decision to the applicant, a representative, and the Agency. The decision shall include a statement of the applicant's right to judicial review of the decision.
P. If the decision is favorable to the applicant, the local agency shall comply with the decision by taking corrective action promptly, but not later than 60 days from the date of the decision. The Agency shall notify the hearing officer promptly or within the time given in the decision that it has completed all required action.(Regulation .11 amended effective September 8, 1986 (13:18 Md. R. 2019))