Alaska Statutes.
Title 41. Public Resources
Chapter 17. Forest Resources and Practices
Section 139. Hearing Procedures.
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AS 41.17.139. Hearing Procedures.

(a) Unless otherwise specified, proceedings under AS 41.17.131 - 41.17.139 are not subject to AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act). A hearing under AS 41.17.136 or 41.17.138 shall be held before the state forester, a regional forester, or another employee of the division with similar qualifications acting as a hearing officer. A hearing on an appeal under AS 41.17.087 and a hearing under AS 41.17.082 (b) shall be held before the commissioner or the commissioner's designee. A person who has assisted in the preparation of the division's case is ineligible. Hearings are not limited by common law, statutory, or judicial rules of evidence; however, the hearing officer may admit only that evidence that appears to be reliable and trustworthy. All hearings shall be open to the public. Written or oral testimony may be submitted. A party to a hearing may make written or oral argument, secure the issuance of a subpoena under AS 44.62.430 , offer testimony or other evidence, and cross-examine witnesses. The hearing officer shall endeavor, in conducting any hearing, to ensure that the respondent understands the proceedings and that the facts supporting the position of each party have been adequately presented.

(b) If the respondent notifies the commissioner within five days before the hearing provided for in (a) of this section, the following rules and procedures apply to the hearing:

(1) the hearing shall be a nonadversary proceeding, with the hearing officer fully and impartially representing the interests of the state and the respondent;

(2) the hearing officer shall thoroughly investigate the facts and circumstances relating to the alleged violation, including taking testimony from appropriate persons, collecting and examining documents and other evidence, and performing other actions consistent with due process of law; and

(3) the hearing officer shall issue a decision in accordance with the applicable procedures of (a) of this section.

(c) The hearing officer shall select the location of the hearing, giving consideration to the convenience of the parties and witnesses. The hearing officer may permit witnesses to testify through teleconferencing.

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