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(a) All relevant evidence which, in the opinion of the presiding officer, is the best evidence reasonably obtainable, with due regard to its necessity, availability, and trustworthiness, is admissible. In passing upon the admissibility of evidence, the presiding officer may consider, but is not bound to follow, the rules of evidence governing general civil proceedings, in matters not involving trial by jury, in the courts of the State of Alaska. When objection is made to the admissibility of evidence, the evidence may be received subject to later ruling by the commission. The presiding officer may, either with or without objection, exclude inadmissible evidence or order repetitive evidence discontinued. A party objecting to the introduction of evidence shall state the grounds for the objection at the time the evidence is offered but need not reaffirm the objection repeatedly after that. The presiding officer may, either orally or in writing, issue procedural orders and rulings pertaining to the conduct of a hearing. If in writing, an order or ruling must be in substantially the same format as a regular commission order in the same proceeding in regard to placement of the heading, the correct docket number, caption, etc., except that they shall be designated as "HEARING ORDER NO. 1, 2, 3," etc., in the space to the right of the caption. Every hearing order is a part of the evidentiary record of the proceeding.
(b) In addition to matters of which courts of the State of Alaska take judicial notice, the commission will take official notice of
(1) all rules, regulations, administrative rulings, and orders, exclusive of findings of fact, of the commission or another comparable federal or state regulatory body or agency;
(2) the contents of certificates of public convenience and necessity granted by the commission;
(3) the tariffs and special contracts regularly established by or filed with the commission as required or authorized by law;
(4) any annual or other report on file with the commission except those that are privileged; or
(5) the results of its own inspection of the physical conditions involved; however, the commission will state on the record a summary of its observations.
(c) An official rule, report, order, record, resolution, or other document prepared and issued by any governmental authority, when admissible for any purpose, may be evidenced by an official publication of it, by a publication of a nationally recognized reporting service considered by the presiding officer to constitute a sufficient guarantee of its trustworthiness, by a copy attested by the officer having legal custody of it, or by a person who can testify to its authenticity based on his or her firsthand knowledge. When an official record, otherwise admissible, is contained in official publications or publications by nationally recognized reporting services which are in general circulation and readily accessible to all parties, it may be introduced by specific reference by the party offering it. Papers and documents on file with the commission, if otherwise admissible, may be introduced by any method of identification satisfactory to the presiding officer. If only a portion of a paper or document is offered in evidence, the part offered must be clearly designated. Intra-office commission memoranda and reports, when designated as privileged by the commission, are not public records subject to inspection and will not be introduced in evidence. If a portion of the record in any other proceeding is admissible for any purpose, and if it is offered in evidence, a true copy of the portion must be presented for the record in the form of an exhibit unless
(1) the offering party agrees to supply copies later at the party's own expense, if and when required by the commission;
(2) the portion is specified with sufficient particularity to readily identify it;
(3) the parties represented at the hearing stipulate upon the record that the portion may be incorporated by reference, and that any portion of the same record offered by any other party may be incorporated by like reference; and
(4) the presiding officer directs that the portion be incorporated.
(d) Documentary evidence offered, whether in the form of an exhibit or introduced by reference, is subject to appropriate and timely objection. When specifically prepared exhibits of a documentary nature are offered in evidence, copies must be furnished by the parties, their attorneys, or authorized representatives to
(1) the other parties, their attorneys, or authorized representatives;
(2) the presiding officer;
(3) the reporter;
(4) each commissioner;
(5) each consultant, attorney, authorized representative, or member of the public advocacy section for whom an official appearance is noted on the record; and
(6) anyone else designated by the presiding officer.
(e) Prefiled testimony will be identified by the letter "T" followed by sequential Arabic numerals in the order in which witnesses appear to testify, e.g., "T-1, T-2," etc. Schedules, appendices, and other documents attached to prefiled testimony will be identified by the witness' initials, followed by sequential Arabic numerals, e.g., "ABC-1." Any other exhibits referred to at a hearing will be marked with sequential Arabic numerals, without regard to the party introducing the exhibit. Unless otherwise prescribed by the commission by order, or by the presiding officer, the same series of testimony and exhibit numbers will continue for an entire proceeding even if a hearing is recessed, continued, or otherwise bifurcated.
History: Eff. 6/29/84, Register 90; am 3/21/2003, Register 165
Authority: AS 42.05.141
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Last modified 7/05/2006