Guide to Administrative Hearings
If you have requested and been granted a hearing before the agency hearing officer, the following guidelines should be reviewed and considered prior to the date of your hearing.
1. Right to an attorney: You have a right to be represented by an attorney at your own expense.
2, Laws that apply: The laws that apply at the hearing are Neb. Rev. Stat. §84-901 to 84-920, the Administrative Procedure Act; Title 272 Nebraska Administrative Code Chapter 1. Copies of these references are available in the office of the Nebraska State Patrol State Headquarters in Lincoln. The rules and regulations may also be accessed on the Secretary of State's website at the following location:Title-272/Chapter-01.
3. Purpose of the hearing: The purpose of the hearing is to allow you an opportunity to contest the action or decision the agency has made which concerns you.
4. Burden of proof: The Nebraska State Patrol has the burden of showing a basis for the action or decision, and you have the burden to show why the action or decision is inaccurate or erroneous.
5. Hearing Officer: The hearing officer will be an attorney appointed by the Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol to conduct hearings. The hearing officer will preside over the hearing, administer oaths, examine witnesses, take testimony, rule on preliminary motions, rule on all matters raised at the hearing, and recommend a decision to the Superintendent of the State Patrol.
6. Continuances: The Superintendent or the hearing officer may continue the hearing until a later date if there is a good reason. If you want a continuance, you must make a request in writing to the hearing officer stating the reasons for your request. Motions for continuances will not normally be considered unless filed and received by the hearing officer at least five days prior to the date fixed for the hearing.
7. Closed hearings: All hearings, except Sex Offender Registry hearings, are open to the public.
8. Conduct of the hearing: The hearing will be taped, which will be the official record of the hearing. The hearing officer will open the hearing by introducing him or herself and stating who is present at the hearing. The hearing officer will explain the scope and purpose of the hearing. The State Patrol's exhibits will be introduced. You will have a chance to look at these exhibits before the hearing and have an opportunity at the hearing to object to the exhibits. The hearing officer will address any other matters that need to be dealt with before you offer evidence. The hearing officer will swear in and take testimony from witnesses for the State Patrol. You or your attorney will have a chance to ask questions of each witness who testifies for the State Patrol. When the Patrol's witnesses have testified, and you have finished asking them questions, you will have a chance to present your side of the case. If you testify, the hearing officer or a representative of the State Patrol can ask you questions. Since the hearing will be recorded, you will need to answer any questions aloud. Nods, shrugs, and gestures are not recorded. After you present your side of the case, you will have a chance to make a closing argument. When you are preparing your side of the case, remember you will be limited to the relevant issues. The hearing officer may refuse to let you offer evidence that is not relevant.
9. Failure to appear: If you fail to appear for the hearing, the hearing officer will hold the hearing in your absence and will decide the case on the available evidence. The hearing will begin on time. Do not be late.
10. Rules of evidence: You can request that the hearing be conducted with the formal rules of evidence in effect. A written request for rules of evidence must be delivered to the hearing officer at least three days before the hearing. In the request, you must agree to be responsible for payment of the costs, and you must provide a court reporter for the hearing.
11. The decision: The hearing officer will recommend a decision to the Superintendent. The Superintendent makes the final decision. A written decision will be mailed to you by certified mail. The decision may be appealed to the District Court of Lancaster County within 30 days of the day it was mailed to you and according to the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act.
12. Special accommodations: If you need special accommodation because of a disability, please contact the hearing officer at least three days before the hearing. If you need assistance with the English language, call the State Patrol Legal Division for an explanation of the necessary procedures.