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Hearing officer   

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The hearing officer may do any of the following during the hearing:

(a) Question a witness on the record prior to any of the parties doing so.

(b) With the consent of both parties to the hearing, request that conflicting experts discuss an issue or issues with each other while on the record.

(c) Visit the proposed placement site or sites when the physical attributes of the site or sites are at issue.

(d) Call a witness to testify at the hearing if all parties to the hearing consent to the witness giving testimony or the hearing is continued for at least five days after the witness is identified and before the witness testifies.

(e) Order that an impartial assessment, including an independent educational assessment, of the pupil be conducted for purposes of the hearing and continue the hearing until the assessment has been completed. The cost of any assessment ordered under this subdivision shall be at public expense pursuant to subsection (d) of Section 300.502 of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations and included in the contract between the department and the organization or entity conducting the hearing.

(f) Bar introduction of any documents or the testimony of any witnesses not disclosed to the hearing officer at least five business days prior to the hearing and bar introduction of any documents or the testimony of any witnesses at the hearing without the consent of the other party not disclosed to the parties at least five business days prior to the hearing pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (e) of Section 56505.

(g) In decisions relating to the provision of related services by other public agencies, the hearing officer may call as witnesses independent medical specialists qualified to present evidence in the area of the pupil's medical disability. The cost for any witness called to testify under this subdivision shall be included in the contract between the department and the organization or entity conducting the hearing.

(h) Set a reasonable limit on the length of the hearing after consideration of all of the following:

(1) The issues to be heard.

(2) The complexity of the facts to be proven.

(3) The ability of the parties and their representatives, if any, to present their respective cases.

(4) The estimate of the parties as to the time needed to present their respective cases.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 161, Sec. 23.)

Reference:

34 CFR 300.502

Education Code 56505