(a) Notice of the Appointment of a Hearing Officer under Rule 04 [Section 17204] above shall be provided to the Parties as soon as practicable and no later than when the matter is noticed for a prehearing conference or hearing.
(b) The Director may appoint a different Hearing Officer to conduct and hear the review or to conduct and dispose of any preliminary or procedural matter in a given case.
(c) A Party wishing to object to the appointment of a particular Hearing Officer, including for any one or more of the grounds specified in sections 11425.30 and 11425.40 of the Government Code or section 1742(b) of the Labor Code, shall within 10 days after receiving notice of the appointment and no later than the start of any hearing on the merits, whichever is earlier, file a motion to disqualify the appointed Hearing Officer together with a supporting affidavit or declaration. The motion shall be filed with the Chief Counsel of the Office of the Director at the address indicated in Rule 23 [Section 17223] above. Notwithstanding the foregoing time limits, if a Party subsequently discovers facts constituting grounds for the disqualification of the appointed Hearing Officer, including but not limited to that the Hearing Officer has received a prohibited ex parte communication in the pending case, the motion shall be filed as soon as practicable after the facts constituting grounds for disqualification are discovered.
(d) Upon receipt of a motion to disqualify the appointed Hearing Officer, the Director may: (1) consider and decide the motion or appoint another Hearing Officer to consider and decide the motion, in which case the challenged Hearing Officer shall first be given an opportunity to respond to the motion, but no proceedings shall be conducted by the challenged Hearing Officer until the motion is determined; or (2) appoint another Hearing Officer to hear the Request for Review, in which case the motion shall be deemed moot.
NOTE: Authority cited: sections 55, 59, 1742(b), and 1773.5, Labor Code . Reference: sections 170.3(c)(1), Code of Civil Procedure; sections 11425.30 and 11425.40, Government Code; and section 1742(b), Labor Code.
1. New article 4 (sections 17240-17249) and section filed 1-15-2002; operative
1-15-2002 pursuant to Government Code section 11343.4 (Register 2002, No. 3).