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A. A participant may request a hearing if:
(1) an application is not acted on within a reasonable time after the filing of the application;
(2) an application is denied in whole or in part; or
(3) the cash assistance or services are modified, terminated or not provided.
B. The department shall notify the participant of his rights under this section.
C. The department shall by rule establish procedures for the filing of a request for a hearing and the time limits within which a request may be filed; provided, however, that the department may grant reasonable extensions of the time limits. If the request is filed in a timely manner, cash assistance and services shall be provided until the appeal is resolved. If the request is not filed within the specified time for appeal or within whatever extension the department may grant, the department action shall be final. Upon receipt of a timely request, the department shall give the participant reasonable notice of an opportunity for a fair hearing in accordance with the rules of the department.
D. The hearing shall be conducted by a hearing officer designated by the director. The powers of the hearing officer shall include administering oaths or affirmations to witnesses called to testify, taking testimony, examining witnesses, admitting or excluding evidence and reopening a hearing to receive additional evidence. The technical rules of evidence and the rules of civil procedure shall not apply. The hearing shall be conducted so that the contentions or defenses of each party to the hearing are amply and fairly presented. Either party may be represented by counsel or other representative of his designation, and he or his representative may conduct cross-examination. Oral or documentary evidence may be received but the hearing officer may exclude irrelevant, immaterial or unduly repetitious evidence.
E. The director shall review the record of the proceedings and shall make his decision on the record. The participant or his representative shall be notified in writing of the director's decision and the reasons for the decision. The written notice shall inform the participant of his right to judicial review. The department shall be responsible for ensuring that the decision is enforced.
F. Within thirty days after receiving written notice of the decision of the director, a participant may file a notice of appeal with the court of appeals together with a copy of the notice of the decision. The clerk of the court shall transmit a copy of the notice of appeal to the director.
G. The filing of a notice of appeal shall not stay the enforcement of the decision of the director, but the department may grant, or the court upon motion and good cause shown may order, a stay.
H. Within twenty days after receipt of the notice of appeal, the department shall file with the clerk of the court three copies and furnish to the appellant one copy of the written transcript of the record of the proceedings.
I. If, before the date set for argument, application is made to the court for leave to present additional evidence and the court is satisfied that the additional evidence is material and there was good reason for not presenting it in the hearing, the court may order the additional evidence taken before the department. If the application to present additional evidence is filed by the department and is approved by the court, the department's decision that is being appealed shall be stayed. The director may modify his findings and decision by reason of the additional evidence and shall file with the court a transcript of the additional evidence together with any modified or new findings or decision.
J. The review of the court shall be made upon the decision and the record of the proceedings.
K. The court shall set aside a decision and order of the director only if found to be:
(1) arbitrary, capricious or an abuse of discretion;
(2) not supported by substantial evidence in the record as a whole; or
(3) otherwise not in accordance with law.
L. The department shall not authorize or allow expenditures for the affected programs in excess of the amounts previously appropriated by the legislature.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - New Mexico Statutes Chapter 27. Public Assistance § 27-2B-13. Fair hearing; review and appeal - last updated May 06, 2021 | https://codes.findlaw.com/nm/chapter-27-public-assistance/nm-st-sect-27-2b-13/
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