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(6.64) Does the ALJ simply listen to witnesses and review the documents submitted, or can the ALJ participate in the hearing process?

(6.64) Does the ALJ simply listen to witnesses and review the documents submitted, or can the ALJ participate in the hearing process?

ALJ’s have a variety of powers in conducting a due process hearing, These powers allow them to participate in the process and to further develop the evidence on which they will base their decision. ALJ’s may do any of the following:

  1. Question a witness;
  2. With the consent of both sides, have conflicting expert witnesses discuss issues with each other on the record;
  3. Visit a proposed placement site;
  4. Call a new witness, not previously identified by either side, to testify if both sides consent or if there is a five-day postponement;
  5. Order an independent assessment and postpone the hearing until it is completed (with the costs of the assessment to be borne by OAH);
  6. Call as a witness an independent medical specialist to testify about a student’s medical disability (with the cost to be borne by OAH);
  7. Bar the introduction of any documents or the testimony of any witnesses not disclosed at least five business days before the hearing;
  8. Limit the length of the hearing. [Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56505.01.]