Section 34-24-173

Rules of evidence in contested cases.

In contested cases:

(1) The rules of evidence as applied in nonjury civil cases in the circuit courts of this state shall be followed. When necessary to ascertain facts not reasonably susceptible of proof under those rules, evidence not admissible thereunder may be admitted if it is of a type commonly relied upon by reasonably prudent persons in the conduct of their affairs. The board shall give effect to the rules of privilege recognized by law. Except as hereinafter provided, objections to evidentiary offers may be made and shall be noted in the record. Whenever any evidence is excluded as inadmissible, all such evidence existing in written form shall remain a part of the record as an offer of proof. The party seeking the admission of oral testimony may make an offer of proof by means of a brief statement on the record describing the testimony excluded. All rulings on the admissibility of evidence shall be final and shall appear in the record. Subject to these requirements, when a hearing will be expedited and interests of the parties will not be prejudiced substantially, any part of the evidence may be received or may be required to be submitted in verified form; provided, the adversary party shall not be denied the right of cross-examination of the witness. The testimony of the parties and witnesses shall be made under oath.

(2) Documentary evidence otherwise admissible may be received in the form of copies or excerpts, or by incorporation by reference to material already on file with the board. Upon request, parties shall be given an opportunity to compare the copy with the original.

(3) A party may conduct cross-examination required for a full and true disclosure of the facts, except as otherwise limited by law.

(4) Official notice may be taken of all facts of which judicial notice may be taken and of other scientific and technical facts within the specialized knowledge of the board.

(5) The experience, technical competence, and specialized knowledge of the board may be utilized in the evaluation of the evidence.

(6) The board's interpretation of its own rules and regulations in contested cases shall be final and conclusive and shall not be set aside upon judicial review.

(7) The board shall have the power to issue subpoenas and to compel the attendance of any witness or the production of any book, writing, or other document in the possession, custody, or control of any person. Any person refusing to produce any book, writing, or other document or to appear to testify, without legal excuse, at such hearing of the board, after having been served with a subpoena issued by the board, shall be guilty of contempt; and upon certification of such act by the board to the judge of the circuit court of whose jurisdiction the hearing is held or is to be held, the judge shall punish the same as though committed before him.

(Acts 1989, No. 89-237, p. 321, §2.)