PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Discovery rules for contested cases or adjudicative hearings.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 34.05.446(2), 48.02.060.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Currently, the insurance commissioner has no rules on discovery related to contested matters. "Discovery" is a defined process of rules and procedures used by litigating parties to identify witnesses and collection of evidence to prepare for hearing.
The insurance commissioner is considering rules that allow parties and the presiding officer or administrative law judge to know which civil discovery rules apply to adjudicative hearings and contested cases. This provides greater certainty and efficiency in the hearing process, as time will not be spent arguing about whether the parties have the right to conduct discovery to develop relevant evidence.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The office of administrative hearings specifically permits agencies to adopt discovery rules.
Process for Developing New Rule: Submit written comments by September 22, 2008.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Kacy Scott, P.O. Box 40260, Olympia, WA 98504-0269, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, fax (360) 586-3109.
August 20, 2008