PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Prohibiting firearms or other dangerous weapons at all facilities owned, leased, or operated by the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) and in rooms where OAH is conducting an administrative hearing.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 34.12.030(6) and 34.12.080.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Rules are to enhance safety in administrative hearings by prohibiting weapons. Rules would also provide for consistent notice to parties that weapons are prohibited.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: Weapons are already prohibited in courts. Some state agencies (e.g., DSHS and Employment Security Department) where hearings are held already prohibit weapons in those facilities, but there is no consistent rule for all OAH hearings. The process has included consultation with other agency headquarters and with field offices where OAH regularly conducts hearings.
Process for Developing New Rule: Agency study.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Art Wang, Chief Administrative Law Judge, Office of Administrative Hearings, P.O. Box 42488, Olympia, WA 98504-2488, (360) 664-8717, fax (360) 664-8721.
September 24, 2004