Section 11.17 Conduct of Hearing

(Amended March 7, 1989;  Subsection (c) amended January 18, 1994)

(a) Oral evidence shall be taken only on oath or affirmation.

(b) Each party shall have these rights: to call and examine witnesses; to introduce exhibits; to cross-examine opposing witnesses on any matter relevant to the issues even though that matter was not covered in the direct examination; to impeach any witness regardless of which party first called him or her to testify; and to rebut the evidence against him or her. If respondent does not testify in his or her own behalf he or she may be called and examined as if under cross-examination.

(c) The hearing need not be conducted according to technical rules relating to evidence and witnesses, except as hereinafter provided. Any relevant evidence shall be admitted if it is the sort of evidence on which responsible persons are accustomed to rely in the conduct of serious affairs, regardless of the existence of any common law or statutory rule which might make improper the admission of such evidence over objection in civil actions. For petitions filed on or after January 19, 1994, in the absence of a timely and proper objection, relevant hearsay evidence is admissible for all purposes. Proffered hearsay evidence to which timely and proper objection is made is admissible for all purposes, including as the sole support for a finding, if (a) it would otherwise be admissible under the rules of evidence applicable in a civil action or (b) the Administrative Law Judge determines, in his or her discretion, that, based on all the circumstances, it is sufficiently reliable and trustworthy. The rules of privilege shall be effective to the extent that they are otherwise required by statute to be recognized at the hearing, and irrelevant and unduly repetitious evidence shall be excluded.