|(a) In order to preserve the right to a hearing as described
in §223.1 of this chapter (relating to License Action and Notification),
a person whose license the executive director proposes to deny, cancel, suspend,
or revoke must file an answer either consenting to the penalty recommended
by the executive director in his petition, or requesting a contested case
hearing. An answer must be filed not later than 20 days after the date the
respondent is provided with notice of the executive director's petition. Failure
to file a timely answer may result in the issuance of a default order.
(b) The answer described in subsection (a) of this section
may be in the form of a general denial as that term is used in the district
courts of the State of Texas.
(c) If a respondent fails to file a timely answer as required
by subsection (a) of this section, the executive director may recommend to
the commission that it enter a default order against the respondent. The executive
director may support the motion with documentary evidence, including affidavits,
exhibits and pleadings, and oral testimony, as may be appropriate to demonstrate
that the respondent received the petition and failed to file a timely answer.
The commission will consider motions for default orders at its quarterly commission
meetings. If the executive director moves for issuance of a default order
under this section, it is not necessary to set the matter for hearing under §223.7
of this chapter (relating to Contested Cases and Hearings). The commission
may grant the default order requested by the executive director, or may order
the case referred to SOAH for a contested case hearing.
(d) If a person files a timely answer as required by subsection
(a) of this section, but fails to appear at the contested case hearing after
receiving timely and adequate notice, the executive director may move for
default judgment against the respondent as provided by SOAH rule, 1 Texas
Administrative Code, §155.55.
(e) Upon issuance of a default order by the commission, notice
shall be provided to the respondent in accordance with §223.1 of this
chapter (relating to License Action and Notification).
(f) The effective date of this section is March 1, 2002.