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RULE §223.3Answer Required

(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.

Source Note: The provisions of this §223.3 adopted to be effective March 1, 2001, 26 TexReg 237; amended to be effective March 1, 2002, 26 TexReg 11042

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