How do MCOLES matters come to MAHS?
The Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) has the responsibility and rule making authority to oversee the application, training and discipline related to the certification of law enforcement officers under 1965 Public Act 203 (Act), MCL 28.601, et seq; R 28.14101-R 28.14702, 2006 AACS. If an MCOLES investigation reveals that a person may have committed fraud or made false statements when applying for certification as a law enforcement officer or that the person may have committed a felony criminal offense as defined by the Act, MCOLES may summarily suspend or revoke a Law Enforcement certification/license.
What types of MCOLES hearings does MAHS hold?
If MCOLES does take action, the individual has a right to challenge the action through a contested case hearing under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) of 1969, 1969 PA 306, as amended, being MCL 24.201 et seq. MCOLES will forward a request for such a hearing to the Michigan Administrative Hearing System (MAHS). A MAHS Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will be assigned to the matter and hold the hearing under the provisions of the APA and the rules related to the Act as well as the related procedural rules. See MAHS Administrative Hearing Rules, 2015 MR 1, R 792.10101, et seq, Eff. Jan 15, 2015.
At the hearing, the Attorney General’s office will represent MCOLES (the Respondent) and present MCOLES case first. MCOLES has the burden of proving by a preponderance of evidence (more probable than not) that the action they took against the individual was proper. The individual themselves or an attorney will represent the individual (the Petitioner) in the hearing and will cross examine MCOLES witnesses or challenge documents. After MCOLES’ side has finished, the Petitioner can present witnesses or documents for the individual. MCOLES may cross examine Petitioner’s witnesses or challenge Petitioner’s documents. Each side then has an opportunity to provide a statement (closing argument) supporting why the ALJ should, based upon the facts presented, find in favor of their side of the case.
What authority does MAHS have in this process?
After the hearing is completed, the ALJ prepares a Proposal for Decision (PFD) that includes the ALJ’s findings of fact, conclusions of law and a recommendation for final review by MCOLES. MCOLES may affirm, modify, or set aside the ALJ PFD as MCOLES makes final decision. MCOLES decisions may be appealed to the Circuit Court