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R 792.10247 Prehearing conference; joint hearing and consolidation.Rule 247.
(1) Except as provided by R 792.10233 or as otherwise provided by the tribunal, a prehearing conference shall be held in all proceedings before the entire tribunal for scheduling a hearing in the proceeding.
(2) Not less than 14 days before the prehearing conference or as otherwise provided by the tribunal, each party shall file and exchange a prehearing statement in a form determined by the tribunal.
(3) The purposes of the prehearing conference are as follows:
(a) To specify, in a property tax appeal, the present use of the property, the use for which the property was designed, and the classification of the property.
(b) To specify all sums in controversy and the particular issues to which they relate.
(c) To specify the factual and legal issues to be litigated.
(d) To consider the formal amendment of all petitions and answers or their amendment by prehearing order, and, if desirable or necessary, to order that the amendments be made.
(e) To consider the consolidation of petitions for hearing, the separation of issues, and the order in which issues are to be heard.
(f) To consider admissions of fact to avoid unnecessary proofs, including the level of assessment and authenticity of documents, such as statutes, ordinances, charters, and regulations.
(g) To identify all witnesses.
(h) To identify all exhibits in support of the main case or defense and admit the authenticity of exhibits if possible.
(i) To estimate the time required for hearing.
(j) To discuss the possibility of settlement, including settlement efforts to date.
(k) To consider all other matters that may aid in the disposition of the proceeding.
(4) The administrative law judge who conducts the prehearing conference shall inquire of the parties as to whether or not all claims arising out of the appealed finding, ruling, determination, decision, or order have been joined. The answers to the inquiry and each finding, ruling, determination, decision, or order pertaining to the claims shall be included in the summary of the results of the conference.
(5) The administrative law judge who conducts the prehearing conference shall prepare, and cause to be served upon the parties or their representatives, not less than 14 days in advance of hearing, an order summarizing the results of the conference specifically covering each of the items stated in the rule. The summary of results controls the subsequent course of the proceeding unless modified at or before the hearing by the tribunal to prevent manifest injustice.
(6) When a proceeding is ready for prehearing as determined by the tribunal, the clerk shall schedule the matter for a prehearing conference at a time and place to be designated by the tribunal or shall place the proceeding on a prehearing general call.
(7) Notice of the date, time, and place of the prehearing conference shall be provided to the parties not less than 28 days before the date of the prehearing conference, unless otherwise provided by the tribunal.
(8) The clerk shall send notice of the prehearing general call and scheduling order to all parties whose case is placed on the prehearing general call not less than 28 days before the commencement of the prehearing general call, unless otherwise ordered by the tribunal. The notice shall set forth the time period in which the prehearing conference will be held and the dates for the filing and exchange of valuation disclosures, prehearing statements, and the closure of discovery.
(9) The tribunal may direct the parties or the parties' attorney or authorized representative to furnish it with a prehearing brief as to the legal issues involved in the proceeding and designate the manner and time for filing and serving of the briefs.
(10) Failure to appear at a duly scheduled prehearing conference may result in the dismissal of the appeal or the scheduling of a default hearing as provided in R 792.10231(4).
(11) Discovery shall not be conducted after completion of the prehearing conference, unless otherwise provided by the tribunal.
(12) If proceedings pending before the tribunal involve substantial and controlling common questions of fact or law, the tribunal may do 1 or all of the following:
(a) Order a joint hearing for the proceedings on any or all matters at issue.
(b) Order the consolidation of the proceedings.
(c) Issue other orders concerning the proceedings as necessary to facilitate the efficient administration of justice.
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