The following words and terms, when used in this Part, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Access to the case file" means that the applicant, licensee, and authorized representative have the right to review any information to be used by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) in the hearing.
- (A) The review may be made at a reasonable time before the date of the hearing.
- (B) Access to the case file means access to the applicant or licensee file but does not include the Children and Family Services Division (CFSD) records and any report to the district attorney unless ordered released by the administrative hearing officer (AHO). The order is based upon a request by the applicant or licensee and, after an in camera review by the AHO, a determination that a compelling reason exists and that disclosure is necessary for the protection of a public or private interest. Any child's name and the reporter's name is removed prior to submitting the information to the AHO.
- (C) When a request for file access is made, the local office must make arrangements for the applicant or licensee and authorized representative to review the case file with as much privacy as possible. A supervisory staff member observes the review of the case file to ensure that contents of the case file are not removed from the record.
- (D) The applicant, licensee, and authorized representative are free to make written notes from the record or obtain copies of available documents. An applicant, licensee, or representative is not charged for copies of documents made for the purpose of hearing preparation or presentation.
"Administrative hearing officer (AHO)" means:
- (A) the professional staff member of the Appeals Unit who has been designated by the Appeals Unit supervisor to conduct an administrative hearing and issue a decision; or
- (B) a lawyer who has a contract with OKDHS to preside over administrative hearings and issue a decision.
"Appeals Unit" means the unit established within the Legal Division which is responsible for conducting administrative hearings.
"Appeals Unit supervisor" means the person designated by the OKDHS general counsel to supervise the Appeals Unit.
"Applicant or licensee" means:
- (A) an applicant for a license to operate a child care facility; or
- (B) the holder of a license to operate a child care facility which has been revoked.
"Authorized representative" means a person authorized by the applicant or licensee to represent them in the hearing process.
- (A) Any party may be represented by a lawyer or legal intern licensed to practice by the Supreme Court of Oklahoma.
- (B) A party may be represented by a non-lawyer.
- (C) If the representative is not a lawyer, OKDHS verifies the authority of the person to represent the applicant or licensee through verbal or written authorization of the applicant or licensee.
"Clear and convincing evidence" means the degree of proof which has produced in the AHO a firm belief as to the truth of the allegation sought to be established.
"Division of Child Care (DCC)" means any office in any division or unit within DCC which is responsible for the act, or failure to act, which is the subject of the hearing request.
"Hearing" means the process by which evidence is obtained and a decision made regarding the OKDHS action being protested.
"Hearings on licensing actions related to child care facilities and child placing agencies" means:
- (A) the process to review an OKDHS decision on denial or revocation of a license for a child care facility or child placing agency; or
- (B) hearings on emergency orders to cease operation of a child care facility.
"Hearing request" means a written expression by an applicant, licensee, or authorized representative of the applicant's or licensee's desire to contest an action by OKDHS through the hearing process.
"OAC" means the Oklahoma Administrative Code, which contains the regulations promulgated by each state agency.
"Official record" means:
- (A) all evidence offered for introduction at the hearing;
- (B) an electronic recording of the hearing, or a transcription of the hearing; and
- (C) the hearing decision.
"OKDHS" means the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.