[269E-15] Hearings. (a) All hearings, investigations, and proceedings shall be governed by this section, chapter 91, and by rules of practice and procedure adopted by the commission, and in the conduct thereof, the technical rules of evidence need not be applied. No informality in any hearing, investigation, or proceeding, or in the manner of taking testimony shall invalidate any order, decision, or rule made, approved, or confirmed by the commission.

(b) Complaints may be made, in writing, by the commission on its own motion or by the State, county, excavator, or any operator, setting forth any act or thing done, or omitted to be done by any excavator or operator in violation or claimed to be in violation, of any requirement of this chapter or of any order or rule of the commission.

(c) All matters upon which complaint may be founded may be joined in one hearing, and no motion shall be entertained against a complaint for misjoinder of causes of action or grievances or misjoinder or nonjoinder of parties. In any review by the courts of orders or decisions of the commission, the same rule shall apply with regard to the joinder of causes and parties as herein provided. The commission shall not be required to dismiss any complaint because of the absence of direct damage to the complainant.

(d) Upon the filing of a complaint, the commission shall cause a copy thereof to be served upon the operator or excavator complained of. Service in all hearings, investigations, and proceedings pending before the commission may be made upon any person upon whom a summons may be served in any proceeding before the courts of this State, and may be made personally or by mailing in a sealed envelope, registered or certified, with postage prepaid. The commission shall fix the time when and place where a hearing will be had upon the complaint and shall serve notice thereof, not less than fifteen days before the time set for the hearing.

(e) At the time fixed for any hearing before the commission or the time to which the hearing has been continued, the complainant and the person complained of, and such persons as the commission allows to intervene, shall be entitled to be heard and to introduce evidence. The commission shall issue process to enforce the attendance of all necessary witnesses. After the conclusion of the hearing, the commission shall make and file its order, containing its decision which shall be based on findings of fact and conclusions of law therein stated. A copy of each order shall be served upon the person complained of, or the person's attorney.

(f) A complete record of all proceedings and testimony before the commission on any formal hearing shall be taken down by a reporter appointed by the commission, and the parties shall be entitled to be heard in person or by attorney. In case of an action to review an order or decision of the commission, a transcript of the testimony, together with all exhibits or copies thereof introduced, and of the pleadings, records, and proceedings in the cause, shall constitute the record of the commission, but the party or parties to the proceeding and the commission may stipulate that designated parts of the record need not be transmitted to the appellate court, as provided by the rules of the court. [L 2004, c 141, pt of 1, 7; am L 2009, c 72, 3]



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