§576E-10  Hearings officers.  (a)  The attorney general shall establish the office of child support hearings, and shall appoint and commission, without regard to chapter 76, such hearings officers as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.

     (b)  Hearings officers shall exercise all of the powers granted to the attorney general under this chapter, but shall not be considered deputy attorneys general and shall not exercise the powers or discharge the duties conferred upon the attorney general or the attorney general's deputies by chapter 28.

     (c)  In exercising the powers conferred upon the attorney general in section 576E-2, the hearings officers shall have the authority to conduct hearings and enter the following orders:

     (1)  Child support orders which have the effect of modifying, suspending, terminating, or enforcing the child support provisions of orders of the family courts;

     (2)  Child support orders establishing, modifying, suspending, terminating, or enforcing child support obligations;

     (3)  Orders enforcing the collection of spousal support when child support is being established, modified, or enforced;

     (4)  Income withholding orders pursuant to section 576E-16;

     (5)  Automatic income assignment orders pursuant to sections 571-52.2 and 576D-14;

     (6)  Interstate income withholding orders pursuant to chapter 576B;

     (7)  State income tax refund setoff orders pursuant to section 231-54;

     (8)  Orders determining whether Aid to Families with Dependent Children pass through payments were properly distributed;

     (9)  Orders determining whether a party should be required to post bond in order to secure payment of past due support pursuant to section 576D-6;

    (10)  Medical insurance coverage orders;

    (11)  Orders suspending or denying the granting, the renewal, the reinstatement, or the restoration of licenses or applications of an obligor or individual for noncompliance with an order of support or failure to comply with a subpoena or warrant relating to a paternity or child support proceeding, and authorizations allowing the reinstatement of suspended licenses or consideration of license applications pursuant to section 576D-13;

    (12)  Orders concerning whether a responsible parent's child support obligation should be reported to consumer credit reporting agencies pursuant to chapter 576D; and

    (13)  Orders in other child support areas as authorized by the attorney general.

     (d)  Hearings officers shall have further authority to:

     (1)  Accept voluntary acknowledgments of paternity, support liability, and stipulated agreements setting the amount of child support to be paid after application of the guidelines established under section 576D-7;

     (2)  Receive testimony and evidence from parties to the hearing and to establish a record;

     (3)  Evaluate testimony and other evidence received at hearings and make specific findings of fact and conclusions of law after contested hearings and when otherwise required by law;

     (4)  Issue subpoenas;

     (5)  Compel production of documents and witnesses;

     (6)  Dismiss a case upon a finding of good cause;

     (7)  Hold prehearing conferences;

     (8)  Examine judgment debtors;

     (9)  Refer contempt proceedings to the appropriate court.

     (e)  Hearings officers shall be entitled to immunity from liability while acting in their official capacity. [L 1988, c 154, pt of §2; am L 1989, c 61, §3; am L 1990, c 176, §16; am L 1993, c 251, §5; am L 1994, c 105, §11; am L 1997, c 293, §35; am L 1998, c 11, §30 and c 83, §9; am L 1999, c 300, §4; am L 2000, c 253, §150; am L 2002, c 31, §2]