Louisiana State Police Commission
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16.1 Filing of Charges.
(a) Any person may file with the Director or the Commission written charges of a violation by any person of the Article or the Rules.
16.2 Preliminary Investigations.
(b) When the Director, in the exercise of the authority granted him by Rule 3.1 (1) hereof, has caused investigation to be made of reported violation of the Article or the Rules or has reason to believe that there has been violation of the Article or the Rules he may, in addition to other actions authorized by the Article or these Rules, file written charges with the Commission and present his findings to the Commission at a public hearing in a proceeding directed against the persons under investigation.
The Commission may instruct the Director to conduct a preliminary investigation of any suspected violation by any person of the provisions of the Article or these Rules, to collect evidence in connection therewith, and to report thereon to the Commission.
16.3 Initiation of Investigations.
(a) The Commission may at any time, upon its own initiative, investigate any suspected violation by any person of the Article or the Rules.
16.4 Designation of a Respondent in an Investigation.
(b) Within six months following the filing of written charges with the Director or the Commission by any person of a violation of the Article or the Rules allegedly committed by any person within the preceding one year, the Commission shall investigate and hold a public hearing concerning such charges.
(c) Within ninety days following the filing of written charges with the Commission by the Director of an alleged or suspected violation by any person of the Article or Rules, the Commission shall investigate and hold a public hearing concerning such charges.
(d) The Commission may investigate any written charge of a violation by any person of the Article of Rules filed with it more than one year after the alleged violation.
(a) Any person under investigation as a result of charges filed with the Commission shall be a respondent.
16.5 Rights of Respondent.
(b) The Commission may at any time before, during, or after an investigation by public hearing, declare any person to be a respondent if it has reasonable cause to suspect such person has or may have violated the Article of the Rules. The Commission's declaration shall specify whether such person shall be a respondent in the investigation in progress or in a subsequent investigation.
Each respondent in a public hearing held under the provisions of this Chapter shall have:
16.6 Docketing of Investigative Hearings.
(a) The right, but shall not be required, to be represented by counsel. Any such counsel must be:
1. Duly licensed to practice law in the State of Louisiana; or
2. A Senior student of law attending a university in the State of Louisiana who has been recommended by the President of his university specifically for the purpose of representing individuals who have been certified as indigent for the purposes of this Chapter.
The Director shall establish the procedure by which an individual shall be certified as indigent for the purposes of this Chapter.
When a respondent is represented by one or more counsel, as described in this Rule, in any hearing before the Commission, or a referee, only one such counsel shall be permitted to examine the same witness.
(b) Access to procedures afforded to appellants under these Rules requiring the compulsory appearance of witnesses and production of records within the State.
(c) The right to introduce admissible evidence in his own behalf.
(d) The right to examine and cross examine witnesses at the public hearing.
(e) The right to object to the introduction of hearsay testimony and other evidence not admissible under the rules of evidence as applied in the civil trials before the district Courts of the State.
(a) The Director shall cause the date of filing to be noted on each document containing written charges of a violation of the Article or the Rules. A docket shall be maintained upon which each such document shall be docketed in the order filed, be numbered consecutively, and given an appropriate title.
16.7 Summary Disposition of Investigation.
(b) Such docket may be in combination with the appellate docket required to be maintained by the provisions of Chapter 13 of these Rules.
(c) Promptly after the assigning of a date for public hearing on an investigation, such respondent shall be notified by the Director of such investigation. Such notice shall contain a clear and concise statement of the matters under investigation; provided that:
1. Nothing herein shall prevent the Commission at any time from enlarging upon the statement of the matters under investigation, nor shall any thing herein prevent the Commission at any time from collected evidence in connection with appropriate matters additional thereto and taking action in connection therewith; and
2. Each respondent shall be notified of such additional information and afforded opportunity to reply thereto.
(a) At any time after the assigning of a public hearing of an investigation, any respondent may file with the Commission a written request for summary disposition thereof on any of the following grounds:
16.8 Assigning Investigations for Public Hearing.
1. That the Commission lacks jurisdiction of the subject matter; or of the respondent under investigation.
2. That the investigation has not bee initiated in the manner prescribed by the Rules.
3. That the matter under investigation has become moot.
4. That the charges, if true, would not constitute a violation of the Article or these Rules.
(b) Any request for summary disposition, when made prior to the date fixed for the hearing, may be supported by admissions of fact and written argument or brief.
(c) When a request for summary disposition has been filed with the Commission in any proceeding, the Director may submit oral or written argument or brief in connection therewith.
(d) If the Commission denies the request, it may reconsider same at any time prior to the conclusions of the investigation.
(e) The Commission may at any time, summarily dispose of an investigation of any of the grounds, listed in Sub section (a) hereof.
(f) When the Commission disposes summarily of an investigation its decision shall be final on the date it files its written decision with the Director disposing of the case. The Director thereafter shall give the interested parties notice of the decision.
(a) The Commission or the Director shall fix the time and place for the conduct of investigations by public hearing.
16.9 Place for Investigation by Public Hearing
(b) For cause considered justifiable by it or him the Commission, its Chairman, or the Director may upset any fixing and give the hearing a special assignment both as to the time and place.
(c) If a referee has been appointed to take testimony in an investigation by public hearing, he or the Director shall fix the time and place for taking such testimony and may upset and refix same.
(a) Subject to the provisions of Sub-section (b), (c), and (d) hereof, all investigations by public hearing before the Commission or a referee shall be conducted in a convenient place, accessible to the public, in the City of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
16.10 Notice of Investigation by Public Hearing.
(b) The Commission may direct that an investigation by public hearing be conducted at a place of public accessibility within the State, other than the City of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
(c) If the Director deems that the interest of the State or of any agency thereof, or the location of the respondents or witnesses, or the ends of justice so require, he may order that the investigation by public hearing be held in any other convenient place of public accessibility within the State other than the City of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
(d) When a referee has been appointed to take testimony in an investigation by public hearing, the Commission, it's Chairman, or the director shall designate the location within the State at which such testimony shall be taken.
The Director or referee shall give written notice of the time and place of the public hearing to all known respondents at least twenty calendar days prior thereto; provided, that with the approval of the Commission, the Director, or the appropriate referee, and by consent of the respondent or respondents involved, such twenty day period may be waived.
16.11 Continuance of Investigation by Public Hearing.
(a) An investigation fixed for public hearing and not reached shall be refixed by the Commission or the Director.
16.12 Procedure of Investigation by Public Hearing.
(b) The Commission or its Chairman may, for cause deemed sufficient, grant or order, with respect to any one or more respondents involved, a continuance of any investigation fixed for public hearing; and it may proceed in its discretion, as to those respondents to whom no continuance was granted.
(a) All hearings shall be open to the public.
(b) The Commission, each member of the Commission, and any specially designated agent of the Commission may examine and cross examine any witness or respondent.
(c) When a pending case involves substantially the same or similar circumstances as presented in a prior appellate hearing or investigation by public hearing, the Commission, or a referee, may admit as evidence any part of the record in such previous case as the Commission, or referee, may deem relevant; provided, that in the application of this Rule no respondent shall be deprived of the right to cross examine any adverse witness.
(d) The charges filed against a respondent shall not be accepted by the Commission as prima facie true.
(e) The Commission shall not be limited in its authority to receive evidence which explains, supplements, refutes or enlarges upon the information contained in the charges filed with it, provided, that a respondent shall be given a fair opportunity to meet the additional evidence.
(f) The Commission, or a referee, on request of any respondent in the investigation in progress, or on its or his own motion, may order that the witnesses in any investigation by public hearing be separated so as to preclude any witness, other than the respondents and their counsel, from hearing the testimony of any other witness.
(g) The Commission may limit corroborative evidence.
(h) Where appropriate and not inconsistent with these Rules, hearings and the taking of testimony shall be conducted according to the accepted practice in civil trials before the district courts of the State.
(i) The Commission, or a referee, may fix the total time to be allowed for oral argument, according to the circumstances of each case, and may limit oral argument to one or more issues.
(j) Except with special leave of the Commission, or referee, only one attorney shall be permitted oral argument for each respondent.
(k) The Commission may in any case on its own motion invite or allow any member or members of the Louisiana State Bar Association to present oral or written argument on any question of law, provided such oral argument is presented at a hearing when all known respondents are present. or represented, or that a copy of all written arguments be served on all known respondents, or their counsel, if any. Service of such written argument shall be made to appear by the certificate of the writer.
(l) The Commission may take notice of the provisions of the Article, the Rules, the Classification Plan, and the Pay Plan without the necessity of an offer in evidence.
(m) When during the course of a hearing a ruling by the Commission is to be made, the presiding Commissioner shall rule and his ruling shall constitute that of the Commission; provided, that should a member of the Commission object to such ruling or offer an alternative ruling, the ruling of the Commission shall be determined by majority vote of those members present.
(a) The Commission may refer the taking of testimony in any investigation by public hearing to one or more of its members, or to the Director, or to any employee of the State Police Commission.
16.14 Subpoena of Witnesses; Production of Documents.
(b) Such referee shall proceed in accordance with, and shall have all the authority vested in referees by the Article.
(a) The Commission, each member thereof, the Director, the Assistant Director, any referee appointed by the Commission, and any specially designated agent of the Commission, shall have the power to order the appearance of witnesses and to compel the production of books and papers pertinent to the issues involved in any investigation by public hearing, provided such witnesses and such books and papers are within the State.
16.15 Transcripts of Investigation by Public Hearing.
(b) Any respondent desiring the issuance of a subpoena for any witness at any investigation by public hearing must apply for it in writing. The application must be filed in the office of the Director of the State Police Commission at least ten (10) days before the date fixed for the hearing and must give the name and address of the witness to whom the subpoena is to be directed together with a brief statement of what he intends to prove by such witness.
(c) In lieu of the issuance and service of formal subpoenas to State employees, the Commission or any person authorized by Sub-section (a) of this Rule may request any department to order any designated employee under his supervision to attend and testify at any investigation by public hearing; and upon being so ordered the employee shall appear at the hearing and furnish testimony.
(d) Any respondent desiring the production of books, papers, photographs, or other items at any investigation by public hearing must apply for an appropriate order in writing. The application must be filed in the office of the Director of the State Police Commission at least ten (10) days before the date fixed for the hearing. Such application must described the books and papers to be produced in sufficient detail for identification, must give the full name and address of the person required to make such production, must state briefly what is intended to be proved by such books, papers, photographs, or other items; and the materiality of their production to the issues must be sworn to by the respondent or his counsel.
(e) No subpoena for the appearance of any witness or order for the production of books, papers, photographs, or other items shall be issued unless the authorized person to whom the application is presented is satisfied that the testimony of the witness or the production of the books, papers, photographs, or other items is necessary under the issues before the Commission.
(f) Authentic copies of books, papers, photographs, or other items in the custody of any department of the State or any subdivision thereof which have been subpoenaed may be admitted in evidence with the same effect as the original books, papers, photographs, or other items are subpoenaed they must be produced and made available for inspection even though authentic copies may be subsequently introduced.
(g) The Commission, its Chairman, or the Director may, for cause deemed sufficient by it, or him, issue an appropriate order at any time recalling any subpoena, subpoena duces tecum, or request issued under the provisions of this Rule.
(h) The abuse of the privilege to require the attendance of witnesses or the production of books, papers, photographs, or other items shall be deemed a violation of these Rules and shall be dealt with accordingly.
When investigations of two or more respondents involve similar or related circumstances, the Commission may order a joint investigation of all respondents or may order separate investigations for specified respondents.
16.16 Transcripts of Investigations by Public Hearing.
(a) The proceedings of all investigations by public hearing shall be recorded, but shall be transcribed only upon order of the Commission or the Director or upon request made by a respondent therein, accompanied by proffer of such costs as may be determined by the Director.
16.17 Refusal to Appear; Refusal to Testify; False Testimony.
(b) In every investigation by public hearing, the proceedings before a referee shall be recorded and transcribed.
(c) Whenever any portion of these Rules, the Classification Plan, or the Pay Plan is relied upon an investigation by public hearing, and is material to the decision of any issue, the portion relied upon shall be copied into any transcript prepared for the Court of Appeal, First Circuit, if not contained in the Commission's written findings.
(a) Any officer or employee in the classified service who willfully refuses or fails to appear before the Commission or its Referee in response to a subpoena or a request under the provisions of Rule 13.21, or having appeared refuses to testify or answer any question pertinent to the matters under consideration or who knowingly gives false testimony or who knowingly solicits, condones, or accepts, without refutation, false, or misleading testimony given by any witness in his/her behalf at a hearing, or who fails to produce any books, papers, photographs, or other item pertinent to any hearing may be found by the Commission or the Referee to be guilty of contempt in accordance with these Rules and, in addition to that which is provided for in these Rules, may be found by the Commission not to be eligible thereafter for appointment to any position in the classified service for a period not to exceed ten years or be subject to a suspension from his position.
16.18 Witness Fees in Investigations by Public Hearing.
(b) Any person who wilfully fails to appear in response to a subpoena or to an order issued under the provisions of Rule 13.21 hereof, or who wilfully fails to answer any questions or to produce any books, papers, photographs, or other items pertinent to any hearing before the Commission or a Referee, or who knowingly gives false testimony or who knowingly solicits, condones, or accepts, without refutation, false, or misleading testimony given by any witness in his/her behalf at any such hearing may be found guilty of contempt by the Commission or the Referee in accordance with these Rules.
(c) Any officer or employee required to testify shall not be subjected to any disciplinary action by his appointing authority because he so testifies.
(a) The travel expenses of an officer or employee of a department who is required to appear before the Commission or a referee shall be paid by the department which employs him.
16.19 Commission Action Following Investigation by Public Hearing.
(b) The Commission may order that any person who is not an officer or employee of a department and who is subpoenaed to testify at a hearing shall be entitled to the same mileage and fees as are allowed witnesses in civil cases by the Nineteenth Judicial Court for the Parish of East Baton Rouge.
(c) If a witness is subpoenaed by a respondent, the Commission may order the cost of witness fees and mileage to be paid by such respondent.
(d) The Commission and any person authorized to issue a subpoena may, before doing so, require the respondent to deposit with the Director a sum sufficient to cover the mileage costs and witness fees pending a determination of costs by the Commission.
The Commission shall, upon concluding its public hearing and investigation, render a decision in writing, which shall contain its findings of fact, conclusions of law, and pertinent orders and instructions; and shall file same with the Director. The decision shall be final on the day it is filed. The Director shall furnish copies to all respondents and other interested parties.
16.20 Recusation of Commissioner.
In proceedings under this Chapter, the grounds for recusation of a Commissioner shall be the same as the grounds for the recusation of judges of the Courts of the State of Louisiana.
16.21 Powers of Director not Restricted.
Nothing in this Chapter shall restrict the Director in making whatever investigations he may deem appropriate to the exercise of his powers and functions under the Article and the Rules.
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Last Modified: 12/27/2009