Civil Service - Hearing Guidelines
Guidelines for Conduct of Hearings by the Civil Service Board, Trial Board, and Administrative Law Judges
When a hearing has been set before the Civil Service Board, Trial Board, or Administrative Law Judge (all hereinafter referred to as the "Board") all parties will abide by the guidelines and code of conduct outlined herein. A hearing will be carried out with the same decorum as if it were a court proceeding. Parties and their representatives are reminded that testimony before the Board is given under oath and the conduct of any person in connection with any proceeding is subject to Texas statutes respecting perjury and obstruction of justice. Any person having knowledge of perjury or obstruction of justice in connection with a matter arising under the City of Dallas Personnel Rules shall inform the Board accordingly. The Board, following any appropriate investigation, shall report any allegation or evidence of perjury or obstruction of justice, including any retaliation or threat of retaliation against an employee or witness, to the appropriate authorities.
- Sections 34-39 and 34-40 of the City of Dallas Personnel Rules (the "Personnel Rules") set forth the technical procedures and specific time frames that must be followed as applicable to a grievance, demotion, or discharge (the "Proceedings"). If there are questions related to the steps required to comply with the Personnel Rules they should be directed to the Civil Service Board Secretary ("Secretary").
- Each party to a Proceeding shall provide all other parties with copies of all documents or materials filed with the Secretary. Any document that refers to a statute, court opinion, or other authority shall attach to it a copy of that statute, court opinion, or other authority. Documents or materials filed with the Secretary will be date/time stamped upon receipt in the Civil Service Department. This date will be the reference point from which compliance with established deadlines will be gauged unless otherwise provided in the Personnel Rules.
- Subpoenas will be issued in accordance with the applicable Personnel Rules. Personnel Rule 34-40(g)(2), applicable to Proceedings before a Trial Board or Administrative Law Judge, will be applied in Proceedings before the Civil Service Board except to the extent inconsistent with personnel Rule 34-39. Rule 34-40(g)(2) requires that requests for subpoenas contain the following information: the name and address of the witness, the name of the employee's department if the witness is a city employee, and the specific identification of books, papers, documents or other tangible things sought. A subpoena, once issued, is an order of the Board. Except to the extent that the Civil Service Board authorizes the Secretary to do so, a subpoena may be quashed only by the Board. The Secretary may quash a subpoena without further order of the Board or Civil Service Board if (1) the party seeking the subpoena agrees; (2) the subpoena is to be reissued for a hearing continued by the Board or by agreement of the parties; or (3) at the request of the subpoenaed witness, for cause shown, if the party seeking the subpoena agrees or if the hearing is, for that reason, continued. Any party or witness may move the Board to quash a subpoena for good cause.
- Proceedings before the Board are quasi-judicial in nature. Accordingly, parties and their representatives are expected to conduct themselves as they would in a court of law. Parties and their representatives are reminded that the Board has the authority to issue sanctions to maintain order.
- Any hearing may be recessed only upon motion to the Board or by order of the Board.
- Courtroom attire is expected of Board members, attorneys and executive/management level city employees at any hearing. For active, sworn personnel, uniforms are appropriate. Any employee for whom this policy would create inconvenience in his/her work may obtain a dispensation from the Secretary.
- The employees of the Civil Service Department serve as staff to the Board. They schedule and coordinate all aspects of a hearing subject to the provisions of the Personnel Rules. Scheduling will, if possible, take into account the convenience of the parties: Civil Service employees also are prepared to assist parties in any way that they can within the Personnel Rules and these guidelines. If at anytime a party has a complaint about a Civil Service Department employee, it shall be made in writing to the Secretary and the complaint shall be investigated and resolved under the direction of the Secretary or as appropriate by the Board. If there is a complaint about the Secretary, it shall be made in writing to the Civil Service Board Chair. The matter will be investigated and resolved by the Civil Service Board. Civil Service Board employees, including the Secretary, are expected to be courteous and helpful in dealing with the parties and parties and their representatives are likewise expected to treat the Secretary and Civil Service Department employees courteously at all times.
- Nothing herein shall limit the applicability of any code of conduct or code of professional responsibility to which a party or the representative of a party is subject.
- As soon as practicable, the Secretary shall provide a copy of these guidelines to every party, representative of a party and witness in any Proceeding.
- These guidelines shall become effective on May 1, 2001.