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 the appealing party has the right to review any information used by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) 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 appealing party file but does not include the Child Welfare Services records and any report to the district attorney unless ordered released by the administrative hearing officer (AHO).The order is based on a request by the appealing party 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 are removed prior to submitting the information to the AHO.
(C) When a request for file access is made, the local office makes arrangements for the appealing party to review the case file with as much privacy as possible.A supervisory staff member observes the review of the case file to ensure contents of the case file are not removed from the record.
(D) The appealing party is free to make written notes from the record or obtain copies of available documents.An appealing party 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 DHS Legal Services Appeals Unit who is designated by the Appeals Unit supervisor to conduct an administrative hearing and issue a decision; or
(B) a lawyer who has a contract with DHS to preside over administrative hearings and issue decisions.
"Appealing party" means an applicant, licensee, potential registrant, and the authorized representative.
"Appeals Unit" means the unit established within DHS Legal Services, that is responsible for conducting administrative hearings.
"Appeals Unit supervisor" means the person designated by the DHS 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(B) the holder of a license to operate a child care facility that was revoked.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, DHS verifies the authority of the person to represent the appealing party through verbal or written authorization of the appealing party.
"Child Care Services (CCS)" means any office in any division or unit within CCS that is responsible for the act, or failure to act, which is the subject of the hearing request.
"Clear and convincing evidence" means the degree of proof that produced in the AHO a firm belief as to the truth of the allegation sought to be established.
"DHS" means the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.
"Hearing" means the process by which evidence is obtained and a decision is made regarding the DHS action protested.
"Hearings on licensing actions related to child care facilities and child-placing agencies" means:
(A) the process to review a DHS 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 appealing party of the desire to contest an action by DHS 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 admitted as evidence at the hearing;
(B) an electronic recording of the hearing, or a transcription of the hearing; and
(C) the hearing decision.
"Registrant" means an individual recorded on the Child Care Restricted Registry.