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Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia
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Chapter 672-1 RULES OF GENERAL APPLICABILITY

Rule 672-1-.01 Organization

(1) The divisions within the Department of Transportation shall be those deemed by the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation to be necessary and proper for the efficient operation of the Department.
(2) The mailing address and location of the State Department of Transportation is the State Highway Building, No. 2 Capitol Square, Atlanta, Georgia 30334.
(3) All legal notices and all notices and correspondence respecting administrative proceedings should be directed to the Department of Transportation.

Rule 672-1-.02 General Definitions

The following definitions shall apply generally to all rules and regulations of the Department of Transportation.

(a) "Board" shall mean the State Transportation Board of the State of Georgia.
(b) "Department" shall mean the Department of Transportation of the State of Georgia.
(c) "Commissioner" shall mean the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation of the State of Georgia.
(d) "Hearing" shall mean a right of the Department and of parties affected by any action of the Department to present, either formally or informally, relevant information, testimony, documents, evidence and argument as to why such action should or should not be taken.
(e) "Hearing Examiner" or "Hearing Officer" or "Reviewing Officer" shall mean an officer or employee of the Department or other person so designated by the Commissioner who shall be employed or appointed by the Department for this purpose as needed and shall be authorized to exercise such powers as are given such persons by statute or rule, except that in contested cases relating to bidder prequalification arising under the provisions of Chapter 672-5, Rules of the State Department of Transportation,"Hearing Examiner" or "Hearing Officer" or "Reviewing Officer" shall mean the Board of Review as defined in Rule 672-5-.02(a), Rules of the State Department of Transportation.
(f) Department or agency review shall mean a Department review of the initial determination of the hearing examiner or hearing officer designated by the Commissioner to conduct the hearing as authorized in Rule 672-1-.05(e), and shall be conducted in the manner prescribed in Rule 672-1-.05(f) and (g).

Rule 672-1-.03 Administrative Declaratory Rulings

(1) Availability of declaratory ruling. Any person whose legal rights will be interfered with or impaired by the application of any statutory provision or any rule or order of the Department may petition the Department and request a declaratory ruling thereon. The Department will not render advisory opinions, resolve questions which have become moot or are abstract or hypothetical, or otherwise act hereunder except with respect to such actual controversies or other cases upon which a superior court would be required to act under the Georgia declaratory judgment statutes as construed by the appellate courts of Georgia.
(2) Form of petition. Each such petition shall be filed with the Department in writing and shall state:
(a) The name and post office address of the petitioner;
(b) The full text of the statute, rule, or order upon which a ruling is requested;
(c) A paragraphed statement of all pertinent and existing facts necessary to a determination of the applicability of the quoted statute or rule;
(d) The petitioner's contention, if any, as to the aforesaid applicability with citations of legal authorities, if any, which authorize, support or require a decision in accordance therewith;
(e) A statement setting forth in detail the petitioner's interest in the matter and why and how the petitioner is uncertain or insecure with respect to his rights. The petition shall be verified under oath by, or in proper behalf of, the petitioner.
(3) Proceedings on petition. If the Department shall determine that a decision can be rendered on the face of the petition without further proceedings, the Department shall render a summary decision thereon. Otherwise, parties shall be notified and the matter shall be heard in an informal hearing.
(4) Informal request for interpretation and rulings. The provisions of this Rule shall not be construed to preclude:
(a) Any person from requesting the Department to interpret or otherwise rule upon the applicability of any pertinent statute or rule informally by personal appearance before the Department, by letter or by telegram to the Department or any officer or member thereof; or
(b) The Department from acting upon any such request as and when it deems appropriate or from issuing any interpretative ruling without petition therefor.
(5) Any request presented in any manner other than in accordance with the provisions of Rules 672-1-.01(2),(3) and 672-1-.03(2) above shall not be deemed to be filed as a Petition for Declaratory Ruling but shall be deemed an informal request for interpretation or ruling and shall be acted on as such.

Rule 672-1-.04 Petition for Adoption of Rules

(1) Form of petition. Each petition for adoption of rules made pursuant to the Georgia Administrative Procedure Act shall be filed with the Department in writing and shall state:
(a) The name and post office address of the petitioner;
(b) The full text of the rule requested to be amended or repealed, or the full text of the rule desired to be promulgated;
(c) A paragraphed statement of the reason such rule should be amended, repealed or promulgated, including a statement of all pertinent existing facts as to petitioner's interest in the matter;
(d) Citations of legal authorities, if any, which authorize, support or require the action requested by petitioner. The petition should be verified under oath, or in proper behalf of, the petitioner.
(2) Proceeding on petition. Upon receipt of the petition, the Commissioner or the Deputy Commissioner, and the Board if the rule involves its policy-making function, shall decide upon the action to be taken. Within thirty (30) days after receipt of the petition, the Department shall inform the petitioner by mail of the decision reached, and shall either decline to take the action requested, stating its reasons for so declining, or shall initiate rule-making or rule-changing proceedings in accordance with the Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.

Rule 672-1-.05 Contested Cases Under the Administrative Procedure Act

The hearing and appeal procedures provided for in the Georgia Administrative Procedure Act shall be followed in cases which are directed by statute to be conducted pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act and in cases where no procedure is specified by law. Contested cases, including appeals to the Commissioner demanding return of monies collected under the provisions of Code Section 32-6-27, O.C.G.A., heard pursuant to the Georgia Administrative Procedure Act shall be conducted in accordance with the procedures provided therein and the following procedures:

(a) Initiating a contested case. Any person who is legally entitled to contest a ruling or order of the Department may do so by filing with the Department a request for hearing which shall contain the following:
1. A title which indicates the nature of the proceedings;
2. The complete name and address of the party filing the request;
3. The name and address of all other interested parties;
4. A clear and concise statement of the facts upon which the contested case arises;
5. A prayer setting forth the relief sought; and
6. If the party filing the request is represented by counsel, the name and address of counsel.
(b) Limitation on right to a hearing.
1. The Department will grant hearings as a matter of right only upon timely receipt of a request therefor as described in (a) above, but may, in its discretion, allow extensions of time and amendment of requests for good cause shown, except where an extension of time for a request for a hearing is not permitted by law.
2. Limitation on right to a hearing in cases involving over weight vehicle enforcement statutes. The Department will grant an agency review as a matter of right only upon a timely receipt of a request as prescribed in Georgia Laws 1974, p. 1422, but may, in its discretion, allow extensions of time and amendments of request for good cause shown except where an extension of time for a request for a hearing is not permitted by law.
(c) Responses to requests for hearing. The Department will respond to all requests for hearings with a notice scheduling a hearing or with an order denying the request for hearing and stating the reasons for a denial.
(d) Motions. Any application to the Department to enter any order or take any action after the filing of a request for hearing shall be by motion which, unless made during a hearing, shall be made in writing, shall state specifically the grounds therefor, and shall set forth the action or order sought. No motion shall be ruled upon except when the case in chief is ruled upon unless the moving party specifically requests a ruling at some other time and the agency deems such ruling appropriate.
(e) Hearings. Hearings in all contested cases shall be conducted before a hearing officer appointed by the Department. Upon conclusion of a hearing, the hearing officer shall prepare an initial decision, a copy of which shall be mailed to the party requesting the hearing. Such a decision on bidder prequalification will be mailed no later than ten (10) days after the hearing.
(f) Practice on agency review. The practice and proceedings for securing agency review of an initial decision of a hearing officer shall be as follows:
1. Requests for agency review shall be submitted in writing to the Department within thirty days from the date of the initial decision. No review shall be held if requested thereafter except where events uncontrollable by the aggrieved party are shown to have prevented a timely request. In this regard, the decision of the agency shall be final.
2. A party desiring agency review may submit to the agency written arguments, briefs and motions within the same limitations as prescribed for a request for an agency hearing. On agency review, both parties shall be allowed to present oral arguments if requested by either party.
3. The agency decision on agency review shall be based solely on the record developed before the hearing officer and such arguments, briefs, and motions as have been submitted in accordance with subsection (f)2. above. No new evidence will be received by the agency in any form.
4. If the party requesting agency review desires that the agency consider matters which are not part of the record, the agency should be requested to remand the matter of the hearing officer for receipt of such additional evidence. Remands for the purpose of receiving additional evidence will be granted only if deemed by the agency to be justified upon a showing that the evidence was not available at the time of the hearing, through no fault of the party requesting the remand, and could not have been made available by the exercise of reasonable diligence.
(g) Conduct of agency review.
1. Agency review shall be conducted by the Commissioner, or either the Deputy Commissioner or the State Highway Engineer upon designation by the Commissioner, in all cases which do not require an exercise of the policy-making functions of the Department. All cases which do require an exercise of the policy-making functions of the Department shall be reviewed by the Board.
2. The Commissioner may, if he determines that conduct of agency review in any case may involve exercise of a policy-making function, refer such case to the Board for agency review.
3. The Agency may dispose of the case in any of the following ways:
(i) Affirm the initial decision of the hearing officer and adopt his findings and conclusions as is deemed appropriate;
(ii) Adopt a new decision based on the record;
(iii) Remand the case to the hearing officer for such further proceedings as the Agency may order; or
(iv) Reverse the hearing officer's decision and enter such order in the case as is deemed appropriate.
(h) Rehearings. Motion to reconsider an agency decision or ruling must be received at Department of Transportation Headquarters within ten (10) days after the decision or ruling is rendered.

Rule 672-1-.06 Special Permit Applicable in Emergency Situations

Upon application, and sufficient cause being shown, the Commissioner may issue an emergency permit, from which he may exclude, as he deems necessary and appropriate, certain conditions otherwise applicable to overweight and overdimensional permits as outlined in Chapters 672-2, 672-3, and 672-4 of these Rules and Regulations. Such emergency permit may be issued only where the anticipated movement for which a permit is necessary is required by a governmental agency or a public utility in an effort to alleviate hardship and suffering in situations where an emergency or disaster exists.

Rule 672-1-.07 Contested Cases that May Arise Under the Georgia Rural Transportation Program

All contested cases arising from a decision made by the Department under the Georgia Rural Transportation Program shall be handled in accordance with the practices and procedures set forth in Rule 672-1-.05, Rules of the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Rule 672-1-.08 Special Permit for Mobile Homes

Upon application, and sufficient cause being shown, the Commissioner may issue a special permit, for mobile homes traveling the public roads of this State, which would allow a mobile home in excess of twelve feet wide up to and including fourteen feet wide to have a total overall combination length of 95 feet, to include a towing vehicle no smaller than a 15 foot mobile home toter.

Rule 672-1-.09 Repealed