A. Parties to Hearing. The parties to a hearing provided pursuant to this chapter shall be the town and the licensee (and/or legal counsel for the two parties).
B. Date for Hearing. Hearings shall be scheduled to occur no less than 14 but not more than 60 days after the date the notice of denial or revocation is delivered in accordance with SPMC 5.05.150; provided, that additional hearings may be held after 60 days as determined by the hearing examiner. The hearing examiner shall have discretion to grant continuances and reschedule hearings in the interest of the parties and justice.
C. Prehearing Conferences. The hearing examiner may, in the examiner’s discretion, or at the request of either party, hold a prehearing conference to schedule additional hearings, order discovery, and make other appropriate pretrial determinations. A prehearing conference may be held by telephone.
D. Hearing Process. The parties to the hearing, or legal counsel for the parties, may call witnesses and present evidence and rebuttal evidence subject to the following:
1. The town shall have the burden of proving, by a preponderance of the evidence, that there are sufficient grounds for the denial or revocation of the license pursuant to SPMC 5.05.130. Violations subject to civil infraction or criminal penalties shall be enforced in Pierce County Municipal Court. (See SPMC 5.05.190.)
2. The parties shall be responsible for securing the appearance of any witnesses they may call. Neither the town nor the hearing examiner shall have the burden of securing any witnesses on behalf of the licensee.
3. Formal rules of evidence shall not apply. The hearing examiner may allow hearsay evidence and may permit the admission of evidence without proof of the chain of custody of evidence. Notes, reports, summaries, notices, photographs, or other materials prepared by the parties may be admitted into evidence if requested, without satisfaction of formal rules of evidence. Notwithstanding the admission of evidence, the hearing examiner shall determine the proper weight to be assigned to any evidence admitted.
E. Default Judgment. If the licensee fails to appear on the hearing date specified in the notice, or at any other hearing set by the hearing examiner, the right to a hearing shall be forfeit, and default judgment shall be entered, and the license shall be denied or revoked.