49:960        Ex parte consultations and recusations

A. Unless required for the disposition of ex parte matters authorized by law, members or employees of an agency assigned to render a decision or to make findings of fact and conclusions of law in a case of adjudication noticed and docketed for hearing shall not communicate, directly or indirectly, in connection with any issue of fact or law, with any party or his representative, or with any officer, employee, or agent engaged in the performance of investigative, prosecuting, or advocating functions, except upon notice and opportunity for all parties to participate.

B. A subordinate deciding officer or agency member shall withdraw from any adjudicative proceeding in which he cannot accord a fair and impartial hearing or consideration.  Any party may request the disqualification of a subordinate deciding officer or agency member, on the ground of his inability to give a fair and impartial hearing, by filing an affidavit, promptly upon discovery of the alleged disqualification, stating with particularity the grounds upon which it is claimed that a fair and impartial hearing cannot be accorded.  The issue shall be determined promptly by the agency, or, if it affects a member or members of the agency, by the remaining members thereof, if a quorum.  Upon the entry of an order of disqualification affecting a subordinate deciding officer, the agency shall assign another in his stead or shall conduct the hearing itself.  Upon the disqualification of a member of an agency, the governor immediately shall appoint a member pro tem to sit in place of the disqualified member in that proceeding.  In further action, after the disqualification of a member of an agency, the provisions of R.S. 49:957 shall apply.


Added by Acts 1966, No. 382, ยง 10, eff. July 1, 1967.