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Chapter 17 C     Entire Code


ARTICLE 1. WORDS AND PHRASES DEFINED.

ARTICLE 2. OBEDIENCE TO AND EFFECT OF TRAFFIC LAWS.

ARTICLE 3. TRAFFIC SIGNS, SIGNALS AND MARKINGS.

ARTICLE 4. ACCIDENTS.

ARTICLE 5. SERIOUS TRAFFIC OFFENSES.

ARTICLE 5A. ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES FOR SUSPENSION AND REVOCATION OF LICENSES FOR DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL, CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES OR DRUGS.

ARTICLE 5B. POSTMORTEM TESTS FOR ALCOHOL IN PERSONS KILLED IN MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS.

ARTICLE 5D. OPEN CONTAINER LAWS.

ARTICLE 6. SPEED RESTRICTIONS.

ARTICLE 7. DRIVING ON RIGHT SIDE OF ROADWAY, OVERTAKING AND PASSING, ETC.

ARTICLE 8. TURNING AND STARTING AND SIGNALS ON STOPPING AND TURNING.

ARTICLE 9. RIGHT-OF-WAY.

ARTICLE 10. PEDESTRIANS\' RIGHTS AND DUTIES.

ARTICLE 10A. OPERATION OF ELECTRIC PERSONAL ASSISTIVE MOBILITY DEVICES.

ARTICLE 11. OPERATION OF BICYCLES AND PLAY VEHICLES.

ARTICLE 11A. CHILD BICYCLE SAFETY ACT.

ARTICLE 12. SPECIAL STOPS REQUIRED.

ARTICLE 13. STOPPING, STANDING AND PARKING.

ARTICLE 13A. DIESEL-POWERED MOTOR VEHICLE IDLING ACT.

ARTICLE 14. MISCELLANEOUS RULES.

ARTICLE 15. EQUIPMENT.

ARTICLE 16. INSPECTION OF VEHICLES.

ARTICLE 17. SIZE, WEIGHT AND LOAD.

ARTICLE 17A. REGULATION OF THE COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION OF COAL.

ARTICLE 17B. TRANSFER OF CERTAIN JURISDICTION AND EMPLOYEES TO PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION.

ARTICLE 18. PENALTIES.

ARTICLE 19. PARTIES, PROCEDURE UPON ARREST AND REPORTS IN CRIMINAL CASES.

ARTICLE 20. WEST VIRGINIA TURNPIKE COMMISSION.

ARTICLE 21. EFFECT OF CHAPTER.

ARTICLE 22. RIDESHARING.

ARTICLE 23. FUNERAL PROCESSIONS.

ARTICLE 5C. OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS.

§17C-5C-1. Office created; appointment of Chief Hearing Examiner.

(a) The Office of Administrative Hearings is created as a separate operating agency within the Department of Transportation.

(b) The Governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, shall appoint a director of the office who shall serve as the administrative head of the office and as chief hearing examiner.

(c) Prior to appointment, the Chief Hearing Examiner shall be a citizen of the United States and a resident of this state who is admitted to the practice of law in this state.

(d) The salary of the Chief Hearing Examiner shall be set by the Secretary of the Department of Transportation. The salary shall be within the salary range for comparable administrators as determined by the State Personnel Board created by section six, article six, chapter twenty-nine of this code.

(e) The Chief Hearing Examiner during his or her term shall:

(1) Devote his or her full time to the duties of the position;

(2) Not otherwise engage in the active practice of law or be associated with any group or entity which is itself engaged in the active practice of law: Provided, That nothing in this paragraph may be construed to prohibit the Chief Hearing Examiner from being a member of a national, state or local bar association or committee, or of any other similar group or organization, or to prohibit the Chief Hearing Examiner from engaging in the practice of law by representing himself, herself or his or her immediate family in their personal affairs in matters not subject to this article.

(3) Not engage directly or indirectly in any activity, occupation or business interfering or inconsistent with his or her duties as Chief Hearing Examiner;

(4) Not hold any other appointed public office or any elected public office or any other position of public trust; and

(5) Not be a candidate for any elected public office, or serve on or under any committee of any political party.

(f) The Governor may remove the Chief Hearing Examiner only for incompetence, neglect of duty, official misconduct or violation of subsection (e) of this section, and removal shall be in the same manner as that specified for removal of elected state officials in section six, article six, chapter six of this code.

(g) The term of the Chief Hearing Examiner shall be six years. A person holding the position of Chief Hearing Examiner may be reappointed to that position subject to the provisions of subsection (b).

§17C-5C-1a. Termination of Office of Administrative Hearings; transfer of jurisdiction.

(a) The Office of Administrative Hearings shall retain jurisdiction over appeals described in §17C-5C-3(3) of this code arising from offenses occurring on or before June 30, 2020. The Office of Administrative Hearings has no jurisdiction over appeals described in said subdivision arising from offenses occurring on or after July 1, 2020.

(b) Beginning on July 1, 2020, jurisdiction over appeals described in §17C-5C-3 of this code, except for those described in §17C-5C-3(3) of this code, shall be transferred to the circuit court for the circuit in which the event giving rise to the contested decision of the Commissioner of the Division of Motor Vehicles occurred.

(c) The Office of Administrative Hearings shall, in an orderly and efficient manner, dispose of all matters pending before it, subject to the following:

(1) If any appeal of a revocation or suspension order, described in §17C-5C-3(3) of this code, is pending before the office on or after July 1, 2021, the underlying revocation or suspension order shall be dismissed.

(2) If any appeal described in §17C-5C-3 of this code, except for an appeal described in §17C-5C-3(3) of this code, is pending before the Office of Administrative Hearings on or after July 1, 2021, the appeal shall be transferred to the circuit court described in subsection (b) of this section. For any appeal transferred pursuant to this subdivision, the circuit court shall adopt any existing records of evidence and proceedings in the Office of Administrative Hearings, conduct further proceedings as it considers necessary, and issue a final decision or otherwise dispose of the case pursuant to the provisions governing the judicial review of contested administrative cases in §29A-5-1 et seq. of this code.

(d) Upon resolution of all matters pending before the Office of Administrative Hearings or on July 1, 2021, whichever occurs earlier, the Office of Administrative Hearings shall be terminated.

(e) The Secretary of the Department of Transportation may establish interim policies and procedures to aid in the orderly and efficient process during the disposition of remaining cases before the Office of Administrative Hearings during the phase-out period until termination.

§17C-5C-2. Organization of office.

(a) The Chief Hearing Examiner is the chief administrator of the Office of Administrative Hearings and he or she may employ hearing examiners and other clerical personnel necessary for the proper administration of this article.

(1) The Chief Hearing Examiner may delegate administrative duties to other employees, but the Chief Hearing Examiner shall be responsible for all official delegated acts.

(2) All employees of the Office of Administrative Hearings, except the Chief Hearing Examiner, shall be in the classified service and shall be governed by the provisions of the statutes, rules and policies of the classified service in accordance with the provisions of article six, chapter twenty-nine of this code.

(3) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, those persons serving as hearing examiners within the Division of Motor Vehicles on the effective date of this article as enacted during the Regular Session of the 2010 Legislature, shall be eligible and given first preference in hiring as hearing examiners pursuant to this article.

(b) The Chief Hearing Examiner shall:

(1) Direct and supervise the work of the office staff;

(2) Make hearing assignments;

(3) Maintain the records of the office;

(4) Review and approve decisions of hearing examiners as to legal accuracy, clarity and other requirements;

(5) Submit to the Legislature, on or before the fifteenth day of February, an annual report summarizing the office's activities since the end of the last report period, including a statement of the number and type of matters handled by the office during the preceding fiscal year and the number of matters pending at the end of the year; and

(6) Perform the other duties necessary and proper to carry out the purposes of this article.

(c) The administrative expenses of the office shall be included within the annual budget of the Department of Transportation.

§17C-5C-3. Jurisdiction of Office of Administrative Hearings.

The Office of Administrative Hearings jurisdiction to hear and determine all:

(1) Appeals from an order of the Commissioner of the Division of Motor Vehicles suspending a license pursuant to section eight, article two-b, chapter seventeen-b of this code;

(2) Appeals from decisions or orders of the Commissioner of the Division of Motor Vehicles suspending or revoking a license pursuant to sections three-c, six and twelve, article three, chapter seventeen-b of this code;

(3) Appeals from orders of the Commissioner of the Division of Motor Vehicles pursuant to section two, article five-a of this chapter, revoking or suspending a license under the provisions of section one of this article or section seven, article five of chapter;

(4) Appeals from decisions or orders of the Commissioner of the Division of Motor Vehicles denying, suspending, revoking, refusing to renew any license or imposing any civil money penalty for violating the provisions of any licensing law contained in chapters seventeen-b and seventeen-c that are administered by the Commissioner of the Division of Motor Vehicles; and

(5) Other matters which may be conferred on the office by statute or legislatively approved rules.

§17C-5C-4. Hearing procedures.

(a) A hearing before the office shall be heard de novo and conducted pursuant to the provisions of the contested case procedure set forth in article five, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to the extent not inconsistent with the provisions of chapters seventeen-b and seventeen-c of this code. In case of conflict, the provisions of chapters seventeen-b and seventeen-c of this code shall govern.

(b) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, the Commissioner of the Division of Motor Vehicles may be represented at hearings conducted by the Office and evidence submitted by the Commissioner may be considered in such hearings with or without such representation.

(c) The West Virginia Rules of Evidence governing proceedings in the courts of this state shall be given like effect in hearings held before a hearing examiner. All testimony shall be given under oath.

(d) Except as otherwise provided by this code or legislative rules, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles has the burden of proof.

(e) The hearing examiner may request proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law from the parties prior to the issuance by the office of the decision in the matter.

(f) Hearings shall be exempt from the requirements of article one, chapter twenty-nine-b of this code.

§17C-5C-4a. Rule-making authority.

The Office of Administrative Hearings may propose legislative and procedural rules in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code in order to implement the provisions of this article and to carry out the duties prescribed therein.

§17C-5C-4b. Duty to provide notice of change of address.

Any person who has any pending contested matter before the Office of Administrative Hearings is required to provide written notice of a change in address by written notice at least ten days prior to any scheduled hearing in which they are a party. If the person's final hearing is held prior to the person's change in address, then the person is required to provide the written notice prior to the issuance of the final order in their case. Written notice must be provided by certified mail, return receipt requested, facsimile, or by electronic mail, to the Office of Administrative Hearings.

§17C-5C-5. Transition from Division of Motor Vehicles to the Office of Administrative Hearings.

(a) In order to implement an orderly and efficient transition of the administrative hearing process from the Division of Motor Vehicles to the Office of Administrative Hearings, the Secretary of the Department of Transportation may establish interim policies and procedures for the transfer of administrative hearings for appeals from decisions or orders of the Commissioner of the Division of Motor Vehicles denying, suspending, revoking, refusing to renew any license or imposing any civil money penalty for violating the provisions of any licensing law contained in chapters seventeen-a, seventeen-b, seventeen-c, seventeen-d and seventeen-e of this code, currently administered by the Commissioner of the Division of Motor Vehicles, no later than October 1, 2010.

(b) On the effective date of this article, all equipment and records necessary to effectuate the purposes of this article shall be transferred from the Division of Motor Vehicle to the Office of Administrative Hearings: Provided, That in order to provide for a smooth transition, the Secretary of Transportation may establish interim policies and procedures, determine how the equipment and records are to be transferred and provide that the transfers provided for in this subsection take effect no later than October 1, 2010.

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