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176.305 Petitions filed with Workers' Compensation Division

Subdivision 1. Hearings on petitions. The petitioner shall serve a copy of the petition on each adverse party personally or by first class mail. A clear copy suitable for imaging shall be filed with the commissioner together with an appropriate affidavit of service. When any petition has been filed with the Workers' Compensation Division, the commissioner shall, within ten days, refer the matter presented by the petition for a settlement conference under this section, for an administrative conference under section 176.106, or for hearing to the office.

Subd. 1a. Settlement and pretrial conferences; summary decision. The commissioner shall schedule a settlement conference, if appropriate, within 60 days after receiving the petition. All parties must appear at the conference, either personally or by representative, must be prepared to discuss settlement of all issues, and must be prepared to discuss or present the information required by the joint rules of the division and the office. If a representative appears on behalf of a party, the representative must have authority to fully settle the matter.

If settlement is not reached, the presiding officer may require the parties to present copies of all documentary evidence not previously filed and a summary of the evidence they will present at a formal hearing. If appropriate, a written summary decision shall be issued within ten days after the conference stating the issues and a determination of each issue. If a party fails to appear at the conference, all issues may be determined contrary to the absent party's interest, provided the party in attendance presents a prima facie case.

The summary decision is final unless a written request for a formal hearing is served on all parties and filed with the commissioner within 30 days after the date of service and filing of the summary decision. Within ten days after receipt of the request, the commissioner shall certify the matter to the office for a de novo hearing. In proceedings under section 176.2615, the summary decision is final and not subject to appeal or de novo proceedings.

Subd. 2. Copy of petition. The commissioner shall deliver the petition and answer, after certification for a hearing, to the Office of Administrative Hearings for assignment to a compensation judge.

Subd. 3. Testimony. Where the chief administrative law judge has substituted a compensation judge originally assigned to hear a matter, the testimony taken before the substitute compensation judge shall be considered as though taken before the judge before whom it was originally assigned.

Subd. 4. Striking from calendar. A compensation judge or the commissioner, after receiving a properly served motion, may strike a case from the active trial calendar after the employee has been given 30 days to correct the deficiency if it is shown that the information on the petition or included with the petition is incomplete. Once a case is stricken, it may not be reinstated until the missing information is provided to the adverse parties and filed with the commissioner or compensation judge. If a case has been stricken from the calendar for one year or more and no corrective action has been taken, the commissioner or a compensation judge may, upon the commissioner's or judge's own motion or a motion of a party which is properly served on all parties, dismiss the case. The petitioner must be given at least 30 days' advance notice of the proposed dismissal before the dismissal is effective.

History:  1953 c 755 s 47; 1969 c 9 s 45; 1969 c 276 s 2; 1973 c 388 s 93-95; 1975 c 271 s 6; 1975 c 359 s 23; 1976 c 134 s 78; 1981 c 346 s 106; 1984 c 640 s 32; 1987 c 332 s 71-74; 1995 c 231 art 2 s 98; 1998 c 294 s 4, 5

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