For all docketed proceedings, initiating documents and fees are received and collected according to statutory requirements. Any legal or procedural issues are addressed at this point.
A non-hearing file is a proceeding that is non-contested because it is filed under a section of Minnesota Statutes Chapter 414 that does not require a hearing, or where a hearing is not necessary due to a waiver of a right to object or a joint filing, as provided for by law.
The Chief Administrative Law Judge reviews non-hearing proceedings for decision on a monthly basis or as needed. Expedited review is available when requested for good cause.
Hearing proceedings include proposed boundary adjustments filed under any section of Chapter 414 that requires a hearing or where a hearing is triggered by the receipt of a timely objection as provided for by law.
The statute requires a hearing to be held within 30 to 60 days after receipt of initiating documents or a timely objection. A decision on the matter must be made one year from the date of the first hearing pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 414.09 Subd. 1(a). The decision deadline may be extended for a specific period of time with the written consent of all parties of record pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 414.07 Subd. 1. Legal notice must be published for two consecutive weeks prior to the hearing pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 414.09 Subd. 1(d).
Prior to the first hearing, the Chief Administrative Law Judge reviews the file and considers whether to send the matter to hearing or invoke either:
If parties disagree as to their preference of mediation, an administrative law judge from the Office of Administrative Hearings will be assigned as the mediator. Parties are responsible for the costs of mediation pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 414.12 Subd. 3.
Or, alternatively, parties notify the Municipal Boundary Adjustment Unit in writing of their intent to invoke mediation and binding arbitration within 30 days of filing an initiating document or a timely objection pursuant to Minn. Stat. §§ 572A.015 and 572A.02. Although this option has been available since May 1997, no parties have elected to use it.
Under Chapter 414, a hearing file may be sent directly to hearing at any time. If local meetings or mediation is required, the hearing record is opened as scheduled and continued to an indefinite date to allow time for those alternative dispute resolution processes to occur. If the parties do not resolve their dispute, the hearing is reconvened on the evidence at some future date.
Parties are responsible for all costs of arbitration or hearing pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 414.12, Subd. 3.
Pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 414.07, any person aggrieved by any order issued under Chapter 414 can challenge the authority and actions of the decision-maker as well as the underlying facts of the decision.