BILL NUMBER: AB 2537 AMENDED BILL TEXT AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY APRIL 6, 2010 INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Silva FEBRUARY 19, 2010 An act to amend Section 11425.40 of the Government Code, relating to state agencies. LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST AB 2537, as amended, Silva. State agencies: adjudications: presiding officers. Existing law, the Administrative Procedure Act, provides for the conduct of administrative adjudication proceedings of state agencies. Existing law provides for the disqualification of a presiding officer for bias, prejudice, or interest in the proceeding. Existing law authorizes an agency that conducts an adjudicative proceeding to provide by regulation for peremptory challenge of the presiding officer. This bill would require that
an agency that conductscertain agencies that conduct an adjudicative proceeding provide by regulation for peremptory challenge of the presiding officer in cases where the presiding officer is an administrative law judge , and authorize those agencies to provide by regulation for peremptory challenge of a presiding officer who is not an administrative law judge . Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no. THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: SECTION 1. Section 11425.40 of the Government Code is amended to read: 11425.40. (a) The presiding officer is subject to disqualification for bias, prejudice, or interest in the proceeding. (b) It is not alone or in itself grounds for disqualification, without further evidence of bias, prejudice, or interest, that the presiding officer: (1) Is or is not a member of a racial, ethnic, religious, sexual, or similar group and the proceeding involves the rights of that group. (2) Has experience, technical competence, or specialized knowledge of, or has in any capacity expressed a view on, a legal, factual, or policy issue presented in the proceeding. (3) Has as a lawyer or public official participated in the drafting of laws or regulations or in the effort to pass or defeat laws or regulations, the meaning, effect, or application of which is in issue in the proceeding. (c) The provisions of this section governing disqualification of the presiding officer also govern disqualification of the agency head or other person or body to which the power to hear or decide in the proceeding is delegated. (d) An agency that conducts an adjudicative proceeding shall provide by regulation for peremptory challenge of a presiding officer who is an administrative law judge. An agency that conducts an adjudicative proceeding may also provide by regulation for peremptory challenge of a presiding officer who is not an administrative law judge. (e) Subdivision (d) shall not apply to an agency that has five or fewer administrative law judges and has an existing system of internal appellate review for requests for disqualification of an administrative law judge in which the disqualification determination is made by the agency.