Evidence includes testimony of witnesses and documents that support your case. Witnesses are people (including you) and documents are papers. At least 5 calendar days before the hearing, you and the regional center must exchange lists of witnesses and copies of the documents you want to use in the hearing.§ 4712(d). That means both you and the regional center should have each other’s documents and witness list 5 days before the hearing. The witness list must shortly describe what each witness will testify about. The judge may not let you present witnesses and documents if you do not tell the regional center about them 5 days before the hearing.
To have a witness who will not agree to testify, you must subpoena them. A subpoena is a legal order forcing them to attend the fair hearing to testify. Subpoena witnesses and ask them to testify as soon as you get a hearing date so people will be available. Hearing forms, including the subpoena form are here: https://www.dgs.ca.gov/OAH/Case-Types/General-Jurisdiction/Forms/Page-Content/DDS-Forms
IMPORTANT: ON MARCH 1, 2023, THE EXCHANGE OF WITNESSES AND DOCUMENTS WILL CHANGE.
The regional center must give you and OAH a written position statement two business days before the hearing. It will be sent by email unless you want to receive it some other way.
- The position statement must be in your and your authorized representative’s preferred language.
- The position statement must give facts about the regional center’s decision and the reasons for the decision.
- It must say who will be the regional center’s witnesses. It must have all the documents the regional center will use at the hearing.
You do not have to provide a position statement unless an attorney represents you. However, you must give the regional center and Hearing Office some information two business days before the hearing. The information you must share is:
- A list of people you want to testify at the hearing. You must say how these people are related to you. For example, is the person a family member, or a therapist, or a doctor.
- Copies of any professional assessments or reports you will use at the hearing. For example, a report from a doctor or therapist.
- If you plan to use other documents at the hearing, you can provide copies of those documents before or during the hearing.