115B.35 Determination of claims.
Subdivision 1. Assignment of claims. The chair of the board shall assign each claim that has been accepted for filing to one member of the board, except that no claims shall be assigned to either of the two members appointed to the board as members of the general public.
Subd. 2. Treatment of protected information. In making a preliminary or final decision under this section, the board shall examine protected information outside of the presence of the claimant, the claimant's attorney, or any other person except staff to the board. The board, the board's staff, and any other person who obtains access to protected information under this section may not reveal protected information to any person except as provided in this section.
Subd. 3. Evidence admissible in claim proceedings. In the determination of a claim, the board may admit and give probative effect to evidence that possesses probative value commonly accepted by reasonable and prudent persons in the conduct of their affairs. The board shall give effect to the rules of privilege recognized by law. The board may exclude incompetent, irrelevant, immaterial, and repetitious evidence.
Subd. 4. Preliminary decision. The board member to whom the claim is assigned shall review all materials filed in support of the claim and may cause an investigation to be conducted into the validity of the claim. The board member may make a preliminary decision on the basis of the papers filed in support of the claim and the report of any investigation of it. The decision must be in writing and include the reasons for the decision, subject to the limitations on disclosure of protected information.
Subd. 5. Circulation of preliminary decision. Copies of the preliminary decision made under subdivision 4 must be circulated to the other board members as soon as practicable. On receipt of the preliminary decision, the members have 20 days to challenge it by written notice to the members who made the decision. If no other member challenges the preliminary decision, a copy must be sent to the claimant who may challenge the decision by written notice to the board within 30 days of receipt of the decision. If the board member relies on protected information to deny a claim, the preliminary decision must include a statement to this effect. If no notice is received within the required time, the preliminary decision becomes a final decision of the board.
Subd. 6. Challenges. If a board member or a claimant challenges a preliminary decision made pursuant to subdivision 4, the full board shall order the claimant to appear before the board. The appearance is not a contested case hearing under chapter 14. The claimant may produce further evidence to support the claim, including books, studies, reports, and any other written material and oral testimony of witnesses, including experts. The board members may ask questions of the claimant and any witnesses presented by the claimant. After the appearance, the board shall make a final decision on the claim as soon as practicable. The decision must be in writing and include the reasons for the decision, subject to the limits on disclosure of protected information. A copy of each final decision must be sent to the claimant, including, for a claim that is granted, an explanation of the form in which the claim will be paid. If the final decision of the board relies on protected information to deny a claim, the decision shall include a statement to this effect. At the claimant's request, the board shall disclose to the claimant that portion of the protected information relied on by the board and shall provide the claimant with an opportunity to provide additional information relevant to the element of the standard that has not been demonstrated. The board shall make a final decision based on all available information.
Subd. 7. Record. Any appearance by a claimant or witnesses must be tape recorded but a formal record pursuant to chapter 14 is not required.
Subd. 8. Appeal. A final decision of the board made under this section is conclusive on all matters decided. There is no right to judicial review of a final decision of the board.
Subd. 9. Remedies and penalties. A board member, board staff person, or other person who reveals protected information in violation of this section is subject to the civil remedies contained in section 13.08 and the penalties in section 13.09.
HIST: 1Sp1985 c 8 s 14; 1986 c 444
Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes