REFERENCE TITLE: administrative decisions; scope of review
State of Arizona
First Regular Session
Senators Petersen: Burges, Fann, Farnsworth D, Smith, Worsley; Representatives Farnsworth E, Finchem, Grantham, Kern, Mitchell
amending section 12‑910, Arizona Revised Statutes; relating to judicial review of administrative decisions.
(TEXT OF BILL BEGINS ON NEXT PAGE)
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:
Section 1. Section 12-910, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:
12-910. Scope of review
A. An action to review a final administrative decision shall be heard and determined with convenient speed. If requested by a party to an action within thirty days after filing a notice of appeal, the court shall hold an evidentiary hearing, including testimony and argument, to the extent necessary to make the determination required by subsection E of this section. The court may hear testimony from witnesses who testified at the administrative hearing and witnesses who were not called to testify at the administrative hearing.
B. Relevant and admissible exhibits and testimony that were not offered during the administrative hearing shall be admitted, and objections that a party failed to make to evidence offered at the administrative hearing shall be considered, unless either of the following is true:
1. The exhibit, testimony or objection was withheld for purposes of delay, harassment or other improper purpose.
2. Allowing admission of the exhibit or testimony or consideration of the objection would cause substantial prejudice to another party.
C. For review of final administrative decisions of agencies that are exempt from sections 41‑1092.03 through 41‑1092.11, pursuant to section 41‑1092.02, the trial shall be de novo if trial de novo is demanded in the notice of appeal or motion of an appellee other than the agency and if a hearing was not held by the agency or the proceedings before the agency were not stenographically reported or mechanically recorded so that a transcript might be made. On demand of any party, if a trial de novo is available under this section, it may be with a jury, except that a trial of an administrative decision under section 25‑522 shall be to the court.
D. The record in the superior court shall consist of the record of the administrative proceeding, and the record of any evidentiary hearing, or the record of the trial de novo.
E. The court may affirm, reverse, modify or vacate and remand the agency action. The court shall affirm the agency action unless after reviewing the administrative record and supplementing evidence presented at the evidentiary hearing the court concludes that the action is not supported by substantial evidence, is contrary to law, is arbitrary and capricious or is an abuse of discretion decide all questions of fact and law, including the interpretation of a constitutional or statutory provision or a rule adopted by an agency, without regard to any previous determination that may have been made on the question in an administrative hearing. Notwithstanding any other law, this subsection applies in any action for judicial review of an agency action that is authorized by law.