The Kansas Administrative Procedure Act (“Act”) is found in Chapter 77, Article 5 (K.S.A. § 77-501 – K.S.A. § 77-541) of the Kansas Annotated Statutes. This Act creates procedural rights and imposes procedural duties. Any person can waive the rights conferred by this Act if it is not precluded by other provisions of law. If there is consent from the parties and the agencies, the Act will not prevent the parties from settling the matter through alternate dispute resolution.
According to K.S.A. § 77-508, hearing is not required in certain circumstances such as to issue or not to issue a complaint, summons or similar accusation and to initiate or not to initiate investigation, prosecution or other proceeding before the state agency, another agency or the court. If the time limits for processing an application for hearing are inconsistent with another statute then the state agency can fix the time limit for processing application for hearing.
K.S.A. § 77-512 provides that, a state agency cannot revoke, suspend, modify or annul a license without giving proper notice and opportunity for hearing. But the state agency can take immediate action to protect public interest.
According to K.S.A. § 77-514, the agency head or one or more members of the agency or a presiding officer assigned by the office of administrative hearings, will serve as presiding officer for all proceedings under this Act. If the office of administrative hearings cannot provide a presiding officer then the state agency will enter into agreements with another state agency to provide presiding officer for the proceedings under the Act. The presiding officer for hearing must give ten days written notice to all persons and parties who have filed written petitions to participate in the matter. The presiding officer at all appropriate stages of proceedings must give all the parties full opportunity to file pleadings, objections, motions, briefs, proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law and proposed initial or final orders.
K.S.A. § 77-521 provides that, a presiding officer will grant a petition for intervention if the petitioner’s legal rights, privileges and immunities are substantially affected by the proceedings, s/he is qualified as an intervener under any other provisions of law or if the presiding officer determines that the interest of justice and the orderly conduct will not be impaired by the intervention.
According to K.S.A. § 77-526, if the presiding officer is the agency head s/he will issue a final order. If presiding officer is not the agency head then s/he will issue an initial order which will become a final order if it is not reviewed by the agency head. A party may submit to the presiding officer or agency head can file a petition to stay the effectiveness of that initial order and final order.
K.S.A. § 77-529 provides that, any party within 15 days of the service of the final order can file a petition for reconsideration stating the specific ground on which relief is requested. Within 20 days after the receipt of the petition for reconsideration, the agency will issue a written order denying the petition, granting the petition modifying the final order or granting the petition setting the matter for further proceedings.
The Act also provides for conference hearing where there is a matter in which there is a disputed issue of material fact and the parties agree to a conference hearing.
According to K.S.A. § 77-536, a state agency can initiate emergency proceedings if there is imminent danger to public health, safety and welfare and immediate state action is required. State agency is permitted only to use that action which is necessary to prevent immediate danger to public health, safety and welfare that justifies use of emergency adjudication.
According to K.S.A. § 77-537, a state agency can use summary proceedings on a party’s request for a hearing on the order if the use of summary proceedings does not violate any other provisions of law. Summary proceedings cannot be permitted if the protection of public interest requires the state agency to give notice and opportunity to persons other than parties to participate in the proceedings.