An Act To Amend the Laws Governing the Deference Afforded to Agency Decisions
Sec. 1. 5 MRSA §8058, sub-§1, as amended by PL 1985, c. 680, §6, is further amended to read:
Sec. 2. 5 MRSA §9061, first ¶, as enacted by PL 1977, c. 551, §3, is amended to read:
Every agency decision made at the conclusion of an adjudicatory proceeding shall must be in writing or stated in the record , and shall must include findings of fact sufficient to apprise the parties and any interested member of the public of the basis for the decision. A copy of the decision shall must be delivered or promptly mailed to each party to the proceeding or his each party's representative of record. Written notice of the party's rights to review or appeal of the decision within the agency or review of the decision by the courts, as the case may be, and of the action required and the time within which such action must be taken in order to exercise the right of review or appeal, shall must be given to each party with the decision. In any review or appeal of a decision to a court of this State, the court, while considering the underlying decision appealed, shall review de novo the agency's interpretation of statutes or rules. The court shall defer to the agency's findings of fact unless the court finds, based on the entire record, that an agency's findings of fact are unsupported by substantial evidence.
Sec. 3. 5 MRSA §11007, sub-§3, as enacted by PL 1977, c. 551, §3, is amended to read:
This bill requires a court, in an appeal of an agency’s interpretation of the statutes in making or administering rules under the Maine Administrative Procedure Act, to conduct a de novo review. The bill also clarifies that, on questions of fact, the court is required to defer to the agency unless the court finds that the agency’s findings of fact are unsupported by substantial evidence.