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OPTOMETRY LAWS OF OKLAHOMA

SUBCHAPTER 5. RULEMAKING AND DECLARATORY RULINGS PART 1

Title 505: 1-5-1 Opportunity for Hearing
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      Prior to the adoption, amendment, or repeal of any rule, the Board affords any interested person a reasonable opportunity to submit data, views, or arguments, orally or in writing to the Board concerning the proposed action on the rule. Should the proposed action on a rule affect ones substantive rights, the opportunity for an oral hearing will be granted if requested in writing by at least twenty-five (25) members, if no substantive rights are involved, the opportunity for oral argument or views is within the discretion of the Board.

Title 505:1-5-2 Petition for Rulemaking
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      a) Any interested person may petition the Board requesting promulgation, amendment, or repeal of a rule. The petition shall be filed with the Secretary-Treasurer of the Board and shall set forth in writing, clearly and concisely, all matters pertaining to the requested action and the reasons for the request. The request should, also, state whether there is someone, known to the petitioner, who is concerned with the subject and should be notified of the hearing.
      b) The Board at its next regularly scheduled meeting after the completion of notice or at a special meeting specified in the notice will hear the petition and notify the petitioner of the ruling within twenty (20) days after the decision. In either event, a hearing on said petition shall be held within sixty (60) days after received in proper form by the Secretary-Treasurer. For just cause, the Board may postpone the discussion and ruling on the petition until a subsequent meeting and all parties shall be notified of the postponement, if necessary.

Title 505:1-5-3 Notice
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      a) In any rulemaking action, whether initiated by the Board or by petition, at least twenty (20) days notice shall be given and the notice shall state the issues involved, the time and place, and the manner in which interested persons may present their views.
      b) The notice shall be mailed to all interested persons who have made a request of the Board for advance notice of its rulemaking proceedings, or who were specified in the petition for the rules, and shall be published in the Oklahoma Gazette or its successor publication. The twenty (20) days time shall be calculated from the date of mailing of notice or of the publication, whichever is later.
      c) The Board shall set at their discretion the place and time where all hearings are to be conducted.

Title 505:1-5-4 Rulemaking hearing
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      a) A rulemaking hearing before the Board shall be informal, but in an orderly manner. The attendance of witnesses and production of records may be required in accordance with 505:1-7-13 (a).
      b) Minutes shall be kept of the official meetings of the Board. Transcripts of all matters pertaining to rulemaking shall be open for public inspection at the office of the Secretary-Treasurer.

Title 505:1-5-5 Effective Date
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      Each rule adopted shall be effective twenty (20) days after filing, unless a later date is required by statute or specified in the rule, or unless the rule is adopted as an emergency rule.

Title 505:1-5-6 Emergency Rules
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      a) Emergency rules may be adopted by the Board without the prescribed notice and hearing if the Board, stating in writing its reasons, finds that imminent peril to the public health, safety, or welfare requires this shortened procedure. However, the sufficiency of the reasons is subject to judicial review.
      b) Emergency rules become effective immediately upon filing with the State Officials, as required by law, or at any stated date thereafter, less than twenty (20) days. It may continue for not longer than one hundred twenty (120) days, but the Board may adopt an identical rule under the general rulemaking procedures prescribed in Rules 505:1-5-1 through 505:1-5-5.
      c) The Board shall distribute a copy of the emergency rules to those persons who have requested to be notified of the rulemaking activities, and shall take other appropriate measures, where reasonable and practical, to notify other persons who may be affected by the rule.

Title 505:1-5-7 Request for declaratory ruling
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      Any person affected by any rule or order promulgated or issued by the Board or one of its authorized agents may request in writing to the Board an interpretation or ruling regarding the application of such a rule or order to the facts furnished with the request.
      1) Filing and contents of petition. The petition shall be styled similarly to an ex parte petition filed in a court of law in this State, and shall be filed with the Secretary-Treasurer of the Board in triplicate. It shall state fully, clearly and concisely the rule or order involved or affected, and state the facts giving rise to the need for such ruling, giving all pertinent data necessary for consideration.
      2) Consideration of petition by Board; refusal to issue ruling.
            A) The Petition will be considered preliminarily at the next regular meeting of the Board or at a special meeting called to hear the petition, but in either event, a hearing shall be held on said petition within ninety (90) days after received by the Secretary-Treasurer, and the petitioner shall be notified promptly of the date by the Secretary-Treasurer, and shall be entitled to be present in person or represented by counsel. At this meeting the Board shall determine whether or not to issue a ruling or to continue the matter for hearing upon the petition. The Board may refuse to entertain a petition for a declaratory ruling if it determines:
                  i) that the facts stated in the petition do not afford an adequate basis therefore, or
                  ii) that the experience under the rule or order is not adequate to enable it to make an effective or proper ruling, or
                  iii) that the request is premature, or
                  iv) that the request is one that should be handled through rule-making procedure, or that there exist other conditions rendering a declaratory ruling in opportune.
            B) If the Board determines to entertain the petition for the declaratory ruling, it may issue the ruling at its meeting or it may continue the matter to a day certain for further consideration and for hearing of evidence and argument if necessary.
            C) If the applicant is not represented at the preliminary consideration, he shall be notified of the ruling if one is issued, in accordance with the rules respecting notice of orders; or, if the matter is continued, he shall be notified of the continuance in accordance with the rules respecting notice of hearings in individual proceedings. If the applicant is present or is represented at the preliminary consideration, no further notice of the subsequent hearing than announcement in open meeting is necessary; but the applicant shall receive a written copy of any ruling that is issued, as in the case of orders.
      3) Request for formal hearing. A petitioner for a declaratory ruling in his petition or by written motion prior to or at the preliminary consideration may request a formal hearing at which to present evidence in support of his petition, setting forth the substance of the facts to be proved, if they do not appear in his petition. The Board thereupon will set the matters for formal hearing within sixty (60) days from the date of the preliminary consideration, and notice shall be given as prescribed in (2) of this Section.
      4) Joining of other parties affected by rule. If, at any time, it appears from the papers filed or from evidence adduced that the interests of persons other than the petitioner are so affected by the requested ruling that it is improper to entertain the proceedings without hearing them, the Board may refuse to issue a declaratory ruling, or, in its discretion, it may require them to be made parties, and if the matter can be so handled consistently with the public interest and the efficiency of the Board's procedures, then in that event, notice shall be served upon them, as in individual proceedings, and the matter will be governed thereafter by the procedure applicable to individual proceedings.
      5) ISsuance of the ruling. If the Board, conducts a hearing upon a petition for a declaratory ruling, at the conclusion of the hearing it may issue the ruling or it may decline to do so upon any of the grounds specified in (2) and (4) of this Section or upon any other legal grounds.

Title 505:1-7-1 Definitions
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      All words which are defined in 75 O.S. 1981 Sec. 301 are used in accordance with such meanings, or any other appropriate definition.

Title 505:1-7-2 Filing of papers
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      All papers required by this Subchapter are to be filed with the Secretary-Treasurer of the Board.

Title 505:1-7-3 Initiation of petition for individual proceeding
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      An individual proceeding, may be initiated by the Board or by an individual filing a verified petition containing a brief statement, setting forth the relief requested, and the facts alleged to give rise to the right of relief, and naming the persons against whom relief is sought.

Title 505:1-7-4 Notice to parties
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      As soon as possible after the filing of an individual proceeding petition, the Secretary-Treasurer shall notify the persons named therein of the filing and of the date set for hearing. The notice shall contain:
      1) A statement of the time, place and nature of the hearing, and of the relief demanded;
      2) A brief statement, which may be in the words of the petition or in adequate condensation, of the matters asserted as grounds for relief;
      3) A citation of the statutes, rules or other legal foundation for the proceeding and for the Board's jurisdiction, giving specific citation and statement of the provisions basic to the proceedings;
      4) A statement that the persons notified may appear at the hearing and be heard, in person or other counsel, and that they may file such answer or other pleading as they may deem appropriate including a request for more detailed statements of the matters asserted, if this is necessary to define the issues;
      5) A statement that, in the default of appearance, the relief demanded may be granted.

Title 505:1-7-5 Service of notice
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      a) Methods of serving notice. All notices or other papers, service of which is required in individual proceedings shall, be served in one of the following manners;
            1) Personally upon the notice, by any person appointed to make service by the Secretary-Treasurer of the Board, and in any manner authorized by the law of this state for the personal service of summons in proceedings in the state courts; or
            2) By certified mail, mailed by the Secretary-Treasurer of the Board, or by such other person at such post office address as he may have filed with the Board, or if no such address has been filed, at the noticee's last known post office address; or
            3) If no known post office address can be discovered in the exercise of due diligence, by publication in such newspapers and for such time, or by posting in such places for such time, as the Board may direct as most likely to give opportunity for information to notice.
      b) Time notice is completed. Service of notice shall be complete upon personal service, or upon the deposit of certified mail in the post office, or upon the posting of notice, or first publication thereof, as the case may be.
      c) Proof of service. Proof of service of all notices, subpoenas or other documents requiring service may be made by affidavit of the party making service, specifying dates and manner of service. Such proof shall be prima facie evidence of the fact of service as stated, and the burden of proof shall be upon any person or party contesting the same to establish its invalidity.

Title 505:1-7-6 Time of hearing; request for extension
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      The time set for an individual proceeding hearing shall be specified in the notice thereof. If the noticee deems that the date specified gives inadequate time for preparation for the hearing, the noticee may apply in writing for an extension, stating the time desired and the reasons for the request. The application shall be acted upon promptly by the Secretary-Treasurer, and if the extension is denied, the party may renew the request and make proper showing for a continuance at the hearing.

Title 505:1-7-7 Conduct of Hearing
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      a) Hearing Procedures; presiding officer. The hearing for an individual proceeding shall be conducted in an orderly manner by the Board. The order of procedure will follow generally that which obtains in civil proceedings at law. However, strictness of procedures shall not be required, the objective being that fairness and orderliness prevail to afford a full hearing which protects the rights of all concerned. The rules of evidence shall be those specified by the Oklahoma Administrative Procedures Act. The President of the Board shall be the presiding officer at the hearing or proceeding. However, in his absence the Vice-President shall serve as the presiding officer. The Board may at their discretion select a Hearing Officer to conduct any hearings.
      b) Assistance of Counsel of Board. The Board may seek the assistance of the Attorney General or an Assistant Attorney General, if requested and available at the time of the hearing, to sit with the Board as a law member. Nothing contained herein shall, however, prevent the Board from employing outside counsel when in the opinion of the Board it is necessary to do so in order to administer and enforce the provisions of the law governing the practice of Optometry and the Rules and Regulations promulgated thereunder.
      c) Testimony of Witnesses. The testimony of witnesses and documentary evidence may be admitted on behalf of any party at the hearing, subject to objections as to relevancy by the opposing party. A party may conduct cross-examination required for a full and true disclosure of the facts.
      d) Right of Counsel. Any party shall at all times have the right to be represented by counsel duly licensed to practice law in the State of Oklahoma.
      e) Administration of oaths; ruling upon Offers of Evidence. The President of the Board or any members presiding at a hearing shall administer oath or require affirmations for the purposes of the hearing. He or the Hearing Officer, shall rule upon the motions, objections, offers of proof of other incidents of the hearing, but his ruling may be overruled by a majority of the membership conducting the hearing, and upon request of a party or his attorney, the presiding officer shall submit the sustention or rejection of his ruling to the Board.

Title 505:1-7-8 Record of Hearing
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      a) The report of a hearing shall be set forth in such forms and detail as the President or Board may direct, unless the hearing is fully transcribed, and shall be placed on file in the Secretary-Treasurer office. The record shall include all pleadings, motions, and intermediate rulings; evidence received or considered; a statement of matters officially noticed; questions and offers of proof, objections, and rulings thereon; and decision opinion, or report by the officer presiding at the hearing; all staff memoranda or data submitted to the hearing officer or members of the agency in connection with their consideration of the case.
      b) The full proceedings of any hearing shall be transcribed on the request of any party. The fee for the reporter shall be paid by the party requesting the services of a reporter, but may be taxed as costs to another party at the direction of the Board in appropriate circumstances.

Title 505:1-7-9 Findings of fact
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      All findings of fact made by the Board in an individual proceeding shall be based exclusively on the evidence, on matters officially noticed during the hearing, and upon the information received by the Board through investigation and examination made by its agents prior to or during the hearing, which shall be reduced to writing, sworn to, and filed and made a part of the record, or the testimony of such agents shall be taken under oath, in the discretion of the Board.

Title 505:1-7-10 Notice of facts
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      The Board shall give notice to all parties in an individual proceeding, prior to or at the hearing, of any facts of which it proposes to take official notice. Any party or his attorney may request that official notice be taken of any fact qualified for such notice by the Statutes of this State. If such official notice is taken, it shall be stated in the record, and all parties shall have opportunity to contest and give evidence in rebuttal or derogation of the official notice.

Title 505:1-7-11 Final orders, proposed finding of facts and conclusions of law
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      All final orders in any individual proceeding shall be in writing or stated in the record. A final order shall include findings of fact and conclusions of law separately stated. Any party to a proceeding before the Board may file proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law; and if proposed findings of fact are filed, the final order of the Board shall include a ruling upon each proposed finding. All parties shall be notified either in person or by mail of any order. Upon request, a copy of the order shall be delivered or shall be mailed forthwith to each party and to his attorney at the address specified in the request.

Title 505:1-7-12 Communication with parties
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      Unless required for the disposition of ex parte matters authorized by law, the President and the members of the Board or authorized by law, the President and the members of the Board or the agents of the Board shall not communicate, directly or indirectly, in connection with any issue of fact, with any person or party or his representative except upon notice and an opportunity for all parties to participate. The president and members of the Board may communicate with one another and have the aid and advice of one or more personal assistants. Advice may also, be secured from the attorney by the Board.

Title 505:1-7-13 Subpoenas
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      a) Issuance and service of subpoena. Subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses, or for the furnishings of information required by the Board, or for the production of evidence or records of any kind shall be issued by any Board member at the direction of the President or upon order of the Board. In like manner, and for like purpose, subpoenas shall be issued by any Board Member at the request of any party to a proceeding before the Board for the attendance of witnesses or for the production of evidential materials at a hearing in such proceeding. The signature of any Board Member shall be sufficient authentication for any subpoena. Subpoenas shall be served in any manner prescribed by these rules for the service of notices.
      b) Refusal to obey subpoena or to testify. Upon the failure of any person to obey a subpoena, or upon the refusal of any witness to be sworn or make an affirmation or to answer a question put to him in the course of a hearing in any rulemaking proceeding, proceeding for a declaratory ruling, or in an individual proceeding, or in any other authorized action of the Board, the Board as soon as convenient shall consider the matter. By resolution, it may direct the institution of appropriate judicial proceedings under the law of the State for an order to compel compliance with the subpoena or the giving of testimony, as the case may be. Meanwhile, the hearing or other matters shall proceed, so far as is possible, but the Board at its discretion at any time may continue the proceedings for such time as may be necessary to secure a final ruling in the compliance proceedings.
      c) Costs. The costs covering the issuance and service of subpoenas and all witness fees incurred on behalf of a party to the proceedings, other than the Board, shall be borne by the party on whose behalf they are incurred, but the Board in its final order may tax such costs to some other party if justice so requires.

Title 505:1-7-14 Requests for Disqualification
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      Requests for the disqualification of a member or members of the Board in an individual proceeding shall be embodied in an affidavit, stating with particularity the grounds alleged therefor. Such requests must be filed prior to the commencement of the hearing unless it is made to appear in the affidavit that the ground of disqualification was not previously known and that the application has been made promptly upon discovery. Upon the filing of such affidavit, the President of the Board or the Secretary-Treasurer, if the affidavit is filed against the President, shall set the matters for the hearing at the earliest date at which the Board can be convened giving notice thereof personally or by telephone to the party or his counsel. The Board, or those members thereof qualified to sit at the hearing, shall take evidence and make prompt decisions. In the event the disqualification is sustained or in the event of a mandamus requiring disqualification, the hearing shall be contin ued to such time as is necessary for the appointment of members pro tem to proceed with the matters, and due notice of the continuance shall be given to all parties.

Title 505:1-7-15 Rehearing, reopening or reconsideration
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      A petition for rehearing, reopening or reconsideration of a final order in an individual proceeding must be filed with the Secretary-Treasurer within ten (10) days from the entry of the order. It must be signed by the party or his attorney, and must set forth with particularity such of the statutory grounds upon which it is based. However, a petition based upon fraud practiced by the prevailing party or upon procurement of the orders by perjured testimony or fictitious evidence may be filed at any time. All petitions for rehearing, reopening, or reconsideration will be considered and ruled upon as soon as the convenient conduct of the Board’s business will permit.

Title 505:1-7-16 Informal hearing of a matter
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      The parties to any individual proceeding may present the matter to the Board or to any authorized representative in informal conference, and upon mutual consent of all parties and of the Board, the matters may be submitted and determined and an order may be issued without resort to formal procedures. The order shall be in writing and shall be furnished to the parties as prescribed for orders issued after formal hearing in individual proceedings.

Title 505:1-7-17 Stipulation of an order
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      At any time in an individual proceeding the parties thereto may enter into stipulation for the issuance of an order, specifying its terms, or may enter into an agreement for settlement upon specified terms, or may consent to the issuance of an order upon specified terms. In either event the stipulation, the settlement agreement or the consent shall be reduced to writing duly executed by the parties, or shall be entered upon the record in open hearing. Orders made under this rule shall be in writing and shall be served as other orders are served.

Title 505:10-1-1 Purpose
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      These rules provide for the method of obtaining licensure by qualified applicants, and for regulation of licensed practitioners of optometry. The Rules are to ensure that the public safety and welfare is protected by requiring all licensees to be competent and adequately skilled.

Title 505:10-1-2 Forms and instructions
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      The following forms and instructions for their use have been adopted by the Board and are in use by the Board:
      1) Application for license to practice Optometry.
      2) License certificate.
      3) Annual License Renewal Certificate.
      4) Application for Reissuance of Certificate Seal to practice Optometry.

Title 505:10-1-3 Sample of official forms
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      A sample of the official form of application for registration as an Optometrist, and of the official form of certificate and affidavit as the attendance at education programs, is available from the Board.

Title 505:10-3-1 Application for license
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      The application for a license to practice Optometry shall be on a form prescribed by the Board. The forms may be obtained upon request to the Secretary-Treasurer of the Board.

Title 505:10-3-2 Examination of Candidates
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      a) Times of meeting. The Board will meet at least twice a year, during the months of January and July.
      b) Filing of application for examination. A candidate desiring to take the examinations may obtain the official form of application for such purpose from the Secretary-Treasurer. The application and all necessary papers must be filed with the Secretary-Treasurer at least thirty (30) days before the date of the examination, and the application must be accompanied by an examination fee in the amount of $150.00, in the form of cash, bank cashier's check or acceptable money order. A failure to appear for an examination is cause for forfeiture of the examination fee.
      c) Required passing grade. A candidate must make a passing grade of at least 75 grade points in all subjects of the examination in order to receive a certificate of registration.
      d) Retaking examination. A candidate who fails to make the necessary passing grade at an examination may re-take the examination on the subjects failed at the next regular examination with the payment of an examination fee in the amount of $150.00; but if passing grades are not made on the second examination, a new application for the entire examination must be instituted and another examination fee of $150.00 must be paid.

Title 505:10-3-3 License requirements
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      The specified requirements for the issuance of a license are set forth by statute, 59 O.S. 1981 Secs. 584, 586, and 587.

Title 505:10-3-4 Granting of license
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      Where the information furnished on the application for the license, or for the renewal thereof, appears to establish all requirements for the grant thereof and there appears no reason to question its authenticity, the Board may issue the license, or renewal thereof, without a hearing. However, if there appears reason for a formal consideration of whether the license, or renewal, should be granted, the matter shall be treated as an individual proceeding, wherein the applicant is the petitioner, and the procedure applicable to individual proceedings thereafter shall be followed except as modified by statute or by these rules.

Title 505:10-3-5 Reciprocity abolished
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      Since reciprocity has been the cause of much turmoil in Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Board has discontinued reciprocity with other states.


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