Here is what a quasi-judicial hearing is. If it is a zoning issure it is a quasi-judical hearing but if it is a move to oust a member of the Council it is not a quasi-judicial hearing. I ask you, “Does that make any sense to you?”😊
What is a Quasi-Judicial Hearing?
A quasi-judicial action is when the facts of a particular situation are applied to the previously created policy. Essentially, a quasi-judicial process is the application of policy to a fact situation. Conversely, a legislative process is one in which policy is created by a legislative body (the Council).
Typical quasi-judicial proceedings are those in which a property owner makes an application to the City for a rezoning, site plan approval, a special exception or variance. There are rules and standards set forth in the ordinances regarding the criteria that have to be met in order to obtain a special exception or a variance, what has to be included in the site plan, and what the standards are for reviewing these applications. In a quasi–judicial hearing the facts of the case or situation are applied to the standards set forth in the ordinance, and the decision is then made.
A quasi-judicial hearing is similar to a court proceeding, hence the term “quasi judicial.” Quasi-judicial hearings have some of the elements of a judicial or court proceeding.
What is Competent and Substantial Evidence?
In a quasi-judicial proceeding, the Council is allowed to only consider the competent and substantial evidence presented to the Council.
The term “competent” means that the person testifying is qualified to give evidence on that subject. If special training or specialized knowledge is required, it is necessary for the person testifying to prove that person‘s competency to testify as an expert on a particular subject. For example, a person testifying about accounting principles should be trained in accounting or have an accounting background and education and in accounting, or all the above.
The term “substantial” means that there is sufficient, relevant and credible evidence upon which to base a decision.
Not a Popularity Contest
It doesn‘t make any difference who has the most people and supporters at a quasi-judicial hearing. It is the quality, persuasiveness, the relevancy of the testimony and the credibility of the witnesses presented, as well as the tangible evidence presented, to the Council (and which become part of the record of the proceedings) that will make the case.