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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of August 27, 2014

Title 18Chapter ISubchapter XPart 385 → Subpart E


Title 18: Conservation of Power and Water Resources
PART 385—RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE


Subpart D—Discovery Procedures for Matters Set for Hearing Under Subpart E


Contents
§385.401   Applicability (Rule 401).
§385.402   Scope of discovery (Rule 402).
§385.403   Methods of discovery; general provisions (Rule 403).
§385.404   Depositions during proceedings (Rule 404).
§385.405   Use of depositions (Rule 405).
§385.406   Data requests, interrogatories, and requests for production of documents or things (Rule 406).
§385.407   Inspection of documents and other property (Rule 407).
§385.408   Admissions (Rule 408).
§385.409   Subpoenas (Rule 409).
§385.410   Objections to discovery, motions to quash or to compel, and protective orders (Rule 410).
§385.411   Sanctions (Rule 411).
§385.501   Applicability (Rule 501).
§385.502   Initiation of hearing (Rule 502).
§385.503   Consolidation, severance and extension of close-of-record date by Chief Administrative Law Judge (Rule 503).
§385.504   Duties and powers of presiding officers (Rule 504).
§385.505   Right of participants to present evidence (Rule 505).
§385.506   Examination of witnesses during hearing (Rule 506).
§385.507   Prepared written testimony (Rule 507).
§385.508   Exhibits (Rule 508).
§385.509   Admissibility of evidence (Rule 509).
§385.510   Miscellaneous provisions (Rule 510).

Source: Order 466, 52 FR 6966, Mar. 6, 1987, unless otherwise noted.

§385.401   Applicability (Rule 401).

(a) General rule. Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, this subpart applies to discovery in proceedings set for hearing under subpart E of this part, and to such other proceedings as the Commission may order.

(b) Exceptions. Unless otherwise ordered by the Commission, this subpart does not apply to:

(1) Requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, governed by Part 388 of this chapter; or,

(2) Requests by the Commission or its staff who are not participants in a proceeding set for hearing under subpart E of this part to obtain information, reports, or data from persons subject to the Commission's regulatory jurisdiction; or

(3) Investigations conducted pursuant to Part 1b of this chapter.

§385.402   Scope of discovery (Rule 402).

(a) General. Unless otherwise provided under paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section or ordered by the presiding officer under Rule 410(c), participants may obtain discovery of any matter, not privileged, that is relevant to the subject matter of the pending proceeding, including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any books, documents, or other tangible things, and the identity and location of persons having any knowledge of any discoverable matter. It is not ground for objection that the information sought will be inadmissible in the Commission proceeding if the information sought appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

(b) Material prepared for litigation. A participant may not obtain discovery of material prepared in anticipation of litigation by another participant, unless that participant demonstrates a substantial need for the material and that substantially equivalent material cannot be obtained by other means without undue hardship. In ordering any such discovery, the presiding officer will prevent disclosure of the mental impressions, conclusions, opinions, or legal theories of an attorney.

(c) Expert testimony. Unless otherwise restricted by the presiding officer under Rule 410(c), a participant may discover any facts known or opinions held by an expert concerning any relevant matters, not privileged. Such discovery will be permitted only if:

(1) The expert is expected to be a witness at hearing; or

(2) The expert is relied on by another expert who is expected to be a witness at hearing, and the participant seeking discovery shows a compelling need for the information and it cannot practicably be obtained by other means.

[Order 225, 47 FR 19022, May 3, 1982, as amended by Order 466-A, 52 FR 35909, Sept. 24, 1987]

§385.403   Methods of discovery; general provisions (Rule 403).

(a) Discovery methods. Participants may obtain discovery by data requests, written interrogatories, and requests for production of documents or things (Rule 406), depositions by oral examination (Rule 404), requests for inspection of documents and other property (Rule 407), and requests for admission (Rule 408).

(b) Discovery conferences. (1) The presiding officer may direct the participants in a proceeding or their representatives to appear for one or more conferences, either separately or as part of any other prehearing conference in the proceeding under Rule 601(a), for the purpose of scheduling discovery, identifying discovery issues, and resolving discovery disputes. Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, the presiding officer, upon the conclusion of a conference, will issue an order stating any and all decisions made and agreements reached during the conference.

(2) The Chief Administrative Law Judge may, upon a showing of extraordinary circumstances, waive the requirement to issue an order under paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

(c) Identification and certification of preparer. Each response to discovery under this subpart must:

(1) Identify the preparer or person under whose direct supervision the response was prepared; and

(2) Be under oath or, for representatives of a public or private corporation or a partnership or association or a governmental agency, be accompanied by a signed certification of the preparer or person supervising the preparation of the response on behalf of the entity that the response is true and accurate to the best of that person's knowledge, information, and belief formed after a reasonable inquiry.

(d) Supplementation of responses. (1) Except as otherwise provided by this paragraph, a participant that has responded to a request for discovery with a response that was complete when made is not under a continuing duty to supplement that response to include information later acquired.

(2) A participant must make timely amendment to any prior response if the participant obtains information upon the basis of which the participant knows that the response was incorrect when made, or though correct when made is now incorrect in any material respect.

(3) A participant may be required to supplement a response by order of the presiding officer or by agreement of all participants.

(4) A participant may request supplementation of prior responses, if such request is permitted under the procedural schedule.

[Order 225, 47 FR 19022, May 3, 1982, as amended by Order 466-A, 52 FR 35909, Sept. 24, 1987]

§385.404   Depositions during proceedings (Rule 404).

(a) In general. (1) A participant may obtain the attendance for a deposition by oral examination of any other participant, an employee or agent of that participant, or a person retained by that participant as a potential witness, by providing a notice of intent to depose.

(2) Any participant may obtain the attendance of a nonparticipant for a deposition by oral examination by obtaining a subpoena, in accordance with Rule 409. For purposes of this rule, a Commission decisional employee, as defined in Rule 2201(a), is a nonparticipant.

(b) Notice. (1) A participant seeking to take a deposition under this section must provide to all other participants written notice reasonably in advance of the deposition. The notice must be filed with the Commission and served on all participants. An original must be served on each person whose deposition is sought.

(2) A notice of intent under this section must:

(i) State the time and place at which the deposition will be taken, the name and address of each person to be examined, and the subject matter of the deposition; and

(ii) If known at the time that the deposition is noticed that its purpose is to preserve testimony, state that the deponent will be unable to testify at the hearing.

(3)(i) A notice of intent under this section or a subpoena under Rule 409 may name as the deponent a public or private corporation or a partnership or association or a governmental agency, and describe with reasonable particularity the matters on which examination is requested. Such organization must, in response, designate one or more officers, directors, or managing agents, or other persons to testify on its behalf, and set forth, for each person designated, the matters on which that person will testify.

(ii) A subpoena must advise any organization that is named as a deponent but is not a participant that it has a duty to designate a person to testify. Any person designated under this section must testify on matters known by, or reasonably available to, the organization.

(c) Taking of deposition. (1) Each deponent must swear to or affirm the truth of the testimony given before any testimony is taken.

(2) Any participant may examine and cross-examine a deponent.

(3) Any objection made during the examination must be noted by the officer taking the deposition. After the objection is noted, the deponent must answer the question, unless a claim of privilege is asserted or the presiding officer rules otherwise.

(4) The deposition must be transcribed verbatim.

(d) Nonstenographic means of recording; telephonic depositions. Testimony at a deposition may be recorded by means other than stenography if all participants so stipulate or if the presiding officer, upon motion, so orders. Such stipulation or order shall designate the person before whom the deposition. will be taken, and the manner in which the deposition will be preserved, filed, and certified. Depositions may also be taken by telephone, if all participants so stipulate or the presiding officer, upon motion, orders.

(e) Officer taking deposition. Depositions must be taken before an officer authorized to administer oaths or affirmations by the laws of the United States or of the place where the deposition is held. A deposition may not be taken before an officer who is a relative or employee or attorney of any of the participants, or is financially or in any other way interested in the action.

(f) Submission to deponent. (1) Unless examination is waived by the deponent, the transcription of the deposition must be submitted to the deponent for examination.

(2) If the deponent requests any changes in form or substance, the officer must enter the changes on the deposition transcript with a statement of the witness' reasons for the changes. The deponent must sign the deposition within 30 days after submittal to the deponent, unless the participants by stipulation waive the signing or the deponent cannot or will not sign. By signing the deposition the deponent certifies that the transcript is a true record of the testimony given.

(3) The officer who took the deposition must sign any deposition not signed by the deponent in accordance with this section and must state on the record that the signature is waived or that the deponent cannot or will not sign, accompanied by any reason given for a deponent's refusal to sign. If the officer complies with this paragraph, a deposition that is unsigned by the deponent may be used as though signed, unless the presiding officer rules otherwise.

(g) Certification and copies. (1) The officer must certify on the transcript of the deposition that the deponent swore to or affirmed the truth of the testimony given and the deposition transcript is a true record of the testimony given by the deponent. The officer must provide the participant conducting the deposition with a copy of the transcription.

(2) Documents and things produced for inspection during the examination of the witness will, upon the request of a participant, be marked for identification and annexed to the deposition and the officer will certify the document or thing as the original offered during the deposition, or as a true and correct copy of the original offered.

(3) Copies of the transcript of a deposition may be purchased from the reporting service that made the transcription, subject to protections established by the presiding officer.

§385.405   Use of depositions (Rule 405).

(a) In general. During a hearing, the hearing of a motion, or an interlocutory proceeding under Rule 715, any part or all of a deposition taken pursuant to Rule 404, so far as admissible as though the witness were then present and testifying, may be used against any participant who was present or represented at the taking of the deposition or who had reasonable notice thereof, in accordance with any of the provisions of this section.

(1) If the deponent is a witness at a hearing, any participant may use the deposition of that witness at the time of the witness' examination to contradict, impeach, or complete the testimony of that witness.

(2) The deposition of a participant or of any person who, at the time of taking the deposition, was an officer, director, or managing agent of a participant, or a person designated under Rule 404(b)(3) to testify on behalf of a participant may be used by another participant for any purpose.

(3) The deposition of any witness, whether or not a participant, may be used by a participant for any purpose, if the presiding officer finds that:

(i) The witness is dead;

(ii) The witness is unable to attend or testify because of age, illness, infirmity or imprisonment;

(iii) The participant offering the deposition is unable after the exercise of due diligence to procure the attendance of the witness by subpoena; or

(iv) Exceptional circumstances make it necessary in the interest of fairness with due regard to the importance of presenting the witness in open hearing, to allow use of the deposition.

(4) If only part of a deposition is offered in evidence by a participant, a participant may require the introduction of any other part which ought, in fairness, to be considered with the part introduced, and any adverse participant may introduce any other part.

(b) Objections to admissibility. No part of a deposition will constitute a part of the record in the proceeding, unless received in evidence by the Commission or presiding officer. Subject to paragraph (c) of this section, a participant may object to receiving into evidence all or part of any deposition for any reason that the evidence would be excluded if the deponent were present and testifying.

(c) Effect of errors and irregularities in depositions. (1) Any objection to the taking of a deposition based on errors or irregularities in notice of the deposition is waived, unless written objection is promptly served on the participant giving the notice.

(2) Any objection to the taking of a deposition based on the disqualification of the officer before whom it is to be taken is waived, unless the objection is made before the deposition begins or as soon thereafter as the disqualification becomes known or could be discovered with reasonable diligence.

(3) Any objection to the competency of the witness or the competency, relevancy, or materiality of testimony is not waived by failure to make the objection before or during the taking of the deposition, unless the basis for the objection might have been removed if the objection had been presented at the taking of the deposition.

(4) Any objection to errors and irregularities occurring at the oral examination in the manner of taking the deposition, in the form of the questions and answers, in the oath or affirmation, or in the conduct of participants, and errors of any kind that might be obviated, removed or cured if presented at the deposition, is waived unless objection is made at the taking of the deposition.

(5) Any objection based on errors or irregularities in the manner in which the testimony is transcribed or the deposition is prepared, signed, certified, endorsed, or otherwise dealt with by the officer is waived, unless the objection is made with reasonable promptness after the defect is, or with due diligence should have been, ascertained.

§385.406   Data requests, interrogatories, and requests for production of documents or things (Rule 406).

(a) Availability. Any participant may serve upon any other participant a written request to supply information, such as responses to data requests and interrogatories, or copies of documents.

(b) Procedures. (1) A request under this section must identify with specificity the information or material sought and will specify a reasonable time within which the matter sought must be furnished.

(2) Unless provided otherwise by the presiding officer, copies of any discovery request must be served upon the presiding officer and on all participants to the proceeding.

(3) Each discovery request must be answered separately and fully in writing.

(4) Responses to discovery requests are required to be served only on the participant requesting the information, Commission trial staff, and any other participant that specifically requests service. The presiding officer may direct that a copy of any responses be furnished to the presiding officer. Responses must be served within the time limit specified in the request or otherwise provided by the presiding officer.

(5) If the matter sought is not furnished, the responding participant must provide, in accordance with Rule 410, written explanation of the specific grounds for the failure to furnish it.

§385.407   Inspection of documents and other property (Rule 407).

(a) Availability. On request, the presiding officer may order any other participant to:

(1) Permit inspection and copying of any designated documents (including writings, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, sound recordings, computer tapes or other compilations of data from which information can be obtained) that are not privileged and that are in the possession, custody, or control of the participant to whom the order is directed;

(2) Permit inspection, copying or photographing, testing, or sampling of any tangible thing that is not privileged and that is in the possession, custody, or control of the participant to whom the order is directed; and

(3) Permit entry upon or into designated land, buildings, or other property in the possession, custody, or control of the participant to whom the order is directed for the purpose of inspecting, measuring, surveying, or photographing the property or any activity or operation that is not privileged and that is conducted in or upon the property.

(b) Procedures. A request for inspection of documents or property under this section must describe with reasonable particularity the documents or other property to which access is sought. The request must also specify a reasonable time, place, and manner of making the inspection.

§385.408   Admissions (Rule 408).

(a) General rule. A participant may serve upon any other participant a written request for admission of the genuineness of any document or the truth of any matter of fact. The request must be served upon all participants.

(b) Procedures. (1) Any request for admission of the genuineness of a document must be accompanied by a legible copy of the document, unless it was previously furnished, is in the possession of the recipient of the request, or is readily available for inspection and copying.

(2) The truth of specified matters of fact or the genuineness of the documents described in a request are deemed admitted unless, within 20 days after service of the request or any longer period designated in the request, the participant that receives the request serves upon the requesting participant a written answer or objection addressed to the matters in the request.

(3) An answer must specifically admit or deny the truth of the matters in the request or set forth in detail the reasons why the answering participant cannot admit or deny the truth of each matter. A denial of the truthfulness of the requested admission must fairly discuss the substance of the requested admission and, when good faith requires that a participant qualify the answer or deny only a part of the matter of which an admission is requested, the participant must specify that which is true and qualify or deny the remainder. The answer must be served on all participants.

(c) Effect of admission. Any admission made by a participant under this section is for the purpose of the pending proceeding only, is not an admission for any other purpose, and may not be used against the participant in any other proceeding. Any matter admitted under this rule is conclusively established unless the presiding officer, on motion, permits withdrawal or amendment of the admission. The presiding officer may permit withdrawal or amendment of an admission, if the presiding officer finds that the presentation of the merits of the proceeding will be promoted and the participant who obtained the admission has failed to satisfy the presiding officer that withdrawal or amendment of the admission will prejudice that participant in maintaining his position in the proceeding.

[Order 225, 47 FR 19022, May 3, 1982, as amended by Order 466-A, 52 FR 35909, Sept. 24, 1987]

§385.409   Subpoenas (Rule 409).

(a) Issuance. On request, the presiding officer may issue a subpoena for the attendance of a witness at a deposition or hearing or for the production of documents. A request for a subpoena must be served on all participants.

(b) Service and return. A subpoena issued under this section must be served by personal service, substituted service, registered mail, or certified mail. A subpoena may be served by the marshal, by his deputy, or by any other person who is not a party or an employee of a party and is at least 18 years of age. If personal service is made by any person other than a United States marshal or deputy marshal, return of service must be accompanied by an affidavit to the Secretary or the presiding officer and must state the time and manner of service of the subpoena.

(c) Fees. Fees paid to subpoenaed persons will be in accordance with Rule 510(e).

(d) Objections. Objections to subpoenas must be made in accordance with Rule 410.

§385.410   Objections to discovery, motions to quash or to compel, and protective orders (Rule 410).

(a) Objection to discovery—(1) Notice of objections or motion to quash. A participant, or a recipient of a subpoena, who does not intend to comply with a discovery request must notify in writing the participant seeking discovery within a reasonable time in advance of the date on which a response or other action in conformance with the discovery request is due. A recipient of a subpoena may either provide a notice of objection or file a motion to quash.

(2) Objections to production of documents. (i) Unless an objection to discovery under this section is based on the ground that production would impose an undue burden, the objecting participant must provide the participant seeking discovery with a schedule of items withheld and a statement of:

(A) The character and specific subject matter of each item; and

(B) The specific objection asserted for each item.

(ii) If an objection under this section is based on the ground that production of the requested material would impose an undue burden, the objecting participant must provide the participant seeking discovery with a description of the approximate number of documents that would have to be produced and a summary of the information contained in such documents.

(3) Objections to other discovery requests. If the discovery to which objection is made is not a request for documents, the objection must clearly state the grounds on which the participant bases its objection.

(4) Objections to compile or process information. The fact that information has not been compiled or processed in the form requested is not a basis for objection unless the objection presents grounds for limiting discovery under paragraph (c) of this section.

(b) Motions to compel. Any participant seeking discovery may file a motion to compel discovery, if:

(1) A participant to whom a data request is made or upon whom an interrogatory is served under Rule 406 fails or refuses to make a full, complete, and accurate response;

(2) A person named in a notice of intent to take a deposition or a subpoena fails or refuses to appear for the deposition;

(3) An organization named in a notice of intent to take a deposition fails or refuses to designate one or more persons to testify on its behalf under Rule 404(b)(3);

(4) A deponent fails or refuses to answer fully, completely, and accurately a question propounded or to sign the transcript of the testimony as required by Rule 404(f)(2);

(5) A participant upon whom a request for admissions is served fails or refuses to respond to the request in accordance with Rule 408(b); or

(6) A participant upon whom an order to produce or to permit inspection or entry is served under Rule 407 fails or refuses to comply with that order.

(c) Orders limiting discovery. A presiding officer may, by order, deny or limit discovery or restrict public disclosure of discoverable matter in order to:

(1) Protect a participant or other person from undue annoyance, burden, harassment or oppression;

(2) Prevent undue delay in the proceeding;

(3) Preserve a privilege of a participant, person, or governmental agency;

(4) Prevent a participant from requiring another participant to provide information which is readily available to the requesting participant from other sources with a reasonable expenditure of effort given the requesting participant's position and resources;

(5) Prevent unreasonably cumulative or duplicative discovery requests; or

(6) Provide a means by which confidential matters may be made available to participants so as to prevent public disclosure. Material submitted under a protective order may nevertheless be subject to Freedom of Information Act requests and review.

(d) Privilege—1) In general. (i) In the absence of controlling Commission precedent, privileges will be determined in accordance with decisions of the Federal courts with due consideration to the Commission's need to obtain information necessary to discharge its regulatory responsibilities.

(ii) A presiding officer may not quash a subpoena or otherwise deny or limit discovery on the ground of privilege unless the presiding officer expressly finds that the privilege claimed is applicable. If a presiding officer finds that a qualified privilege has been established, the participant seeking discovery must make a showing sufficient to warrant discovery despite the qualified privilege.

(iii) A presiding officer may issue a protective order under Rule 410(c) to deny or limit discovery in order to preserve a privilege of a participant, person, or governmental agency.

(2) Of the Commission. (i) If discovery under this subpart would require the production of Commission information, documents, or other matter that might fall within a privilege, the Commission trial staff must identify in writing the applicable privilege along with the matters claimed to be privileged or the individuals from whom privileged information is sought, to the presiding officer and the parties.

(ii) If the presiding officer determines that the privilege claimed for the Commission is applicable, the Commission information, documents, or other matter may not be produced. If the presiding officer determines that no privilege is applicable, that a privilege is waived, or that a qualified privilege is overcome, the presiding officer will certify the matter to the Commission in accordance with Rule 714. Certification to the Commission under this paragraph must describe the material to be disclosed and the reasons which, in the presiding officer's view, justify disclosure. The information will not be disclosed unless the Commission affirmatively orders the material disclosed.

[Order 225, 47 FR 19022, May 3, 1982, as amended by Order 466-A, 52 FR 35910, Sept. 24, 1987]

§385.411   Sanctions (Rule 411).

(a) Disobedience of order compelling discovery. If a participant or any other person fails to obey an order compelling discovery, the presiding officer may, after notice to the participant or person and an opportunity to be heard, take one or more of the following actions, but may not dismiss or otherwise terminate the proceeding:

(1) Certify the matter to the Commission with a recommendation for dismissal or termination of the proceeding, termination of that participant's right to participate in the proceeding, institution of civil action, or any other sanction available to the Commission by law;

(2) Order that the matters to which the order compelling discovery relates are taken as established for the purposes of the proceeding in accordance with the position of the participant obtaining the order;

(3) Order that a participant be precluded from supporting or opposing such positions or introducing such matters in evidence as the presiding officer designates;

(4) Order that all or part of any pleading by a participant be struck or that the proceeding or a phase of the proceeding be stayed until the order compelling discovery is obeyed; and

(5) Recommend to the Commission that it take action under Rule 2102 against a representative of the participant if the presiding officer believes that the representative has engaged in unethical or improper professional conduct.

(b) Against representative of a participant. If the person disobeying an order compelling discovery is an agent, officer, employee, attorney, partner, or director of a participant, the presiding officer may take any of the actions described in paragraph (a) against that participant.

Title 18Chapter ISubchapter XPart 385 → Subpart E



Subpart E—Hearings


Contents
§385.401   Applicability (Rule 401).
§385.402   Scope of discovery (Rule 402).
§385.403   Methods of discovery; general provisions (Rule 403).
§385.404   Depositions during proceedings (Rule 404).
§385.405   Use of depositions (Rule 405).
§385.406   Data requests, interrogatories, and requests for production of documents or things (Rule 406).
§385.407   Inspection of documents and other property (Rule 407).
§385.408   Admissions (Rule 408).
§385.409   Subpoenas (Rule 409).
§385.410   Objections to discovery, motions to quash or to compel, and protective orders (Rule 410).
§385.411   Sanctions (Rule 411).
§385.501   Applicability (Rule 501).
§385.502   Initiation of hearing (Rule 502).
§385.503   Consolidation, severance and extension of close-of-record date by Chief Administrative Law Judge (Rule 503).
§385.504   Duties and powers of presiding officers (Rule 504).
§385.505   Right of participants to present evidence (Rule 505).
§385.506   Examination of witnesses during hearing (Rule 506).
§385.507   Prepared written testimony (Rule 507).
§385.508   Exhibits (Rule 508).
§385.509   Admissibility of evidence (Rule 509).
§385.510   Miscellaneous provisions (Rule 510).

§385.501   Applicability (Rule 501).

This subpart applies to any proceeding, or part of a proceeding, that the Commission or the Secretary under delegated authority sets for a hearing to be conducted in accordance with this subpart.

[Order 492, 53 FR 16067, May 5, 1988]

§385.502   Initiation of hearing (Rule 502).

(a) Notice or order initiating hearing. A hearing under this subpart will be initiated by:

(1) Order of the Commission; or

(2) Notice by the Secretary at the direction of the Commission or under delegated authority.

(b) Contents of notice or order initiating hearing. Any order or notice under paragraph (a) of this section will set forth:

(1) The authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing is to be held;

(2) The nature of the proceeding;

(3) The final date for the filing of interventions, if the dates were not fixed by an earlier notice;

(4) The presiding officer, if designated at that time; and

(5) The date, time, and location of the hearing or prehearing conference, if known; and

(6) Any other appropriate matter.

(c) Consolidation, severance, and phasing. Any notice or order under this section may direct consolidation of proceedings, phasing of a proceeding, or severance of proceedings or issues in a proceeding.

[Order 225, 47 FR 19022, May 3, 1982, as amended at Order 492, 53 FR 16067, May 5, 1988; Order 606, 64 FR 44405, Aug. 16, 1999]

§385.503   Consolidation, severance and extension of close-of-record date by Chief Administrative Law Judge (Rule 503).

(a) The Chief Administrative Law Judge may, on motion or otherwise, order proceedings pending under this subpart consolidated for hearing on, or settlement of, any or all matters in issue in the proceedings, or order the severance of proceedings or issues in a proceeding. The order may be appealed to the Commission pursuant to Rule 715.

(b) If the Commission orders that the presiding officer close the record in any proceeding by a specific date, the Chief Administrative Law Judge may, upon motion or otherwise, extend the close-of-record date for good cause. This staff action may be appealed to the Commission only under Rule 1902.

[Order 225, 47 FR 19022, May 3, 1982, as amended by Order 376, 49 FR 21705, May 23, 1984; Order 437, 50 FR 48183, Nov. 22, 1985; Order 578, 60 FR 19505, Apr. 19, 1995]

§385.504   Duties and powers of presiding officers (Rule 504).

(a) Duties. (1) It shall be the duty of the presiding officer to conduct a fair and impartial hearing and to determine the matter justly under the law.

(2) The presiding officer will cause all appearances during a hearing to be entered on the record with a notation in whose behalf each appearance is made.

(3) The presiding officer will establish the order of presentation of the cases of all participants in the hearing.

(4) The presiding officer will assure that the taking of evidence and subsequent matters proceed with all reasonable diligence and with the least delay practicable.

(5) The presiding officer will prepare and certify an initial decision or a revised initial decision, whichever is appropriate, to the Commission as provided in Subpart G of this part.

(b) Powers. Except as otherwise ordered by the Commission or provided by law, the presiding officer may:

(1) Schedule and otherwise regulate the course of the hearing;

(2) Recess, reconvene, postpone, or adjourn the hearing;

(3) Administer oaths;

(4) Rule on and receive evidence;

(5) Cause Discovery to be conducted;

(6) Exercise powers granted a presiding officer under Subpart D;

(7) Hold conferences of the participants, as provided in Subpart F of this part, including for the purpose of considering the use of alternative dispute resolution procedures;

(8) Rule on, and dispose of, procedural matters, including oral or written motions;

(9) Summarily dispose of a proceeding or part of a proceeding, as provided in Rule 217;

(10) Certify a question to the Commission, as provided in Rule 714;

(11) Permit or deny appeal of an interlocutory ruling, as provided in Rule 715;

(12) Rule on motions to intervene, as provided in Rule 214;

(13) Separate any issue or group of issues from other issues in a proceeding and treat such issue or group of issues as a separate phase of the proceeding;

(14) Maintain order, as follows:

(i) Ensure that any disregard by any person of rulings on matters of order and procedure is noted on the record or, if appropriate, is made the subject of a special written report to the Commission;

(ii) In the event any person engages in disrespectful, disorderly, or contumacious language or conduct in connection with the hearing, recess the hearing for such time as necessary to regain order;

(iii) Request that the Commission take appropriate action, including removal from the proceeding, against a participant or counsel, if necessary to maintain order.

(15) Modify any time period, if such modification is in the interest of justice and will result in no undue prejudice to any participant;

(16) Limit the number of expert witnesses who may testify on any issue, consistent with the rule against repetitious testimony in Rule 509(a);

(17) Limit the number of persons, other than staff, representing a similar interest who may examine witnesses or make or argue motions or objections;

(18) Require; or authorize the admission of, further evidence upon any issue at any time before the close of the evidentiary record;

(19) Rule on motions for reconsideration of an initial decision as provided in Rule 717;

(20) Take any other action necessary or appropriate to the discharge of the duties of a presiding officer, consistent with applicable law and policy.

(c) Disqualification. (1) A presiding officer may withdraw from a proceeding, if that officer believes himself or herself disqualified.

(2) The Commission may, for good cause, order the removal of any presiding officer from a proceeding, on motion filed with the Commission or otherwise.

[Order 225, 47 FR 19022, May 3, 1982; 48 FR 786, Jan. 7, 1983, as amended by Order 375, 49 FR 21315, May 21, 1984; Order 466, 52 FR 6970, Mar. 6, 1987; Order 578, 60 FR 19505, Apr. 19, 1995]

§385.505   Right of participants to present evidence (Rule 505).

Consistent with the provisions of this part, a participant has the right to present such evidence, including rebuttal evidence, to make such objections and arguments, and to conduct such cross-examination, as may be necessary to assure true and full disclosure of the facts.

§385.506   Examination of witnesses during hearing (Rule 506).

(a) Prepared written direct and rebuttal testimony. Unless the presiding officer orders such testimony to be presented orally, direct and rebuttal testimony of a witness in a hearing must be prepared and submitted in written form, as required by Rule 507. Any witness submitting written testimony must be available for cross-examination, as provided in this subpart.

(b) Oral testimony during hearing. Oral examination of a witness in a hearing must be conducted under oath and in the presence of the presiding officer, with opportunity for all participants to question the witness to the extent consistent with Rules 504(b)(17), 505, and 509(a).

§385.507   Prepared written testimony (Rule 507).

(a) Offered as an exhibit. The prepared written testimony of any witness must be offered as an exhibit. The presiding officer will allow a reasonable period of time for the preparation of such written testimony.

(b) Time for filing. Any prepared written testimony must be filed and served within the time provided by the presiding officer, in no case later than 10 days before the session of the hearing at which such exhibit is offered, unless a shorter period is permitted under paragraph (c) of this section.

(c) Late-filed testimony. (1) If all participants in attendance at the hearing agree, the 10-day requirement for filing any written testimony under paragraph (b) of this section is waived.

(2) The presiding officer may permit the introduction of any prepared written testimony without compliance with paragraph (b) of this section, if the presiding officer determines that the introduction of the testimony:

(i) Is necessary for a full disclosure of the facts or is warranted by any other showing of good cause; and

(ii) Would not be unduly prejudicial to any participant.

(3) If any written testimony is served and filed within the 10 day period provided in paragraph (b) of this section, the presiding officer will provide the participants in attendance with a reasonable opportunity to inspect the testimony.

(d) Form; authentication. Prepared written testimony must have line numbers inserted in the left-hand margin of each page and must be authenticated by an affidavit of the witness.

§385.508   Exhibits (Rule 508).

(a) General rules. (1) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) through (e) of this section, any material offered in evidence, other than oral testimony, must be offered in the form of an exhibit.

(2) Any participant who seeks to have an exhibit admitted into evidence must provide one copy of the exhibit to the presiding officer and two copies to the reporter, not later than the time that the exhibit is marked for identification.

(3) The presiding officer will cause each exhibit offered by a participant to be marked for identification.

(b) Designation and treatment of matter sought to be admitted. (1) If a document offered as an exhibit contains material not offered as evidence, the participant offering the exhibit must:

(i) Plainly designate the matter offered as evidence; and

(ii) Segregate and exclude the material not offered in evidence, to the extent practicable.

(2) If, in a document offered as an exhibit, material not offered in evidence is so extensive as to unnecessarily encumber the record, the material offered in evidence will be marked for identification. The remainder of the document will be considered not to have been offered in evidence.

(3) Copies of any document offered as an exhibit under paragraph (b)(2) of this section must be delivered to the other participants appearing at the hearing by the participant offering the exhibit in evidence. The participants will be offered an opportunity to inspect the entire document and to offer as an exhibit in evidence, in like manner, any other portions of the document.

(c) Public document items by reference. If all or part of a public document is offered in evidence and the participant offering the document shows that all or the pertinent part of the document, is reasonably available to the public, the document need not be produced or marked for identification but may be offered in evidence as a public document by identifying all or the relevant part of the document to be offered.

(d) Official notice of facts. (1) A presiding officer may take official notice of any matter that may be judicially noticed by the courts of the United States, or of any matter about which the Commission, by reason of its functions, is expert.

(2) The presiding officer must afford any participant, making a timely request, an opportunity to show the contrary of an officially noticed fact.

(3) Any participant requesting official notice of facts after the conclusion of the hearing must set forth reasons to justify the failure to request official notice prior to the close of the hearing.

(e) Stipulations. (1) Participants in a proceeding may stipulate to any relevant matters of fact or the authenticity of any relevant documents.

(2) A stipulation may be received in evidence at the hearing and, if received in evidence, the stipulation is binding on the stipulating participants with respect to any matter stipulated.

(3) A stipulation may be written or made orally at the hearing.

§385.509   Admissibility of evidence (Rule 509).

(a) General standard. The presiding officer should exclude from evidence any irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious material. The presiding officer may also exclude from evidence any other material which the presiding officer determines is not of the kind which would affect reasonable and fair-minded persons in the conduct of their daily affairs.

(b) Ruling on evidence. (1) The presiding officer will rule on the admissibility of any evidence offered.

(2) If any participant objects to the admission or exclusion of evidence, the participant must state briefly the grounds for the objection.

(3) The presiding officer will not permit formal exceptions to any ruling on evidence. This prohibition against formal exceptions does not preclude a participant from raising, as an issue, the validity of any ruling on evidence later in the proceeding, consistent with Rule 711.

[Order 225, 47 FR 19022, May 3, 1982, as amended by Order 225-A, 47 FR 35956, Aug. 18, 1982]

§385.510   Miscellaneous provisions (Rule 510).

(a) Transcript. (1) Any statement made at a hearing session will be transcribed in a verbatim report, with nothing omitted except as directed by the presiding officer on the record. A statement at a hearing may not occur off-the-record, except as otherwise directed by the presiding officer.

(2) After the closing of a record, changes in the transcript are not permitted, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section.

(b) Transcript corrections. (1) Any correction in the transcript of a hearing may be made only if the correction conforms the transcript to the evidence presented at the hearing and to the truth.

(2) A transcript correction may be incorporated in the record, in accordance with a ruling of the presiding officer, if:

(i) Agreed to by all participants and approved by the presiding officer; or

(ii) The presiding officer requests submittal of transcript corrections and rules on the corrections submitted.

(3) Transcript corrections may be made at any time during the hearing or after the close of evidence, as the presiding officer determines appropriate, but only if the correction is made not less than 10 days before the time for filing final briefs.

(c) Close of evidentiary record. The presiding officer will designate the time at which the evidentiary record is closed. Evidence may not be added to the evidentiary record after the record is closed, unless the record is reopened under Rule 716.

(d) Copies of exhibits and motions to participants. Except as otherwise provided in this subpart, copies of exhibits and motions will be provided at the hearing to any participants who have not been provided copies.

(e) Fees of subpoenaed witnesses. (1) Any witnesses subpoenaed by the Commission must be paid the same fees and mileage provided for similar services in the district courts of the United States.

(2) Any fees and mileage paid to a subpoenaed witness under paragraph (e)(1) of this section will be paid by the Commission, unless the witness is subpoenaed at the instance of a party.

(3) If the witness is subpoenaed at the instance of a party, any fees and mileage paid to the witness under paragraph (e)(1) of this section must be paid by the party. The Commission, before issuing any subpoena at the instance of the party, may require the party to deposit an amount adequate to cover the witness probable fees and mileage under paragraph (e)(1) of this section. The deposit will be refunded when the party pays the witness in full.

(f) Offers of proof. (1) Any offer of proof made in connection with a ruling of the presiding officer rejecting or excluding proffered oral testimony must consist of a statement of the substance of the evidence which the participant claims would be adduced by the testimony.

(2) If any excluded evidence is in the form of an exhibit or is a public document, a copy of such exhibit will constitute the offer of proof or the public document will be specified for identification.



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