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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of October 20, 2014

Title 49Subtitle BChapter XSubchapter B → Part 1114


Title 49: Transportation


PART 1114—EVIDENCE; DISCOVERY


Contents

Subpart A—General Rules of Evidence

§1114.1   Admissibility.
§1114.2   Official records.
§1114.3   Admissibility of business records.
§1114.4   Documents in Board's files.
§1114.5   Records in other Board proceedings.
§1114.6   Official notice of corroborative material.
§1114.7   Exhibits.

Subpart B—Discovery

§1114.21   Applicability; general provisions.
§1114.22   Deposition.
§1114.23   Depositions; location, officer, time, fees, absence, disqualification.
§1114.24   Depositions; procedures.
§1114.25   Effect of errors and irregularities in depositions.
§1114.26   Written interrogatories to parties.
§1114.27   Request for admission.
§1114.28   Depositions, requests for admission, written interrogatories, and responses thereto: inclusion in record.
§1114.29   Supplementation of responses.
§1114.30   Production of documents and records and entry upon land for inspection and other purposes.
§1114.31   Failure to respond to discovery.

Authority: 5 U.S.C. 559; 49 U.S.C. 721.

Source: 47 FR 49562, Nov. 1, 1982, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A—General Rules of Evidence

§1114.1   Admissibility.

Any evidence which is sufficiently reliable and probative to support a decision under the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, or which would be admissible under the general statutes of the United States, or under the rules of evidence governing proceedings in matters not involving trial by jury in the courts of the United States, will be admissible in hearings before the Board. The rules of evidence will be applied in any proceeding to the end that necessary and proper evidence will be conveniently, inexpensively, and speedily produced, while preserving the substantial rights of the parties.

[47 FR 49562, Nov. 1, 1982, as amended at 61 FR 52713, Oct. 8, 1996]

§1114.2   Official records.

An official record or an entry therein, when admissible for any purpose, may be evidenced by an official publication thereof or by a copy attested by the officer having the legal custody of the record, or by a deputy, and accompanied with a certificate that such officer has the custody. If the office in which the record is kept is within the United States or within a territory or insular possession subject to the dominion of the United States, the certificate may be made by a judge of a court of record of the district or political subdivision in which the record is kept, authenticated by the seal of the court, or may be made by any public officer having a seal of office and having official duties in the district or political subdivision in which the record is kept, authenticated by the seal of his office. If the office in which the record is kept is in a foreign state or country, the certificate may be made by a secretary of embassy or legation, consul general, consul, vice consul, or consular agent or by officer in the foreign service of the United States stationed in the foreign state or country in which the record is kept, and authenticated by the seal of his office. A written statement signed by an officer having the custody of an official record or by his deputy that after diligent search no record or entry of a specified tenor is found to exist in the records of his office, accompanied by a certificate as above provided, is admissible as evidence that the records of this office contain no such record or entry. This section does not prevent the proof of official records or of entry or lack of entry therein or official notice thereof by a method authorized by any applicable statute or by the rules of evidence.

§1114.3   Admissibility of business records.

Any writing or record, whether in the form of an entry in a book or otherwise, made as a memorandum or record of any act, transaction, occurrence, or event, will be admissible as evidence thereof if it appears that it was made in the regular course of business, and that it was the regular course of business to make such memorandum or record at the time such record was made, or within a reasonable time thereafter.

§1114.4   Documents in Board's files.

If a party offers in evidence any matter contained in a report or other document open to public inspection in the files of the Board, such report or other document need not be made available at the hearing.

[47 FR 49562, Nov. 1, 1982, as amended at 61 FR 52713, Oct. 8, 1996]

§1114.5   Records in other Board proceedings.

If any portion of the record before the Board in any proceeding other than the proceeding at issue is offered in evidence, a true copy will be presented for the record.

[47 FR 49562, Nov. 1, 1982, as amended at 61 FR 52713, Oct. 8, 1996]

§1114.6   Official notice of corroborative material.

The Board or a hearing officer may take notice of official records, records in other Board proceedings, or other materials which are otherwise subject to specific rules governing admissibility regardless of compliance with the full technical provisions of such rules, where the admissibility of the evidence is for purposes of corroboration of testimony presented or to evaluate the credibility of testimony or allegations made in proceedings where the public interest is not otherwise adequately represented by counsel capable of fully complying with such rules.

[47 FR 49562, Nov. 1, 1982, as amended at 61 FR 52713, Oct. 8, 1996]

§1114.7   Exhibits.

Whenever practical the sheets of each exhibit and the lines of each sheet should be numbered. If the exhibit consists of five or more sheets, the first sheet or title-page should be confined to a brief statement of what the exhibit purports to show with reference by sheet and line to illustrative or typical examples contained therein. The exhibit should bear an identifying number, letter, or short title which will readily distinguish it from other exhibits offered by the same party. It is desirable that, whenever practicable, evidence should be condensed into tables. Whenever practicable, especially in proceedings in which it is likely that many documents will be offered, all the documents produced by a single witness should be assembled and bound together, suitably arranged and indexed, so that they may be identified and offered as one exhibit. Exhibits should not be argumentative and should be limited to statements of facts, and be relevant and material to the issue, which can better be shown in that form than by oral testimony.

[47 FR 49562, Nov. 1, 1982, as amended at 61 FR 52713, Oct. 8, 1996]

Subpart B—Discovery

§1114.21   Applicability; general provisions.

(a) When discovery is available. (1) Parties may obtain discovery under this subpart regarding any matter, not privileged, which is relevant to the subject matter involved in a proceeding other than an informal proceeding. For the purpose of this subchapter, informal proceedings are those not required to be determined on the record after hearing and include informal complaints and all proceedings assigned for initial disposition to employee boards under §1011.6.

(2) It is not grounds for objection that the information sought will be inadmissible as evidence if the information sought appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

(3) In cases using the simplified standards Three-Benchmark method, the number of discovery requests that either party can submit is limited as set forth in §§1114.22, 1114.26, and 1114.30, absent advance authorization from the Board.

(b) How discovery is obtained. All discovery procedures may be used by parties without filing a petition and obtaining prior Board approval.

(c) Protective conditions. Upon motion by any party, by the person from whom discovery is sought, or by any person with a reasonable interest in the data, information, or material sought to be discovered and for good cause shown, any order which justice requires may be entered to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense, or to prevent the raising of issues untimely or inappropriate to the proceeding. Relief through a protective order may include one or more of the following:

(1) That the discovery not be had;

(2) That the discovery may be had only on specified terms and conditions, including a designation of the time and place;

(3) That the discovery may be had only upon such terms and conditions as the Board may impose to insure financial responsibility indemnifying the party or person against whom discovery is sought to cover the reasonable expenses incurred;

(4) That the discovery may be had only by a method other than that selected by the party seeking discovery;

(5) That certain matters not be inquired into or that the scope of discovery be limited to certain matters;

(6) That discovery be conducted with no one present except persons designated in the protective order;

(7) That a deposition after being sealed be opened only by order of the Board;

(8) That a trade secret or other confidential research development or commercial information not be disclosed or be disclosed only in a designated way; and

(9) That the parties simultaneously file specified documents or information enclosed in sealed envelopes to be opened only upon direction or order of the Board.

If the motion for a protective order is denied in whole or in part, the Board may, on such terms and conditions as it deems just, enter an order requiring any party or person to provide or permit discovery. A protective order under this paragraph may only be sought after, or in conjunction with, an effort by any party to obtain relief under §1114.24(a), §1114.26(a), or §1114.31.

(d) Sequence and timing of discovery. Unless the Board upon motion, for the convenience of parties and witnesses and in the interest of justice, orders otherwise, methods of discovery may be used in any sequence and the fact that a party is conducting discovery, whether by deposition or otherwise, should not operate to delay any party's discovery.

(e) Stipulations regarding discovery. Unless otherwise ordered, a written stipulation entered into by all the parties and filed with the Board may:

(1) Provide that depositions be taken before any person, at any time or place, upon sufficient notice, and in any manner and when so taken may be used like other depositions; and

(2) Modify the procedures provided by these rules for other methods of discovery.

(f) Service of discovery materials. Unless otherwise ordered by the Board, depositions, interrogatories, requests for documents, requests for admissions, and answers and responses thereto, shall be served on other counsel and parties, but shall not be filed with the Board. Any such materials, or portions thereof, should be appended to the appropriate pleading when used to support or to reply to a motion, or when used as an evidentiary submission.

[47 FR 49562, Nov. 1, 1982, as amended at 61 FR 52713, Oct. 8, 1996; 72 FR 51377, Sept. 7, 2007]

§1114.22   Deposition.

(a) Purpose. The testimony of any person, including a party, may be taken by deposition upon oral examination.

(b) Request. A party requesting to take a deposition and perpetuate testimony:

(1) Should notify all parties to the proceeding and the person sought to be deposed; and

(2) Should set forth the name and address of the witness, the place where, the time when, the name and office of the officer before whom, and the cause or reason why such deposition will be taken.

(c) Limitation under simplified standards. In a case using the Three-Benchmark methodology, each party is limited to one deposition absent advance authorization from the Board.

[61 FR 52713, Oct. 8, 1996, as amended at 72 FR 51377, Sept. 7, 2007]

§1114.23   Depositions; location, officer, time, fees, absence, disqualification.

(a) Where deposition should be taken. Unless otherwise ordered or agreed to by stipulation, depositions should be taken in the city or municipality where the deponent is located.

(b) Officer before whom taken. Within the United States or within a territory or insular possession subject to the dominion of the United States, depositions should be taken before an officer authorized to administer oaths by the laws of the United States or of the place where the examination is held. Within a foreign country, depositions may be taken before an officer or person designated by the Board or agreed upon by the parties by stipulation in writing to be filed with the Board.

(c) Fees. A witness whose deposition is taken pursuant to these rules and the officer taking same, unless he be employed by the Board, shall be entitled to the same fee paid for like service in the courts of the United States, which fee should be paid by the party at whose instance the deposition is taken.

(d) Failure to attend or to serve subpoena; expenses. (1) If the party who filed a petition for discovery fails to attend and proceed with the taking of the deposition and another party attends in person or by representative pursuant to an order of the Board granting discovery the Board may order the party who filed the petition to pay to such other party the reasonable expenses incurred by him and his representative in so attending, including reasonable attorney's fees.

(2) If the party who filed a petition for discovery fails to serve a subpoena upon the witness and the witness because of such failure does not attend, and if another party attends in person or by representative because he expects the deposition of the witness to be taken, the Board may order the party who filed the petition to pay to such other party the reasonable expenses incurred by him and his representative in so attending, including reasonable attorney's fees.

(e) Disqualification for interest. No deposition should be taken before a person who is a relative or employee or representative or counsel of any of the parties, or is a relative or employee of such representative or counsel or is financially interested in the proceeding.

[47 FR 49562, Nov. 1, 1982, as amended at 61 FR 52713, Oct. 8, 1996]

§1114.24   Depositions; procedures.

(a) Examination. Examination and cross-examination of witnesses should proceed as permitted at a hearing and should be limited to the subject matter specified in the order granting discovery. All objections made at the time of the examination to the qualifications of the officer taking the deposition, or to the manner of taking it, or to the evidence presented, or to the conduct of any party, and any other objection to the proceedings, should be noted by the officer upon the deposition. Evidence objected to should be taken subject to the objections. In lieu of participating in the oral examination, parties may serve written questions in a sealed envelope on the party taking the deposition, and shall transmit them to the officer, who shall open the sealed envelope, propound the questions to the witness, and record the answers verbatim.

(b) Use of depositions. At the hearings, any part or all of a deposition, so far as admissible under the rules of evidence, may be used against any party who was present or represented at the taking of the deposition or who had due notice thereof, in accordance with any one of the following provisions:

(1) Any deposition may be used by any party for the purpose of contradicting or impeaching the testimony of the deponent as a witness.

(2) The deposition of a party or of anyone who at the time of taking the deposition was an officer, director, or managing agent, or a person designated to testify on behalf of a public or private corporation, partnership, association or governmental agency (other than this Board, except in those instances where the Board itself is a party to the proceeding) which is a party, may be used by an adverse party for any purpose.

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

(i) That the witness is dead; or

(ii) That the witness is at a greater distance than 100 miles from the place of hearing or is out of the United States, unless it appears that the absence of the witness was procured by the party offering the deposition; or

(iii) That the witness is unable to attend or testify because of age, illness, infirmity, or imprisonment; or

(iv) That the party offering the deposition has been unable to procure the attendance of the witness by subpoena; or

(v) Upon application and notice, that such exceptional circumstances exist as to make it desirable, in the interest of justice and with due regard to the importance of presenting the testimony of witness orally at public hearing, to allow the deposition to be used.

(4) If only part of a deposition is offered in evidence by a party, an adverse party may require him to introduce any other part which ought in fairness to be considered with the part introduced, and any party may introduce any other parts. Substitution of parties does not affect the right to use depositions previously taken.

(c) Effect of taking or using depositions. A party should not be deemed to make a person his own witness for any purpose by taking his deposition. The introduction in evidence of the deposition or any part thereof for any purpose other than that of contradicting or impeaching the deponent makes the deponent the witness of the party introducing the deposition, but this should not apply to the use of an adverse party of a deposition under paragraph (b)(2) of this section. At the hearing any party may rebut any relevant evidence contained in a deposition whether introduced by him or by any other party.

(d) Motions to protect. At any time during the taking of the deposition, on motion of any party or of the deponent and upon a showing that the examination is being conducted in bad faith or in such manner as unreasonably to annoy, embarrass, or oppress the deponent or party, the Board may order the officer conducting the examination to cease forthwith from taking the deposition, or may limit the scope and manner of the taking of the deposition as provided in §1114.21(c). If the order made terminates the examination, it should be resumed thereafter only if so ordered. Upon demand of the objecting party or deponent, the taking of the deposition should be suspended for the time necessary to make a motion for an order.

(e) Recordation. The officer before whom the deposition is to be taken shall observe the provisions of §1113.6 respecting appearances and typographical specifications, shall put the witness under oath, and shall personally, or by someone acting under his direction and in his presence, record and transcribe the testimony of the witness as required by these rules.

(f) Signing. When the testimony is fully transcribed or otherwise recorded, the deposition should be submitted to the witness for examination and should be read to or by him unless such examination and reading are waived by the witness and the parties. Any changes in form or substance which the witness desires to make should be entered upon the deposition by the officer with a statement of the reasons given by the witness for making them. The witness shall then sign the deposition, unless the parties by stipulation waive the signing or the witness is ill or cannot be found or refuses to sign. If the deposition is not signed by the witness within 15 days of its submission to him, the officer shall sign it and state on the record the fact of the waiver or of the illness or absence of the witness or the fact of the refusal to sign together with the reason, if any, given therefor; and the deposition may then be used fully as though signed, unless, on a motion to suppress, it is found that the reasons given for refusal to sign require rejection of the deposition in whole or in part.

(g) Attestation. The officer shall certify on the deposition that the witness was duly sworn by him and that the deposition is a true record of the testimony given by the witness, and that the officer is: (1) Not a relative, employee, representative or counsel of any of the parties, (2) not a relative or employee of such representative or counsel, and (3) not financially interested in the proceeding.

(h) Return. The officer shall securely seal the deposition in an envelope endorsed with sufficient information to identify the proceeding and marked “Deposition of (here insert name of witness)” and shall either personally deliver or promptly send the original and one copy of all exhibits by registered mail to the Office of Proceedings. A deposition to be offered in evidence must reach the Board not later than 5 days before the date it is to be so offered.

(i) Notice. The party taking the deposition shall give prompt notice of its filing to all other parties.

(j) Copies. Upon payment of reasonable charges, the officer before whom the deposition is taken shall furnish a copy of it to any interested party or to the deponent.

[47 FR 49562, Nov. 1, 1982, as amended at 61 FR 52713, Oct. 8, 1996; 74 FR 52908, Oct. 15, 2009]

§1114.25   Effect of errors and irregularities in depositions.

(a) As to disqualification of officer. Objection to taking a deposition because of disqualification of the officer before whom it is to be taken is waived unless made before the taking of the deposition begins or as soon thereafter as the disqualification becomes known or could be discovered with reasonable diligence.

(b) As to taking of deposition. (1) Objections to the competency of a witness or to the competency, relevancy, or materiality of testimony are not waived by failure to make them before or during the taking of the deposition, unless the ground of the objection is one which might have been obviated or removed if presented at that time.

(2) Errors and irregularities occurring at the oral examination in the manner of taking the deposition, in the form of the questions or answers in the oath or affirmation, or in the conduct of parties, and errors of any kind which might be obviated, removed, or cured if promptly presented, are waived unless seasonable objection thereto is made at the taking of the deposition.

(c) As to completion and return of deposition. Errors and irregularities in the manner in which the testimony is transcribed or the deposition is prepared, signed, certified, sealed, endorsed, transmitted, filed, or otherwise dealt with by the officer under §1114.23 and 1114.24 are waived unless a motion to suppress the deposition or some part thereof is made with reasonable promptness after such defect is, or with due diligence might have been, ascertained.

§1114.26   Written interrogatories to parties.

(a) Availability; procedures for use. Subject to the provisions of §1114.21(b)(2), any party may serve upon any other party written interrogatories to be answered by the party served, or if the party served is a public or private corporation, partnership, association, or Governmental agency (other than this Board, except in those instances where the Board itself is a party to the proceeding), by any officer or agent, who shall furnish such information as is available to the party. Each interrogatory should be answered separately and fully in writing, unless it is objected to, in which event the reasons for objection should be stated in lieu of an answer. The answers are to be signed by the person making them and subscribed by an appropriate verification generally in the form prescribed in §1112.9. Objections are to be signed by the representative or counsel making them. The person upon whom the interrogatories have been served shall serve a copy of the answers and objections within the time period designated by the party submitting the interrogatories, but not less than 15 days after the service thereof.

(b) Option to produce business records. Where the answer to an interrogatory may be derived or ascertained from the business records of the party upon whom the interrogatory has been served or from an examination, audit, or inspection of such business records or from a compilation, abstract, or summary based thereon, and the burden of deriving or ascertaining the answer is substantially the same for the party serving the interrogatory as for the party served, it is a sufficient answer to such interrogatory to specify the records from which the answer may be derived or ascertained and to afford to the party serving the interrogatory reasonable opportunity to examine, audit, or inspect such records and to make copies thereof, or compilation, abstracts, or summaries therefrom. If information sought is contained in computer runs, punchcards, or tapes which also contain privileged or proprietary information or information the disclosure of which is proscribed by the act, it will be sufficient response under these rules that the person upon whom the interrogatory has been served is willing to make available to and permit an independent professional organization not interested in the proceeding and paid by the party serving the interrogatory to extract from such runs, punchcards, or tapes the information sought in the interrogatory that is not privileged or proprietary information or information the disclosure of which is proscribed by the act.

(c) Service of interrogatories in those proceedings not requiring a petition. No written interrogatories shall be served within 20 days prior to the date assigned for commencement of hearing or the filing of opening statements of fact and argument under the modified procedure, and when the written interrogatories are to be served in a foreign country, they shall not be served within 40 days prior to such date.

(d) Limitation under simplified standards. In a case using the Three-Benchmark methodology, each party is limited to ten interrogatories (including subparts) absent advance authorization from the Board.

[47 FR 49562, Nov. 1, 1982, as amended at 61 FR 52713, Oct. 8, 1996; 72 FR 51377, Sept. 7, 2007]

§1114.27   Request for admission.

(a) Availability; procedures for use. Subject to the provisions of §1114.21(b)(2), a party may serve upon any other party a written request for the admission, for purposes of the pending proceeding only, of the truth of any matters within the scope of §1114.21 set forth in the request, including the genuineness of any documents described in the request for admission. Copies of documents should be served with the request unless they have been or are otherwise furnished or made available for inspection and copying. Each matter of which an admission is requested should be separately set forth. The matter is admitted unless, within a period designated in the request, not less than 15 days after service thereof, the party to whom the request is directed serves upon the party requesting the admission a written answer or objection addressed to the matter, signed by the party or his representative or counsel. If objection is made, the reasons therefor should be stated. The answer should specifically deny the matter or set forth in detail the reasons why the answering party cannot truthfully admit or deny the matter. A denial should fairly meet the substance of the requested admission, and when good faith requires that a party qualify his answer or deny only a part of the matter of which an admission is requested, he shall specify so much of it as is true and qualify or deny the remainder. An answering party may not give lack of information or knowledge as a reason for failure to admit or deny unless he states that he has made reasonable inquiry and that the information known or readily obtainable by him is insufficient to enable him to admit or deny. A party who considers that a matter of which an admission has been requested presents a genuine issue for hearing may not, on that ground alone, object to the request; he may, subject to the provisions of §1114.31, deny the matter or set forth reasons why he cannot admit or deny it.

(b) Effect of admission. Any matter admitted under this rule is conclusively established unless upon petition and a showing of good cause the Board enters an order permitting withdrawal or amendment of the admission. Any admission made by a party under this rule is for the purpose of the pending proceeding only and is not an admission by him for any other purpose nor may it be used against him in any other proceeding.

(c) Service of written requests for admission in those proceedings not requiring a petition. No requests for admission should be served within 20 days prior to the date assigned for commencement of hearing or the filing of opening statements of fact and argument under the modified procedure, and when requests for admission are to be served in a foreign country they should not be served within 40 days prior to such date.

[47 FR 49562, Nov. 1, 1982, as amended at 61 FR 52713, Oct. 8, 1996]

§1114.28   Depositions, requests for admission, written interrogatories, and responses thereto: inclusion in record.

At the oral hearing, or upon the submission of statements under the modified procedure, depositions, requests for admission and written interrogatories, and respective responses may be offered in evidence by the party at whose instance they were taken. If not offered by such party, they may be offered in whole or in part by any other party. If only part of a deposition, request for admission or written interrogatory, or response thereto is offered in evidence by a party, any other party (where the matter is being heard orally) may require him to introduce all of it which is relevant to the part introduced, and any party may introduce any other parts. Such depositions, requests for admission and written interrogatories, and responses thereto should be admissible in evidence subject to such objections as to competency of the witness, or competency, relevancy, or materiality of the testimony as were noted at the time of their taking or are made at the time they are offered in evidence.

§1114.29   Supplementation of responses.

A party who has responded to a request for discovery with a response that was complete when made is under a duty to supplement his response to include information thereafter acquired in the following instances:

(a) A party is under a duty seasonably to supplement his response with respect to any question directly addressed to:

(1) The identity and locations of persons having knowledge of discoverable matters, and

(2) The identity of each person expected to be called as an expert witness at the hearing, the subject matter on which he is expected to testify, and the substance of his testimony.

(b) A party who knows or later learns that his response is incorrect is under a duty seasonably to correct his response.

(c) A duty to supplement responses may be imposed by order, agreement of the parties, or at any time prior to the hearing or the submission of verified statements under the modified procedure through new requests for supplementation of prior responses.

§1114.30   Production of documents and records and entry upon land for inspection and other purposes.

(a) Scope. Any party may serve on any other party a request:

(1) To produce and permit the party making the request to inspect any designated documents (including writings, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, phonograph records, tapes, and other data compilations from which information can be obtained, translated, if necessary, with or without the use of detection devices into reasonably usable form), or to inspect and copy, test, or sample any tangible things which are in the possession, custody, or control of the party upon whom the request is served, but if the writings or data compilations include privileged or proprietary information or information the disclosure of which is proscribed by the Act, such writings or data compilations need not be produced under this rule but may be provided pursuant to §1114.26(b) of this part; or

(2) To permit, subject to appropriate liability releases and safety and operating considerations, entry upon designated land or other property in the possession or control of the party upon whom the request is served for the purpose of inspecting and measuring, surveying, photographing, testing, or sampling the property or any designated object or operation thereon.

(b) Procedure. Any request filed pursuant to this rule should set forth the items to be inspected either by individual item or by category and describe each item and category with reasonable particularity. The request should specify a reasonable time, place, and manner of making the inspection and performing the related acts.

(c) Limitation under simplified standards. In a case using the Three-Benchmark methodology, each party is limited to ten document requests (including subparts) absent advance authorization from the Board.

(d) Agreements containing interchange commitments. In any proceeding involving the reasonableness of provisions related to an existing rail carrier sale or lease agreement that serve to induce a party to the agreement to interchange traffic with another party to the agreement, rather than with a third-party connecting carrier, whether by outright prohibition, per-car penalty, adjustment in the purchase price or rental, positive economic inducement, or other means, a party to the proceeding with a need for the information may obtain a confidential, complete version of the agreement, with the prior approval of the Board. The party seeking such approval must file an appropriate motion containing an explanation of the party's need for the information and a draft protective order and undertaking(s) that will ensure the agreement is kept confidential. The motion seeking approval may be filed at any time after the initial complaint or petition, including before the answer to the complaint or petition is due. A reply to such a motion must be filed within 5 days thereafter. The motion will be considered by the Board in an expedited manner.

[61 FR 52713, Oct. 8, 1996, as amended at 72 FR 51377, Sept. 7, 2007; 73 FR 31034, May 30, 2008]

§1114.31   Failure to respond to discovery.

(a) Failure to answer. If a deponent fails to answer or gives an evasive answer or incomplete answer to a question propounded under §1114.24(a), or a party fails to answer or gives evasive or incomplete answers to written interrogatories served pursuant to §1114.26(a), the party seeking discovery may apply for an order compelling an answer by motion filed with the Board and served on all parties and deponents. Such motion to compel an answer must be filed with the Board and served on all parties and deponents. Such motion to compel an answer must be filed with the Board within 10 days after the failure to obtain a responsive answer upon deposition, or within 10 days after expiration of the period allowed for submission of answers to interrogatories. On matters relating to a deposition on oral examination, the proponent of the question may complete or adjourn the examination before he applies for an order.

(1) Reply to motion to compel generally. Except in rate cases to be considered under the stand-alone cost methodology or simplified standards, the time for filing a reply to a motion to compel is governed by 49 CFR 1104.13.

(2) Reply to motion to compel in stand-alone cost and simplified standards rate cases. A reply to a motion to compel must be filed with the Board within 10 days thereafter in a rate case to be considered under the stand-alone cost methodology or under the simplified standards.

(3) Conference with parties on motion to compel. Within 5 business days after the filing of a reply to a motion to compel in a rate case to be considered under the stand-alone cost methodology or under the simplified standards, Board staff may convene a conference with the parties to discuss the dispute, attempt to narrow the issues, and gather any further information needed to render a ruling.

(4) Ruling on motion to compel in stand-alone cost and simplified standards rate cases. Within 5 business days after a conference with the parties convened pursuant to paragraph (a)(3) of this section, the Director of the Office of Proceedings will issue a summary ruling on the motion to compel discovery. If no conference is convened, the Director of the Office of Proceedings will issue this summary ruling within 10 days after the filing of the reply to the motion to compel. Appeals of a Director's ruling will proceed under 49 CFR 1115.9, and the Board will attempt to rule on such appeals within 20 days after the filing of the reply to the appeal.

(b) Failure to comply with order. (1) If a party or other witness refuses to be sworn or refuses to answer any question after being directed to do so by the Board, such refusal may subject the refusing party or person to action by the Board under 49 U.S.C. 721(c) and (d) to compel appearance and compliance with the Board's order.

(2) If any party or an officer, director, managing agent, or employee of a party or person refuses to obey an order made under paragraph (a) of this section requiring him to answer designated questions, or an order made under §1114.30 requiring him to produce any document or other thing for inspection, copying, testing, sampling, or photographing or to permit it to be done, or to permit entry upon land or other property, the Board may make such orders in regard to the refusal as are just, and among others the following:

(i) An order that the matters regarding which questions were asked, or the character or description of the thing or land, or the contents of the paper, or any other designated facts should be taken to be established for the purposes of the proceeding in accordance with the claim of the party obtaining the order:

(ii) An order refusing to allow the disobedient party to support or oppose designated claims or defenses, or prohibiting him from introducing in evidence designated documents or things or items of testimony:

(iii) An order striking out pleadings or parts thereof, or staying further proceedings until the order is obeyed, or dismissing the proceedings or any party thereof.

(iv) In lieu of any of the foregoing orders, or in addition thereto, the Board shall require the party failing to obey the order or the attorney advising that party, or both, to pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees, caused by the failure, unless the Board finds that the failure was substantially justified or that other circumstances make an award of expenses unjust.

(c) Expenses on refusal to admit. If a party, after being served with a request under §1114.27 to admit the genuineness of any document or the truth of any matter of fact, serves a sworn denial thereof, and if the party requesting the admission thereafter proves the genuineness of any such document or the truth of any such matter of fact the Board may order the party making such denial to pay to such other party the reasonable expenses incurred in making that proof, including reasonable attorney's fees.

(d) Failure of party to attend or serve answers. If a party or a person or an officer, director, managing agent, or employee of a party or person willfully fails to appear before the officer who is to take his deposition, after being served with a proper notice, or fails to serve answers to interrogatories submitted under §1114.26, after proper service of such interrogatories, the Board on motion and notice may strike out all or any part of any pleading of that party or person, or dismiss the proceeding or any part thereof. In lieu of any such order or in addition thereto, the Board shall require the party failing to act or the attorney advising that party or both to pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees, caused by the failure, unless the Board finds that the failure was substantially justified or that other circumstances make an award of expenses unjust.

(e) Expenses against United States. Expenses and attorney's fees are not to be imposed upon the United States under this rule.

[47 FR 49562, Nov. 1, 1982, as amended at 61 FR 52713, Oct. 8, 1996; 68 FR 17313, Apr. 9, 2003; 69 FR 58366, Sept. 30, 2004; 72 FR 51377, Sept. 7, 2007; 74 FR 52908, Oct. 15, 2009]



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