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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of August 28, 2014

Title 16Chapter IISubchapter C → Part 1502


Title 16: Commercial Practices


PART 1502—PROCEDURES FOR FORMAL EVIDENTIARY PUBLIC HEARING


Contents

Subpart A—General Provisions

§1502.1   Scope.
§1502.2   Computation of time periods.
§1502.3   Confidential information.
§1502.4   Office of the Secretary.

Subpart B—Initiation of Proceedings

§1502.5   Initiation of a hearing involving the issuance, amendment, or revocation of a regulation.
§1502.6   Filing objections and requests for a hearing on a regulation.
§1502.7   Notice of filing of objections.
§1502.8   Ruling on objections and requests for hearing.
§1502.9   Modification or revocation of regulation or order.
§1502.10   Denial of hearing in whole or in part.
§1502.11   Judicial review after waiver of hearing on a regulation.
§1502.12   Request for alternative form of hearing.
§1502.13   Notice of hearing; stay of action.
§1502.14   Effective date of a regulation when no objections are filed.

Subpart C—Appearance and Participation

§1502.15   Appearance.
§1502.16   Notice of participation.
§1502.17   Advice on public participation in hearings.

Subpart D—Presiding Officer

§1502.18   Presiding officer.
§1502.19   Commencement of functions.
§1502.20   Authority of presiding officer.
§1502.21   Disqualification of presiding officer.
§1502.22   Unavailability of presiding officer.

Subpart E—Hearing Procedures

§1502.23   Filing and service of submissions.
§1502.24   Petition to participate in forma pauperis.
§1502.25   Disclosure of data and information to be relied on by the participants.
§1502.26   Purpose; oral and written testimony; burden of proof.
§1502.27   Participation of nonparties.
§1502.28   Conduct at oral hearings or conferences.
§1502.29   Time and place of prehearing conference.
§1502.30   Prehearing conference procedure.
§1502.31   Summary decisions.
§1502.32   Receipt of evidence.
§1502.33   Official notice.
§1502.34   Briefs and arguments.
§1502.35   Interlocutory appeal from ruling of presiding officer.
§1502.36   Official transcript.
§1502.37   Motions.

Subpart F—Administrative Record

§1502.38   Administrative record of a hearing.
§1502.39   Examination of record.

Subpart G—Initial and Final Decision

§1502.40   Initial decision.
§1502.41   Appeal from or review of initial decision.
§1502.42   Decision by Commission on appeal or review of initial decision.
§1502.43   Reconsideration and stay of Commission's action.

Subpart H—Judicial Review

§1502.44   Review by the courts.
§1502.45   Copies of petitions for judicial review.

Authority: 15 U.S.C. 1261(q)(1)(B), 1262(a), 1262(e), 1269(a); 15 U.S.C. 1474(a); 21 U.S.C. 371(e)-(g).

Source: 56 FR 9278, Mar. 6, 1991, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A—General Provisions

§1502.1   Scope.

The procedures in this part apply when—

(a) A person has a right to an opportunity for a hearing under sections 2(q)(1)(B) or 3(a) of the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (“FHSA”) and 701(e) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (“FDCA”) (15 U.S.C. 1261(q)(1)(B) and 1262(a), and 21 U.S.C. 371(e));

(b) The Commission elects to hold a hearing under section 3(e)(1) of the FHSA or section 5 of the Poison Prevention Packaging Act (“PPPA”) and section 701(e) of the FDCA (15 U.S.C. 1262(e)(1) and 1474(a), and 21 U.S.C. 371(e)); or

(c) The Commission concludes that it is in the public interest to hold a formal evidentiary public hearing on any matter before it in such a proceeding.

§1502.2   Computation of time periods.

Whenever a time period for taking action is specified by these procedures, by the presiding officer, or by the Commission, Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays are included in computing time. However, if the last day for taking such action falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday, the action shall be timely if taken on or before the next Federal Government business day.

§1502.3   Confidential information.

Whenever any participant desires or is required to submit information in any proceeding under this part 1502, and the participant believes that such information consists of trade secret or other confidential business or financial information that should not be disclosed publicly, the participant may, instead of submitting such information, file a motion for a protective order containing a general description of the information desired to be withheld, together with a detailed argument supporting the claim that the information should be held in confidence.

§1502.4   Office of the Secretary.

(a) The mailing address of the Commission's Office of the Secretary is:

Office of the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, DC 20207.

(b) The address for delivery to the Office of the Secretary is:

Office of the Secretary, Room 502, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, Maryland 20816.

(c) The telephone number of the Office of the Secretary is (301)504-0800.

[56 FR 9278, Mar. 6, 1991, as amended at 62 FR 46667, Sept. 4, 1997]

Subpart B—Initiation of Proceedings

§1502.5   Initiation of a hearing involving the issuance, amendment, or revocation of a regulation.

(a) The Federal Register notice promulgating the final regulation will describe how to submit objections and requests for hearing.

(b) On or before the 30th day after the date of publication of a final regulation in the Federal Register, a person may file written objections, with or without a request for a hearing, with the Commission. The 30-day period may not be extended, except that additional information supporting an objection may be received after 30 days upon a showing of inadvertent omission or for other good cause shown, if consideration of the additional information will not delay review of the objection and request for hearing.

§1502.6   Filing objections and requests for a hearing on a regulation.

(a) Objections and requests for a hearing under §1502.5(a) must be filed with the Office of the Secretary and will be accepted for filing if they meet the following conditions:

(1) They are submitted within the time specified in §1502.5(b).

(2) Each objection is separately numbered.

(3) Each objection specifies with particularity the provision(s) of the regulation to which that objection is directed.

(4) Each objection on which a hearing is requested specifically requests a hearing. Failure to request a hearing on an objection constitutes a waiver of the right to a hearing on that objection.

(5) Each objection for which a hearing is requested includes a detailed description of the basis for the objection and the factual information or analysis in support thereof. Failure to include a description and analysis for an objection constitutes a waiver of the right to a hearing on that objection. The description and analysis may be used only for the purpose of determining whether a hearing has been justified under §1502.8, and do not limit the evidence that may be presented if a hearing is granted.

(i) A copy of any report, article, survey, or other written document relied upon must be submitted, unless the document is—

(A) A CPSC document that is routinely publicly available; or

(B) A recognized medical or scientific textbook or journal in the public domain.

(ii) A summary of the non-documentary testimony to be presented by any witnesses relied upon must be submitted.

(b) If an objection or request for a public hearing fails to meet the requirements of this section the Office of the General Counsel shall notify the Office of the Secretary of the deficiency. The Office of the Secretary shall return it with a copy of the applicable regulations, indicating those provisions not complied with. A deficient objection or request for a hearing may be supplemented and subsequently filed if submitted within the 30-day time period specified in §1502.5(b).

(c) If another person objects to a regulation issued in response to a petition, the petitioner may submit a written reply to the Office of the Secretary on or before the 15th day after the last day for filing objections.

§1502.7   Notice of filing of objections.

As soon as practicable after the expiration of the time for filing objections to and requests for hearing on agency action involving the issuance, amendment, or revocation of a regulation under the FHSA or the PPPA and section 701(e) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the Commission shall publish a notice in the Federal Register specifying those parts of the regulation that have been stayed by the filing of proper objections and, if no objections have been filed, stating that fact. The notice does not constitute a determination that a hearing is justified on any objections or requests for hearing that have been filed. When to do so will cause no undue delay, the notice required by this section may be combined with the notices described in §§1502.10 and 1502.13.

§1502.8   Ruling on objections and requests for hearing.

(a) As soon as practicable, the Commission will review all objections and requests for hearing filed under §1502.6 and determine—

(1) Whether the regulation should be modified or revoked under §1502.9; and

(2) Whether a hearing has been justified.

(b) A request for a hearing will be granted if the material submitted shows the following:

(1) There is a genuine and substantial issue of fact for resolution at a hearing. A hearing will not be granted on issues of policy or law.

(2) The factual issue can be resolved by available and specifically identified reliable evidence. A hearing will not be granted on the basis of mere allegations or denials or general descriptions of positions and contentions.

(3) The data and information submitted, if established at a hearing, would be adequate to justify resolution of the factual issue in the way sought by the person. A hearing will be denied if the Commission concludes that the data and information submitted, even though accurate, are insufficient to justify the factual determination urged.

(4) Resolution of the factual issue in the way sought by the person is adequate to justify the action requested. A hearing will not be granted on factual issues that are not determinative with respect to the action requested, e.g., if the Commission concludes that the Commission's action would be the same even if the factual issue were resolved in the way sought, or if a request is made that a final regulation include a provision not reasonably encompassed by the proposal.

(5) The action requested is not inconsistent with any provision in the FHSA or any regulation in 16 CFR subchapter C explaining or particularizing the requirements of the FHSA.

(6) The requirements in other applicable regulations, and in the notice promulgating the final regulation or the notice of opportunity for hearing are met.

(c) In making the determinations specified in paragraph (a) of this section, the Commission may issue an appropriate order on the determinations without further notice or opportunity for comment from interested parties. However, the Commission, at its option, may use the procedure specified in 16 CFR part 1052 or any other applicable public procedure available to it.

(d) If it is uncertain whether a hearing has been justified under the principles in paragraph (b) of this section, and the Commission concludes that summary decision against the person requesting a hearing should be considered, the Commission may serve upon the person by registered mail a proposed order denying a hearing. The person has 30 days after receipt of the proposed order to demonstrate that the submission justifies a hearing.

§1502.9   Modification or revocation of regulation or order.

If, upon review of an objection or request for hearing, the Commission determines that the regulation should be modified or revoked, the Commission will promptly take such action by notice in the Federal Register. Further objections to or requests for hearing on the modification or revocation may be submitted under §§1502.5 and 1502.6, but no further issue may be taken with other provisions in the regulation. Objections and requests for hearing that are not affected by the modification or revocation will remain on file and be acted upon in due course.

§1502.10   Denial of hearing in whole or in part.

(a) If the Commission determines upon review of the objections or requests for hearing that a hearing is not justified, in whole or in part, a notice of the determination will be published in the Federal Register.

(b) The notice will state whether the hearing is denied in whole or in part. If the hearing is denied in part, the notice will be combined with the notice of hearing required by §1502.13, and will specify the objections and requests for hearing that have been granted and denied.

(c) Any denial will be explained. A denial based on an analysis of the information submitted to justify a hearing will explain the inadequacy of the information.

(d) The notice will confirm, modify, or stay the effective date of the regulation involved.

(e) The record of the administrative proceeding relating to denial in whole or in part of a public hearing on an objection or request for hearing consists of the following:

(1) The entire rulemaking record;

(2) The objections and requests for hearing filed by the Office of the Secretary; and

(3) The notice denying a formal evidentiary public hearing.

(f) The record specified in paragraph (e) of this section is the exclusive record for the Commission's decision on the complete or partial denial of a hearing. The record of the proceeding will be closed as of the date of the Commission's decision denying a hearing, unless another date is specified. A person who requested and was denied a hearing may submit a petition for reconsideration or a petition for stay of the Commission's action. A person who wishes to rely upon information or views not included in the administrative record shall submit them to the Commission with a petition to modify the final regulation.

(g) Denial of a request for a hearing in whole or in part is final agency action reviewable in the courts, under the statutory provisions governing the matter involved, as of the date of publication of the denial in the Federal Register.

(1) Before requesting a court for a stay of the Commission's action pending judicial review, a person shall first submit a petition to the Commission for a stay of action.

(2) The time for filing a petition for judicial review of a denial of a hearing on an objection or issue begins on the date the denial is published in the Federal Register. The failure to file a petition for judicial review within the period established in the statutory provision governing the matter involved constitutes a waiver of the right to judicial review of the objection or issue, regardless whether a hearing has been granted on other objections and issues.

§1502.11   Judicial review after waiver of hearing on a regulation.

(a) A person with a right to submit objections and a request for hearing under §1502.5(a) may submit objections and waive the right to a hearing. The waiver may be either an explicit statement, or a failure to request a hearing, as provided in §1502.6(a)(4).

(b) If a person waives the right to a hearing, the Commission will rule upon the person's objections under §§1502.8 through 1502.10. As a matter of discretion, the Commission may also order a hearing on the matter.

(c) If the Commission rules adversely on a person's objection, the person may petition for judicial review in a U.S. court of appeals under the appropriate statute.

(1) The record for judicial review is the record designated in §1502.10(e).

(2) The time for filing a petition for judicial review begins on the date of publication of the Commission's ruling on the objections in the Federal Register.

§1502.12   Request for alternative form of hearing.

(a) A person with a right to request a formal hearing may waive that right and request a hearing before the Commission under 16 CFR part 1052.

(b) The request—

(1) May be on the person's own initiative or at the suggestion of the Commission;

(2) Must be submitted by the person in the form of a petition before publication of a notice of hearing under §1502.13 or a denial of hearing under §1502.10; and

(3) Must be—

(i) In lieu of a request for a formal hearing under §1502.5; or,

(ii) If submitted with or after a request for formal hearing, accompanied by a waiver of the right to a formal hearing, conditioned on the request for the alternative form of hearing. Upon acceptance by the Commission, the waiver becomes binding and may be withdrawn only by waiving any right to any form of hearing, unless the Commission determines otherwise.

(c) When more than one person requests and justifies a formal hearing under these procedures, an alternative form of hearing may be used only if all the persons concur and waive their right to request a formal hearing.

(d) The Commission will determine whether an alternative form of hearing should be used after considering the requests submitted and the appropriateness of the alternative hearing for the issues raised in the objections. The Commission's determination is binding unless, for good cause, the Commission subsequently determines otherwise.

(e) If the Commission determines that an alternative form of hearing will be used, the Commission will publish a notice in the Federal Register setting forth the following information:

(1) A description of the regulation that is the subject of the hearing.

(2) A statement specifying any part of the regulation that has been stayed by operation of law or in the Commission's discretion.

(3) The time, date, and place of the hearing, or a statement that such information will be contained in a later notice.

(4) The parties to the hearing.

(5) The issues at the hearing. The statement of issues determines the scope of the hearing.

§1502.13   Notice of hearing; stay of action.

(a) If the Commission determines upon review of the objections and requests for hearing that a hearing is justified on any issue, the Commission will publish a notice setting forth the following:

(1) A description of the regulation that is the subject of the hearing.

(2) A statement specifying any part of the regulation or order that has been stayed by operation of law or in the Commission's discretion.

(3) The parties to the hearing.

(4) The issues of fact on which a hearing has been justified.

(5) A statement of any objections or requests for hearing for which a hearing has not been justified, which are subject to §1502.10.

(6) The presiding officer, or a statement that the presiding officer will be designated in a later notice.

(7) The time within which notices of participation should be filed under §1502.16.

(8) The date, time, and place of the prehearing conference, or a statement that the date, time, and place will be announced in a later notice. The prehearing conference may not commence until after the time expires for filing the notice of participation required by §1502.16(a).

(9) The time within which participants should submit written information and views under §1502.25(b). Additional copies of material already submitted under §1502.25 need not be included with any later submissions.

(10) The contents of the portions of the administrative record relevant to the issues at the hearing. Except for trade secrets or other confidential information, the disclosure of which is prohibited by statute, the portions listed will be placed on public display in the Office of the Secretary before the notice is published.

(b) The statement of the issues determines the scope of the hearing and the matters on which evidence may be introduced. The issues may be revised by the presiding officer. A participant may obtain interlocutory review by the Commission of a decision by the presiding officer to revise the issues to include an issue on which the Commission has not granted a hearing or to eliminate an issue on which a hearing has been granted.

(c) A hearing is deemed to begin on the date of publication of the notice of hearing.

§1502.14   Effective date of a regulation when no objections are filed.

(a) If no objections are filed and no hearing is requested on a regulation under §1502.5, the regulation is effective on the date specified in the regulation as promulgated.

(b) The Commission shall publish a confirmation of the effective date of the regulation. The Federal Register document confirming the effective date of the regulation may extend the time for compliance with the regulation.

Subpart C—Appearance and Participation

§1502.15   Appearance.

(a) A person who has filed a notice of participation under §1502.16 may appear in person or by counsel or other representative in any hearing and, subject to §1502.27, may be heard concerning all relevant issues.

(b) The presiding officer may strike a person's appearance for violation of the requirements regarding conduct in §1502.28.

§1502.16   Notice of participation.

(a) Within 30 days after publication of the notice of hearing under §1502.13, a person desiring to participate in a hearing is to file with the Office of the Secretary a notice of participation in the following form:

(Date)

Office of the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Room 502, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD. Mailing address: Office of the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, DC 20207.

Notice of Participation

(Title of Regulation)

Docket No.

Please enter the participation of:

(Name)
(Street address)
(City, State, and Zip Code)
 
(Telephone number)

Service on the above will be accepted by:

(Name)
(City, State, and Zip Code)
 
(Telephone number)

The following statements are made as part of this notice of participation:

A. Specific interests. (A statement of the specific interest of the person in the proceeding, including the specific issues of fact concerning which the person desires to be heard. This part need not be completed by a party to the proceeding.)

B. Commitment to participate. (A statement that the person will present documentary evidence or testimony at the hearing and will comply with the requirements of §1502.25 of these procedures.)

(Signed)

(b) Any amendment to a notice of participation should be filed with the Office of the Secretary and served on all participants.

(c) No person may participate in a hearing who has not filed a written notice of participation or whose participation has been stricken under paragraph (e) of this section.

(d) The presiding officer may permit the late filing of a notice of participation upon a showing of good cause.

(e) The presiding officer may strike the participation of a person for nonparticipation in the hearing or for failure to comply with any requirement of this subpart, e.g., disclosure of information as required by §1502.25 or the prehearing order issued under §1502.30. Any person whose participation is stricken may petition the Commission for interlocutory review of that decision.

[56 FR 9278, Mar. 6, 1991, as amended at 62 FR 46667, Sept. 4, 1997]

§1502.17   Advice on public participation in hearings.

(a) All inquiries from the public about scheduling, location, and general procedures should be addressed to the Office of the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, DC 20207, or telephone (301) 504-0800.

(b) Requests by hearing participants for changes in the schedule of a hearing or for filing documents, briefs, or other pleadings should be made in writing directly to the presiding officer.

(c) Under no circumstances will the Office of the General Counsel of CPSC directly provide advice about a hearing to any person who is participating or may participate in the hearing. In every hearing, certain attorneys in the office are designated to represent the staff. Other members of the office, ordinarily including the General Counsel, are designated to advise the Commission on a final decision in the matter. It is not compatible with these functions, nor would it be professionally responsible, for the attorneys in the Office of the General Counsel also to advise other participants in a hearing, or for any attorney who may be called on to advise the Commission to respond to inquiries from other participants in the hearing; such participants may be urging views contrary to those of the staff involved or to what may ultimately be the final conclusions of the Commission. Accordingly, members of the Office of the General Counsel, other than the attorneys responsible for representing the staff, will not answer questions about the hearing from any participant or potential participant.

(d) Participants in a hearing may communicate with the attorneys responsible for representing the staff, in the same way that they may communicate with counsel for any other party in interest about the presentation of matters at the hearing. It would be inappropriate to bar discussion of such matters as stipulations of fact, joint presentation of witnesses, or possible settlement of hearing issues. Members of the public, including participants at hearings, are advised, however, that all such communications, including those by telephone, will be recorded in memoranda that can be filed with the Office of the Secretary.

(e) Separation of functions and ex parte communications will be handled as follows.

(1) An interested person may meet or correspond with any CPSC representative concerning a matter prior to publication of a notice announcing a formal evidentiary public hearing on the matter. The provisions of 16 CFR part 1012 apply to such meetings.

(2) Upon publication of a notice announcing a formal evidentiary public hearing, the following rules concerning separation of functions apply:

(i) The CPSC staff members responsible for preparing evidence and participating in the hearing in the matter are, as a party to the hearing, responsible for all investigative functions and for presentation of the position of the staff at the hearing and in any pleading or oral argument before the Commission. These representatives of the staff may not participate or advise in any decision except as witnesses or counsel in public proceedings. Except as provided herein, there shall be no other communication between representatives of the staff and representatives of the various Commissioners' offices concerning the matter prior to the decision of the Commission. The Commission may, however, designate other representatives of the staff to advise the Commission. The designation will be in writing and filed with the Office of the Secretary no later than the time specified in paragraph (f)(2) of this section for the application of separation of functions. All employees of the CPSC other than representatives of the involved staff (except for those specifically designated otherwise) may be called upon to advise and participate with the offices of the Commissioners in their functions relating to the hearing and the final decision.

(ii) The General Counsel of CPSC shall designate members of the Office of the General Counsel to advise and participate with the staff in its functions in the hearing and shall designate other members of the Office of the General Counsel to advise the offices of the Commissioners in their functions related to the hearing and the final decision. The members of the Office of the General Counsel designated to advise the staff may not participate or advise in any decision of the Commission except as counsel in public proceedings. The designation shall be in the form of a memorandum filed with the Office of the Secretary and made a part of the administrative record in the proceeding. There may be no other communication between those members of the Office of the General Counsel designated to advise the offices of the Commissioners and any other person in the Office of the General Counsel or in the involved staff with respect to the matter prior to the decision of the Commission. The General Counsel may assign different attorneys to advise either the staff or the offices of the Commissioners at any stage of the proceedings. The General Counsel will ordinarily advise and participate with the offices of the Commissioners in their functions relating to the hearing and the final decision.

(iii) The Commissioners are responsible for the agency review and final decision of the matter, with the advice and participation of anyone in CPSC other than representatives of the responsible staff and those members of the Office of the General Counsel designated to assist in the staff functions in the hearing.

(iv) Between the date that separation of functions applies and the date of the Commission's decision on the matter, communication concerning the matter involved in the hearing will be restricted as follows:

(A) No person outside CPSC may have an ex parte communication with the presiding officer or any person representing the offices of the Commissioners concerning the matter in the hearing. Neither the presiding officer nor any person representing the offices of the Commissioners may have any ex parte communications with a person outside CPSC concerning the matter in the hearing. All communications are to be public communications, as witness or counsel under the applicable procedures.

(B) A participant in the hearing may submit a written communication concerning a proposal for settlement to the presiding officer with a request that it be transmitted to the Commission. These communications are to be in the form of pleadings, served on all other participants, and filed with the Office of the Secretary like any other pleading.

(C) A written communication contrary to this section must be immediately served on all other participants and filed with the Office of the Secretary by the presiding officer at the hearing, or by the Commissioner, depending on who received the communication. An oral communication contrary to this section must be immediately recorded in a written memorandum and similarly served on all other participants and filed with the Office of the Secretary. A person, including a representative of a participant in the hearing, who is involved in an oral communication contrary to this section, must, if possible, be made available for cross-examination during the hearing with respect to the substance of that conversation. Rebuttal testimony pertinent to a written or oral communication contrary to this section will be permitted. Cross-examination and rebuttal testimony will be transcribed and filed with the Office of the Secretary.

(D) The making of a communication contrary to this section may, consistent with the interests of justice and the policy of the underlying statute, result in a decision adverse to the person knowingly making or causing the making of such a communication.

[56 FR 9278, Mar. 6, 1991, as amended at 62 FR 46667, Sept. 4, 1997]

Subpart D—Presiding Officer

§1502.18   Presiding officer.

The presiding officer in a hearing will be an administrative law judge qualified under 5 U.S.C. 3105.

§1502.19   Commencement of functions.

The functions of the presiding officer begin upon designation and end upon the filing of the initial decision.

§1502.20   Authority of presiding officer.

The presiding officer has all powers necessary to conduct a fair, expeditious, and orderly hearing, including the power to—

(a) Specify and change the date, time, and place of oral hearings and conferences;

(b) Establish the procedures for use in developing evidentiary facts, including the procedures in §1502.30(b) and to rule on the need for oral testimony and cross-examination under §1502.26(b);

(c) Prepare statements of the areas of factual disagreement among the participants;

(d) Hold conferences to settle, simplify, or determine the issues in a hearing or to consider other matters that may expedite the hearing;

(e) Administer oaths and affirmations;

(f) Control the course of the hearing and the conduct of the participants;

(g) Examine witnesses and strike or limit their testimony if they fail to respond fully to proper questions;

(h) Admit, exclude, or limit evidence;

(i) Set the time for filing pleadings;

(j) Rule on motions and other procedural matters;

(k) Rule on motions for summary decision under §1502.31;

(l) Conduct the hearing in stages if the number of parties is large or the issues are numerous and complex;

(m) Waive, suspend, or modify any procedure in this subpart if the presiding officer determines that no party will be prejudiced, the ends of justice will be served, and the action is in accordance with law;

(n) Strike the participation of any person under §1502.16(e) or exclude any person from the hearing under §1502.28, or take other reasonable disciplinary action; and

(o) Take any other action required for the fair, expeditious, and orderly conduct of the hearing.

§1502.21   Disqualification of presiding officer.

(a) A participant may request the presiding officer to disqualify himself/herself and withdraw from the proceeding. The ruling on any such request may be appealed in accordance with §1502.35(b).

(b) A presiding officer who is aware of grounds for disqualification, whether or not raised by a participant, shall withdraw from the proceeding.

§1502.22   Unavailability of presiding officer.

(a) If the presiding officer is unable to act for any reason, the Commission will assign the powers and duties to another presiding officer. The substitution will not affect the hearing, except as the new presiding officer may order.

(b) Any motion based on the substitution must be made within 10 days.

Subpart E—Hearing Procedures

§1502.23   Filing and service of submissions.

(a) Submissions, including pleadings in a hearing, are to be filed with the Office of the Secretary. Two copies shall be filed. To determine compliance with filing deadlines in a hearing, a submission is considered filed on the day of filing with or mailing to the Office of the Secretary. When this part allows a response to a submission and prescribes a period of time for the filing of the response, an additional 3 days are allowed for the filing of the response if the submission is served by mail.

(b) The person making a submission shall serve copies of it on the other participants.

(c) Service is accomplished by mailing a submission to the address shown in the notice of participation or by personal delivery.

(d) All submissions are to be accompanied by a certificate of service or by a statement that service is not required, stating the reason therefor.

(e) No written submission or other portion of the administrative record may be held in confidence, except as provided in §1502.3.

§1502.24   Petition to participate in forma pauperis.

(a) A participant who believes that compliance with the filing and service requirements of this section constitutes an unreasonable financial burden may submit to the Commission a petition to participate in forma pauperis.

(b) The petition will be captioned: “Request to Participate In Forma Pauperis, Docket No. ___.” Filing and service requirements for the petition are described in paragraph (c) of this section, whether or not the petition is granted; The petition must demonstrate that either:

(1) The participant is indigent and a strong public interest justifies participation, or

(2) The participant's participation is in the public interest because it can be considered of primary benefit to the general public.

(c) The Commission may grant or deny the petition. If the petition is granted, the participant need file only one copy of each submission with the Office of the Secretary. The Office of the Secretary will make sufficient additional copies for the administrative record, and serve a copy on each other participant.

§1502.25   Disclosure of data and information to be relied on by the participants.

(a) Before the notice of hearing is published under §1502.13, the Assistant General Counsel for Regulatory Affairs shall submit the following to the Office of the Secretary:

(1) The relevant portions of the administrative record of the proceeding. Portions of the administrative record not relevant to the issues in the hearing are not required to be submitted.

(2) All other documentary data and information relied upon.

(3) A narrative position statement on the factual issues in the notice of hearing and the type of supporting evidence the Assistant General Counsel intends to introduce.

(b) Within 60 days of the publication of the notice of hearing or, if no participant will be prejudiced, within another period of time set by the presiding officer, each participant shall submit to the Office of the Secretary all data and information specified in paragraph (a) (2) and (3) of this section and any objections that the administrative record filed under paragraph (a)(1) of this section is incomplete, and any documents in the participants' files containing factual information, whether favorable or unfavorable to the regulation issued by the Commission, which relates to the issues involved in the hearing.

(c) Submissions required by paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section may be supplemented later in the proceeding, with the approval of the presiding officer, upon a showing that the material in the supplement was not reasonably known or available when the submission was made, that the relevance of the material contained in the supplement could not reasonably have been foreseen, or that admission of the material in the supplement is necessary for a fair determination of the issues involved in the hearing.

(d) A participant's failure to comply substantially and in good faith with this section constitutes a waiver of the right to participate further in the hearing; failure of a party to comply constitutes a waiver of the right to a hearing.

(e) Participants may reference each other's submissions. To reduce duplicative submissions, participants are encouraged to exchange and consolidate lists of documentary evidence. If a particular document is bulky or in limited supply and cannot reasonably be reproduced, and it constitutes relevant evidence, the presiding officer may authorize submission of a reduced number of copies.

(f) The presiding officer will rule on questions relating to this section.

§1502.26   Purpose; oral and written testimony; burden of proof.

(a) The objective of a formal evidentiary hearing is the fair determination of relevant facts consistent with the right of all interested persons to participate and the public interest in promptly settling controversial matters affecting the public health and welfare.

(b) Accordingly, the evidence at a hearing is to be developed to the maximum extent through written submissions, including written direct testimony, which may be in narrative or in question-and-answer form.

(1) Direct testimony will be submitted in writing, except on a showing that written direct testimony is insufficient for a full and true disclosure of relevant facts and that the participant will be prejudiced if unable to present oral direct testimony. If the proceeding involves particular issues, each party may determine whether, and the extent to which, each wishes to present direct testimony orally or in writing.

(2) Oral cross-examination of witnesses will be permitted if it appears that alternative means of developing the evidence are insufficient for a full and true disclosure of the facts and that the party requesting oral cross-examination will be prejudiced by denial of the request or that oral cross-examination is the most effective and efficient means to clarify the matters at issue.

(3) Witnesses shall give testimony under oath.

(c) A participant who proposes to substitute a new provision for a provision objected to has the burden of proof in relation to the new provision.

§1502.27   Participation of nonparties.

(a) A nonparty participant may—

(1) Attend all conferences (including the prehearing conference), oral proceedings, and arguments;

(2) Submit written testimony and documentary evidence for inclusion in the record;

(3) File written objections, briefs, and other pleadings; and

(4) Present oral argument.

(b) A nonparty participant may not—

(1) Submit written interrogatories; or

(2) Conduct cross-examination.

(c) A person whose petition is the subject of the hearing has the same right as a party.

(d) A nonparty participant will be permitted additional rights if the presiding officer concludes that the participant's interests would not be adequately protected otherwise or that broader participation is required for a full and true disclosure of the facts, but the rights of a nonparty participant may not exceed the rights of a party.

§1502.28   Conduct at oral hearings or conferences.

All participants in a hearing will conduct themselves with dignity and observe judicial standards of practice and ethics. They may not indulge in personal attacks, unseemly wrangling, or intemperate accusations or characterizations. Representatives of parties shall, to the extent possible, restrain clients from improprieties in connection with any proceeding. Disrespectful, disorderly, or contumacious language or conduct, refusal to comply with directions, use of dilatory tactics, or refusal to adhere to reasonable standards of orderly and ethical conduct during any hearing shall constitute grounds for immediate exclusion from the proceeding by the presiding officer.

§1502.29   Time and place of prehearing conference.

A prehearing conference will commence at the date, time, and place announced in the notice of hearing, or in a later notice, or as specified by the presiding officer in a notice modifying a prior notice. At the prehearing conference, insofar as practicable at that time, the presiding officer will establish the methods and procedures to be used in developing the evidence, determine reasonable time periods for the conduct of the hearing, and designate the times and places for the production of witnesses for direct and cross-examination, if leave to conduct oral examination is granted on any issue.

§1502.30   Prehearing conference procedure.

(a) Participants in a hearing are to appear at the prehearing conference prepared to discuss and resolve all matters specified in paragraph (b) of this section.

(1) To expedite the hearing, participants are encouraged to prepare in advance for the prehearing conference. Participants should cooperate with each other, and should request information and begin preparation of testimony at the earliest possible time. Failure of a participant to appear at the prehearing conference or to raise matters that reasonably could be anticipated and resolved at that time will not delay the progress of the hearing and constitutes a waiver of the rights of the participant regarding such matters as objections to the agreements reached, actions taken, or rulings issued by the presiding officer at or as a result of the prehearing conference and may be grounds for striking the participation under §1502.16.

(2) Participants shall bring to the prehearing conference the following specific information, which will be filed with the Office of the Secretary under §1502.23:

(i) Any additional information desired to supplement the submission filed under §1502.25; the supplement may be filed if approved under §1502.25.

(ii) A list of all witnesses whose testimony will be offered, orally or in writing, at the hearing, with a full curriculum vitae for each. Additional witnesses may be identified later, with the approval of the presiding officer, on a showing that the witness was not reasonably available at the time of the prehearing conference, that the relevance of the witness's views could not reasonably have been foreseen at that time, or for other good cause shown, as where a previously identified witness is unforeseeably unable to testify.

(iii) All prior written statements, including articles and any written statement signed or adopted, or a recording or transcription of an oral statement made, by persons identified as witnesses if—

(A) The statement is available without making a request to the witness;

(B) The statement relates to the subject matter of the witness's testimony; and

(C) The statement either was made before the time the person agreed to become a witness or has been made publicly available by the person.

(b) The presiding officer will conduct a prehearing conference for the following purposes:

(1) To determine the areas of factual disagreement to be considered at the hearing. The presiding officer may hold conferences off the record in an effort to reach agreement on disputed factual questions, subject to the ex parte limitations in §1502.17(f).

(2) To identify the most appropriate techniques for developing evidence on issues in controversy and the manner and sequence in which they will be used, including, where oral examination is to be conducted, the sequence in which witnesses will be produced for, and the time and place of, oral examination. The presiding officer may consider, but is not limited to, the following techniques.

(i) Submission of narrative statements of position on factual issues in controversy.

(ii) Submission of evidence or identification of previously submitted evidence to support such statements, such as affidavits, verified statements of fact, data, studies, and reports.

(iii) Exchange of written interrogatories directed to particular witnesses.

(iv) Written requests for the production of additional documentation, data, or other relevant information.

(v) Submission of written questions to be asked by the presiding officer of a specific witness.

(vi) Identification of facts for which oral examination and/or cross-examination is appropriate.

(3) To group participants with substantially like interests for presenting evidence, making motions and objections, including motions for summary decision, filing briefs, and presenting oral argument.

(4) To hear and rule on objections to admitting information submitted under §1502.25 into evidence.

(5) To obtain stipulations and admissions of facts.

(6) To take other action that may expedite the hearing.

(c) The presiding officer shall issue, orally or in writing, a prehearing order reciting the actions taken at the prehearing conference and setting forth the schedule for the hearing. The order will control the subsequent course of the hearing unless modified by the presiding officer for good cause.

§1502.31   Summary decisions.

(a) After the hearing commences, a participant may move, with or without supporting affidavits, for a summary decision on any issue in the hearing. Any other participant may, within 10 days after service of the motion, which time may be extended for an additional 10 days for good cause, serve opposing affidavits or countermove for summary decision. The presiding officer may set the matter for argument and call for the submission of briefs.

(b) The presiding officer will grant the motion if the objections, requests for hearing, other pleadings, affidavits, and other material filed in connection with the hearing, or matters officially noticed, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that a participant is entitled to summary decision.

(c) Affidavits should set forth facts that would be admissible in evidence and show affirmatively that the affiant is competent to testify to the matters stated. When a properly supported motion for summary decision is made, a participant opposing the motion may not rest upon mere allegations or denials or general descriptions of positions and contentions; affidavits or other responses must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue of fact for the hearing.

(d) Should it appear from the affidavits of a participant opposing the motion that for sound reasons stated, facts essential to justify the opposition cannot be presented by affidavit, the presiding officer may deny the motion for summary decision, allow additional time to permit affidavits or additional evidence to be obtained, or issue other just order.

(e) If on motion under this section a summary decision is not rendered upon the whole case or for all the relief asked, and evidentiary facts need to be developed, the presiding officer will issue an order specifying the facts that appear without substantial controversy and directing further evidentiary proceedings. The facts so specified will be deemed established.

(f) A participant submitting or opposing a motion for summary decision may obtain interlocutory review by the Commission of a summary decision of the presiding officer.

§1502.32   Receipt of evidence.

(a) A hearing consists of the development of evidence and the resolution of factual issues as set forth in this subpart and in the prehearing order.

(b) All orders, transcripts, written statements of position, written direct testimony, written interrogatories and responses, and any other written material submitted in the proceeding comprise the administrative record of the hearing, and will be promptly placed on public display in the Office of the Secretary, except as ordered by the presiding officer.

(c) Written evidence, identified as such, is admissible unless a participant objects and the presiding officer excludes it on objection of a participant or on the presiding officer's own initiative.

(1) The presiding officer may exclude written evidence as inadmissible only if—

(i) The evidence is irrelevant, immaterial, unreliable, or repetitive;

(ii) Exclusion of part or all of the written evidence of a participant is necessary to enforce the requirements of this subpart; or

(iii) The evidence was not submitted as required by §1502.25.

(2) Items of written evidence are to be submitted as separate documents, sequentially numbered, except that a voluminous document may be submitted in the form of a cross-reference to the documents filed under §1502.25.

(3) Written evidence excluded by the presiding officer as inadmissible remains a part of the administrative record, as an offer of proof, for judicial review.

(d) Testimony, whether on direct or on cross-examination, is admissible as evidence unless a participant objects and the presiding officer excludes it.

(1) The presiding officer may exclude oral evidence as inadmissible only if—

(i) The evidence is irrelevant, immaterial, unreliable, or repetitive; or

(ii) Exclusion of part or all of the evidence is necessary to enforce the requirements of these procedures.

(2) If oral evidence is excluded as inadmissible, the participant may take written exception to the ruling in a brief to the Commission, without taking oral exception at the hearing. Upon review, the Commission may reopen the hearing to permit the evidence to be admitted if the Commission determines that its exclusion was erroneous and prejudicial.

(e) The presiding officer may schedule conferences as needed to monitor the progress of the hearing, narrow and simplify the issues, and consider and rule on motions, requests, and other matters concerning the development of the evidence.

(f) The presiding officer will conduct such proceedings as are necessary for the taking of oral testimony, for the oral examination of witnesses by the presiding officer on the basis of written questions previously submitted by the parties, and for the conduct of cross-examination of witnesses by the parties. The presiding officer shall exclude irrelevant or repetitious written questions and limit oral cross-examination to prevent irrelevant or repetitious examination.

(g) The presiding officer shall order the proceedings closed for the taking of oral testimony relating only to trade secrets and privileged or confidential commercial or financial information. Participation in closed proceedings will be limited to the witness, the witness's counsel, and Federal Government employees.

§1502.33   Official notice.

(a) Official notice may be taken of such matters as might be judicially noticed by the courts of the United States or of any other matter peculiarly within the general knowledge of CPSC as an expert agency.

(b) If official notice is taken of a material fact not appearing in the evidence of record, a participant, on timely request, will be afforded an opportunity to show the contrary.

§1502.34   Briefs and arguments.

(a) Promptly after the taking of evidence is completed, the presiding officer will announce a schedule for the filing of briefs. Briefs are to be filed ordinarily within 45 days of the close of the hearing. Briefs must include a statement of position on each issue, with specific and complete citations to the evidence and points of law relied on. Briefs must contain proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law.

(b) The presiding officer may, as a matter of discretion, permit oral argument after the briefs are filed.

(c) Briefs and oral argument shall refrain from disclosing specific details of written and oral testimony and documents relating to trade secrets and privileged or confidential commercial or financial information, except as specifically authorized in a protective order issued by the presiding officer.

§1502.35   Interlocutory appeal from ruling of presiding officer.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section and in §§1502.13(b), 1502.16(e), 1502.31(f), and 1502.37(d) authorizing interlocutory appeals, rulings of the presiding officer may not be appealed to the Commission before the Commission's consideration of the entire record of the hearing.

(b) A ruling of the presiding officer is subject to interlocutory appeal to the Commission if the presiding officer certifies on the record or in writing that immediate review is necessary to prevent exceptional delay, expense, or prejudice to any participant or substantial harm to the public interest.

(c) When an interlocutory appeal is made to the Commission, a participant may file a brief with the Commission only if such is specifically authorized by the presiding officer or the Commission, and, if such authorization is granted, within the period the Commission directs. If a participant is authorized to file a brief, any other participant may file a brief in opposition, within the period the Commission directs. If no briefs are authorized, the appeal will be presented as an oral argument to the Commission. The oral argument will be transcribed. If briefs are authorized, oral argument will be heard only at the discretion of the Commission.

§1502.36   Official transcript.

(a) The presiding officer will arrange for a verbatim stenographic transcript of oral testimony and for necessary copies of the transcript.

(b) One copy of the transcript will be placed on public display in the Office of the Secretary upon receipt.

(c) Copies of the transcript may be obtained by application to the official reporter and payment of costs thereof.

(d) Witnesses, participants, and counsel have 30 days from the time the transcript becomes available to propose corrections in the transcript of oral testimony. Corrections are permitted only for transcription errors. The presiding officer shall promptly order justified corrections.

§1502.37   Motions.

(a) Except for a motion made in the course of an oral hearing before the presiding officer, a motion on any matter relating to the proceeding shall be filed under §1502.23 and must include a draft order.

(b) A response may be filed within 10 days of service of a motion. The time may be shortened or extended by the presiding officer for good cause shown.

(c) The moving party has no right to reply, except as permitted by the presiding officer.

(d) The presiding officer shall rule upon the motion and may certify that ruling to the Commission for interlocutory review.

Subpart F—Administrative Record

§1502.38   Administrative record of a hearing.

(a) The record of a hearing consists of—

(1) The regulation or notice of opportunity for hearing that gave rise to the hearing;

(2) All objections and requests for hearing filed with the Office of the Secretary under §§1502.5 and 1502.6;

(3) The notice of hearing published under §1502.13;

(4) All notices of participation filed under §1502.16;

(5) All Federal Register notices pertinent to the proceeding;

(6) All submissions filed under §1502.24, e.g., the submissions required by §1502.25, all other documentary evidence and written testimony, pleadings, statements of position, briefs, and other similar documents;

(7) The transcript, written order, and all other documents relating to the prehearing conference, prepared under §1502.30;

(8) All documents relating to any motion for summary decision under §1502.31;

(9) All documents of which official notice is taken under §1502.33;

(10) All pleadings filed under §1502.34;

(11) All documents relating to any interlocutory appeal under §1502.35;

(12) All transcripts prepared under §1502.36; and

(13) Any other document relating to the hearing and filed with the Office of the Secretary by the presiding officer or any participant.

(b) The record of the administrative proceeding is closed—

(1) With respect to the taking of evidence, when specified by the presiding officer; and

(2) With respect to pleadings, at the time specified in §1502.34(a) for the filing of briefs.

(c) The presiding officer may reopen the record to receive further evidence at any time before the filing of the initial decision.

§1502.39   Examination of record.

Except as provided in §1502.3, documents in the record will be publicly available. Documents available for examination or copying will be placed on public display in the Office of the Secretary promptly upon receipt in that office.

Subpart G—Initial and Final Decision

§1502.40   Initial decision.

(a) The presiding officer shall prepare and file an initial decision as soon as practicable after the filing of briefs and oral argument.

(b) The initial decision shall contain—

(1) Findings of fact based upon relevant, material, and reliable evidence of record;

(2) Conclusions of law;

(3) A discussion of the reasons for the findings and conclusions, including a discussion of the significant contentions made by any participant;

(4) Citations to the record supporting the findings and conclusions;

(5) An appropriate regulation supported by substantial evidence of record and based upon the findings of fact and conclusions of law (unless the initial decision is to not issue a regulation);

(6) An effective date for the regulation (if any), together with an explanation of why the effective date is appropriate; and

(7) The periods of time for filing exceptions to the initial decision with the Office of the Secretary and for filing replies to such exceptions, in accordance with §1502.41(a)-(c).

(c) The initial decision must refrain from disclosing specific details of trade secrets and privileged or confidential commercial or financial information, except as specifically authorized in a protective order issued by the presiding officer.

(d) The initial decision is to be filed with the Office of the Secretary and served upon all participants. Once the initial decision is filed with the Office of the Secretary, the presiding officer has no further jurisdiction over the matter, and any motions or requests filed with the Office of the Secretary will be decided by the Commission.

(e) The initial decision becomes the final decision of the Commission by operation of law unless a participant files exceptions with the Office of the Secretary under §1502.41(a) or the Commission files a notice of review under §1502.41(f).

(f) Notice that an initial decision has become the decision of the Commission without appeal to or review by the Commission will be published in the Federal Register. The Commission also may publish the decision when it is of widespread interest.

§1502.41   Appeal from or review of initial decision.

(a) A participant may appeal an initial decision to the Commission by filing exceptions with the Office of the Secretary, and serving them on the other participants within the period specified in the initial decision. The period for appeal to the Commission may not exceed 30 days, unless extended by the Commission under paragraph (d) of this section.

(b) Exceptions must specifically identify alleged errors in the findings of fact or conclusions of law in the initial decision, and provide supporting citations to the record. Oral argument before the Commission may be requested in the exceptions.

(c) Any reply to the exceptions shall be filed and served within the period specified in the initial decision. The period may not exceed 30 days after the end of the period (including any extensions) for filing exceptions, unless extended by the Commission under paragraph (d) of this section.

(d) The Commission may extend the time for filing exceptions or replies to exceptions for good cause shown.

(e) If the Commission decides to hear oral argument, the participants will be informed of the date, time, and place of the argument, the amount of time allotted to each participant, and the issues to be addressed.

(f) Within 10 days following the expiration of the time for filing exceptions (including any extensions), the Commission may file with the Office of the Secretary, and serve on the participants, a notice of the Commission's determination to review the initial decision. The Commission may invite the participants to file briefs or present oral argument on the matter. The time for filing briefs or presenting oral argument will be specified in that or a later notice.

§1502.42   Decision by Commission on appeal or review of initial decision.

(a) On appeal from or review of the initial decision, the Commission has all the powers given to the presiding officer with respect to the initial decision. On the Commission's own initiative or on motion, the Commission may remand the matter to the presiding officer for any further action necessary for a proper decision.

(b) The scope of the issues at the public hearing is the same as the scope of the issues on appeal at the public hearing unless the Commission specifies otherwise.

(c) As soon as possible after the filing of briefs and the presentation of any oral argument, the Commission will issue a final decision in the proceeding, which meets the requirements established in §1502.40 (b) and (c).

(d) The Commission may adopt the initial decision as the final decision.

(e) Notice of the Commission's decision will be published in the Federal Register. The Commission may also publish the decision when it is of widespread interest.

§1502.43   Reconsideration and stay of Commission's action.

Following notice or publication of the final decision, a participant may petition the Commission for reconsideration of any part or all of the decision or may petition for a stay of the decision.

Subpart H—Judicial Review

§1502.44   Review by the courts.

(a) The Commission's final decision constitutes final agency action from which a participant may petition for judicial review under the statutes governing the matter involved. Before requesting an order from a court for a stay of the Commission's action pending judicial review, a participant shall first submit a petition for a stay of action under §1502.43.

(b) Under 28 U.S.C. 2112(a), CPSC will request consolidation of all petitions related to a particular matter.

§1502.45   Copies of petitions for judicial review.

The General Counsel of CPSC has been designated by the Commission as the officer on whom copies of petitions for judicial review are to be served. This officer is responsible for filing the record on which the final decision is based. The record of the proceeding is certified by the Secretary of the Commission.



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