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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of November 14, 2019

Title 16Chapter ISubchapter APart 3 → Subpart F


Title 16: Commercial Practices
PART 3—RULES OF PRACTICE FOR ADJUDICATIVE PROCEEDINGS


Subpart F—Decision


Contents
§3.51   Initial decision.
§3.52   Appeal from initial decision.
§3.53   Review of initial decision in absence of appeal.
§3.54   Decision on appeal or review.
§3.55   Reconsideration.
§3.56   Effective date of orders; application for stay.

§3.51   Initial decision.

(a) When filed and when effective. The Administrative Law Judge shall file an initial decision within 70 days after the filing of the last filed initial or reply proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law and order pursuant to §3.46, within 85 days of the closing the hearing record pursuant to §3.44(c) where the parties have waived the filing of proposed findings, or within 14 days after the granting of a motion for summary decision following a referral of such motion from the Commission. The Administrative Law Judge may extend any of these time periods by up to 30 days for good cause. The Commission may further extend any of these time periods for good cause. Except in cases subject to §3.52(a), once issued, the initial decision shall become the decision of the Commission 30 days after service thereof upon the parties or 30 days after the filing of a timely notice of appeal, whichever shall be later, unless a party filing such a notice shall have perfected an appeal by the timely filing of an appeal brief or the Commission shall have issued an order placing the case on its own docket for review or staying the effective date of the decision.

(b) Exhaustion of administrative remedies. An initial decision shall not be considered final agency action subject to judicial review under 5 U.S.C. 704. Any objection to a ruling by the Administrative Law Judge, or to a finding, conclusion or a provision of the order in the initial decision, which is not made a part of an appeal to the Commission shall be deemed to have been waived.

(c) Content, format for filing. (1) An initial decision shall be based on a consideration of the whole record relevant to the issues decided, and shall be supported by reliable and probative evidence. The initial decision shall include a statement of findings of fact (with specific page references to principal supporting items of evidence in the record) and conclusions of law, as well as the reasons or basis therefor, upon all the material issues of fact, law, or discretion presented on the record (or those designated under paragraph (c)(2) of this section) and an appropriate rule or order. Rulings containing information granted in camera status pursuant to §3.45 shall be filed in accordance with §3.45(f).

(2) The initial decision shall be prepared in a common word processing format, such as WordPerfect or Microsoft Word, and shall be filed by the Administrative Law Judge with the Office of the Secretary in both electronic and paper versions.

(3) When more than one claim for relief is presented in an action, or when multiple parties are involved, the Administrative Law Judge may direct the entry of an initial decision as to one or more but fewer than all of the claims or parties only upon an express determination that there is no just reason for delay and upon an express direction for the entry of initial decision.

(d) By whom made. The initial decision shall be made and filed by the Administrative Law Judge who presided over the hearings, except when he or she shall have become unavailable to the Commission.

(e) Reopening of proceeding by Administrative Law Judge; termination of jurisdiction. (1) At any time from the close of the hearing record pursuant to §3.44(c) until the filing of his or her initial decision, an Administrative Law Judge may reopen the proceeding for the reception of further evidence for good cause shown.

(2) Except for the correction of clerical errors or pursuant to an order of remand from the Commission, the jurisdiction of the Administrative Law Judge is terminated upon the filing of his or her initial decision with respect to those issues decided pursuant to paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

[74 FR 1834, Jan. 13, 2009]

§3.52   Appeal from initial decision.

(a) Automatic review of cases in which the Commission sought preliminary relief in federal court; timing. For proceedings with respect to which the Commission has sought preliminary relief in federal court under 15 U.S.C. 53(b), the Commission will review the initial decision without the filing of a notice of appeal.

(1) In such cases, any party may file objections to the initial decision or order of the Administrative Law Judge by filing its opening appeal brief, subject to the requirements in paragraph (c), within 20 days of the issuance of the initial decision. Any party may respond to any objections filed by another party by filing an answering brief, subject to the requirements of paragraph (d), within 20 days of service of the opening brief. Any party may file a reply to an answering brief, subject to the requirements of paragraph (e), within 5 days of service of the answering brief. Unless the Commission orders that there shall be no oral argument, it will hold oral argument within 10 days after the deadline for the filing of any reply briefs. The Commission will issue its final decision pursuant to §3.54 within 45 days after oral argument. If no oral argument is scheduled, the Commission will issue its final decision pursuant to §3.54 within 45 days after the deadline for the filing of any reply briefs.

(2) If no objections to the initial decision are filed, the Commission may in its discretion hold oral argument within 10 days after the deadline for the filing of objection, and will issue its final decision pursuant to §3.54 within 45 days after oral argument. If no oral argument is scheduled, the Commission will issue its final decision pursuant to §3.54 within 45 days after the deadline for the filing of objections.

(b) Review in all other cases; timing. (1) In all cases other than those subject to paragraph (a), any party may file objections to the initial decision or order of the Administrative Law Judge by filing a notice of appeal with the Secretary within 10 days after service of the initial decision. The notice shall specify the party or parties against whom the appeal is taken and shall designate the initial decision and order or part thereof appealed from. If a timely notice of appeal is filed by a party, any other party may thereafter file a notice of appeal within 5 days after service of the first notice, or within 10 days after service of the initial decision, whichever period expires last.

(2) In such cases, any party filing a notice of appeal must perfect its appeal by filing its opening appeal brief, subject to the requirements in paragraph (c), within 30 days of the issuance of the initial decision. Any party may respond to the opening appeal brief by filing an answering brief, subject to the requirements of paragraph (d), within 30 days of service of the opening brief. Any party may file a reply to an answering brief, subject to the requirements of paragraph (e), within 7 days of service of the answering brief. Unless the Commission orders that there shall be no oral argument, it will hold oral argument within 15 days after the deadline for the filing of any reply briefs. The Commission will issue its final decision pursuant to §3.54 within 100 days after oral argument. If no oral argument is scheduled, the Commission will issue its final decision pursuant to §3.54 within 100 days after the deadline for the filing of any reply briefs.

(c) Appeal brief. (1) The opening appeal brief shall contain, in the order indicated, the following:

(i) A subject index of the matter in the brief, with page references, and a table of cases (alphabetically arranged), textbooks, statutes, and other material cited, with page references thereto;

(ii) A concise statement of the case, which includes a statement of facts relevant to the issues submitted for review, and a summary of the argument, which must contain a succinct, clear, and accurate statement of the arguments made in the body of the brief, and which must not merely repeat the argument headings;

(iii) A specification of the questions intended to be urged;

(iv) The argument presenting clearly the points of fact and law relied upon in support of the position taken on each question, with specific page references to the record and the legal or other material relied upon; and

(v) A proposed form of order for the Commission's consideration instead of the order contained in the initial decision.

(2) The brief shall not, without leave of the Commission, exceed 14,000 words.

(d) Answering brief. The answering brief shall contain a subject index, with page references, and a table of cases (alphabetically arranged), textbooks, statutes, and other material cited, with page references thereto, as well as arguments in response to the appellant's appeal brief. The answering brief shall not, without leave of the Commission, exceed 14,000 words.

(e) Reply brief. The reply brief shall be limited to rebuttal of matters in the answering brief and shall not, without leave of the Commission, exceed 7,000 words. The Commission will not consider new arguments or matters raised in reply briefs that could have been raised earlier in the principal briefs. No further briefs may be filed except by leave of the Commission.

(f) In camera information. If a party includes in any brief to be filed under this section information that has been granted in camera status pursuant to §3.45(b) or is subject to confidentiality provisions pursuant to a protective order, the party shall file 2 versions of the brief in accordance with the procedures set forth in §3.45(e). The time period specified by this section within which a party may file an answering or reply brief will begin to run upon service on the party of the in camera or confidential version of a brief.

(g) Signature. (1) The original of each brief filed shall have a hand-signed signature by an attorney of record for the party, or in the case of parties not represented by counsel, by the party itself, or by a partner if a partnership, or by an officer of the party if it is a corporation or an unincorporated association.

(2) Signing a brief constitutes a representation by the signer that he or she has read it; that to the best of his or her knowledge, information, and belief, the statements made in it are true; that it is not interposed for delay; that it complies with the applicable word count limitation; and that to the best of his or her knowledge, information, and belief, it complies with all the other rules in this part. If a brief is not signed or is signed with intent to defeat the purpose of this section, it may be stricken as sham and false and the proceeding may go forward as though the brief has not been filed.

(h) Oral argument. All oral arguments shall be public unless otherwise ordered by the Commission. Oral arguments will be held in all cases on appeal or review to the Commission, unless the Commission otherwise orders upon its own initiative or upon request of any party made at the time of filing his or her brief. Oral arguments before the Commission shall be reported stenographically, unless otherwise ordered, and a member of the Commission absent from an oral argument may participate in the consideration and decision of the appeal in any case in which the oral argument is stenographically reported.

(i) Corrections in transcript of oral argument. The Commission will entertain only joint motions of the parties requesting corrections in the transcript of oral argument, except that the Commission will receive a unilateral motion which recites that the parties have made a good faith effort to stipulate to the desired corrections but have been unable to do so. If the parties agree in part and disagree in part, they should file a joint motion incorporating the extent of their agreement, and, if desired, separate motions requesting those corrections to which they have been unable to agree. The Secretary, pursuant to delegation of authority by the Commission, is authorized to prepare and issue in the name of the Commission a brief “Order Correcting Transcript” whenever a joint motion to correct transcript is received.

(j) Briefs of amicus curiae. A brief of an amicus curiae may be filed by leave of the Commission granted on motion with notice to the parties or at the request of the Commission, except that such leave shall not be required when the brief is presented by an agency or officer of the United States; or by a State, territory, commonwealth, or the District of Columbia, or by an agency or officer of any of them. The brief may be conditionally filed with the motion for leave. A motion for leave shall identify the interest of the applicant and state how a Commission decision in the matter would affect the applicant or persons it represents. The motion shall also state the reasons why a brief of an amicus curiae is desirable. Except as otherwise permitted by the Commission, an amicus curiae shall file its brief within the time allowed the parties whose position as to affirmance or reversal the amicus brief will support. The Commission shall grant leave for a later filing only for cause shown, in which event it shall specify within what period such brief must be filed. A motion for an amicus curiae to participate in oral argument will be granted only for extraordinary reasons. An amicus brief may be no more than one-half the maximum length authorized by these rules for a party's principal brief.

(k) Word count limitation. The word count limitations in this section include headings, footnotes and quotations, but do not include the cover, table of contents, table of citations or authorities, glossaries, statements with respect to oral argument, any addendums containing statutes, rules or regulations, any certificates of counsel, proposed form of order, and any attachment required by §3.45(e). Extensions of word count limitations are disfavored, and will only be granted where a party can make a strong showing that undue prejudice would result from complying with the existing limit.

[74 FR 1834, Jan. 13, 2009, as amended at 76 FR 52253, Aug. 22, 2011; 80 FR 15162, Mar. 23, 2015]

§3.53   Review of initial decision in absence of appeal.

An order by the Commission placing a case on its own docket for review will set forth the scope of such review and the issues which will be considered and will make provision for the filing of briefs if deemed appropriate by the Commission.

§3.54   Decision on appeal or review.

(a) Upon appeal from or review of an initial decision, the Commission will consider such parts of the record as are cited or as may be necessary to resolve the issues presented and, in addition, will, to the extent necessary or desirable, exercise all the powers which it could have exercised if it had made the initial decision.

(b) In rendering its decision, the Commission will adopt, modify, or set aside the findings, conclusions, and rule or order contained in the initial decision, and will include in the decision a statement of the reasons or basis for its action and any concurring and dissenting opinions.

(c) In those cases where the Commission believes that it should have further information or additional views of the parties as to the form and content of the rule or order to be issued, the Commission, in its discretion, may withhold final action pending the receipt of such additional information or views.

(d) The order of the Commission disposing of adjudicative hearings under the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act will be published in the Federal Register and, if it contains a rule or regulation, will specify the effective date thereof, which will not be prior to the ninetieth (90th) day after its publication unless the Commission finds that emergency conditions exist necessitating an earlier effective date, in which event the Commission will specify in the order its findings as to such conditions.

§3.55   Reconsideration.

Within fourteen (14) days after completion of service of a Commission decision, any party may file with the Commission a petition for reconsideration of such decision, setting forth the relief desired and the grounds in support thereof. Any petition filed under this subsection must be confined to new questions raised by the decision or final order and upon which the petitioner had no opportunity to argue before the Commission. Any party desiring to oppose such a petition shall file an answer thereto within ten (10) days after service upon him of the petition. The filing of a petition for reconsideration shall not operate to stay the effective date of the decision or order or to toll the running of any statutory time period affecting such decision or order unless specifically so ordered by the Commission.

[32 FR 8449, June 13, 1967, as amended at 61 FR 50650, Sept. 26, 1996]

§3.56   Effective date of orders; application for stay.

(a) Other than consent orders, an order to cease and desist under section 5 of the FTC Act becomes effective upon the sixtieth day after service, except as provided in section 5(g)(3) of the FTC Act, and except for divestiture provisions, as provided in section 5(g)(4) of the FTC Act.

(b) Any party subject to a cease and desist order under section 5 of the FTC Act, other than a consent order, may apply to the Commission for a stay of all or part of that order pending judicial review. If, within 30 days after the application was received by the Commission, the Commission either has denied or has not acted on the application, a stay may be sought in a court of appeals where a petition for review of the order is pending.

(c) An application for stay shall state the reasons a stay is warranted and the facts relied upon, and shall include supporting affidavits or other sworn statements, and a copy of the relevant portions of the record. The application shall address the likelihood of the applicant's success on appeal, whether the applicant will suffer irreparable harm if a stay is not granted, the degree of injury to other parties if a stay is granted, and why the stay is in the public interest.

(d) An application for stay shall be filed within 30 days of service of the order on the party. Such application shall be served in accordance with the provisions of §4.4(b) of this part that are applicable to service in adjudicative proceedings. Any party opposing the application may file an answer within 5 business days after receipt of the application. The applicant may file a reply brief, limited to new matters raised by the answer, within 3 business days after receipt of the answer.

[60 FR 37748, July 21, 1995]

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