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e-CFR data is current as of September 16, 2020

Title 7Subtitle APart 1Subpart P → §1.809


Title 7: Agriculture
PART 1—ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS
Subpart P—Rules of Practice and Procedure Governing Formal Rulemaking Proceedings Instituted by the Secretary


§1.809   Conduct of the hearing.

(a) Time and place. The hearing shall be held at the time and place established in the notice of hearing. If the Judge subsequently changes the time or place, the Judge shall file a notice of such changes with the hearing clerk, and the Administrator shall give or cause to be given notice in the Federal Register in the same manner as provided in §1.803. If the change in time or place of hearing is made less than five days prior to the date previously established for the hearing, the Judge, either in addition to, or in lieu of, causing the notice of the change to be given, shall announce the change at the time and place previously established for the hearing.

(b) Appearances—(1) Right to appear. Any interested person shall be given an opportunity to appear, as a witness, with or without, authorized counsel or representative, and to be heard with respect to matters relevant and material to the proceeding, provided that such interested person complies with §§1.804, 1.807, and any alternative procedures included in the hearing notice pursuant to §1.803. In addition to compliance with any witness instructions set forth in the notice of hearing, any witness who desires to be heard in person at any hearing shall, before proceeding to testify do so under oath or affirmation.

(2) Appearance with or through counsel or representative. (i) A witness may appear with counsel or a representative if the witness identifies the counsel or representative in the notification submitted pursuant to §1.804.

(ii) The counsel or representative shall, before proceeding with the witness testimony, state for the record the authority to act as such counsel or representative, and the names, addresses, and occupations of such counsel or representative.

(iii) The witness or his or her counsel or representative shall give such other information respecting the witness' appearance as the Judge may request.

(3) Debarment of counsel or representative. (i) Whenever, while a proceeding is pending before the Judge, such Judge finds that a person, acting as counsel or representative for any party or witness, is guilty of unethical or unprofessional conduct, the Judge may order that such person be precluded from further acting as counsel or representative in such proceeding.

(ii) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(3)(iii) of this section, an appeal to the Secretary may be taken from any such order, but the proceeding shall not be delayed or suspended pending disposition of the appeal.

(iii) In case the Judge has ordered that a person be precluded from further action as counsel or representative in the proceeding, the Judge within a reasonable time thereafter shall submit to the Secretary a report of the facts and circumstances surrounding such order and shall recommend what action the Secretary should take respecting the appearance of such person as counsel or representative in other proceedings before the Secretary. Thereafter the Secretary may, after notice and an opportunity for hearing, issue such order respecting the appearance of such person as counsel or representative in proceedings before the Secretary as the Secretary finds to be appropriate.

(4) Failure to appear. If any interested person, who complied with §§1.804, 1.807, fails to appear at the hearing, that person shall be deemed to have waived the right to be heard in the proceeding and such failure to appear shall result in the exclusion of that person's written testimony.

(c) Order of procedure. (1) The Judge shall, at the opening of the hearing prior to the taking of testimony, note as part of the record the notice of hearing as published in the Federal Register.

(2) Evidence shall then be received with respect to the matters specified in the notice of the hearing in such order as the Judge shall announce.

(d) Evidence—(1) General. The hearing shall be publicly conducted, and the testimony given at the hearing shall be reported verbatim.

(i) Every witness shall, before proceeding to testify, be sworn or make an affirmation.

(ii) When necessary, in order to prevent undue prolongation of the hearing, the Judge may:

(A) Limit the number of times any witness may testify to the same matter or the amount of corroborative or cumulative evidence.

(B) Limit cross examination of a witness by time, scope, or as appropriate, provided that the Judge announces the time limit at the beginning of the hearing, prior to the taking of testimony.

(iii) The Judge shall exclude from the record evidence which is immaterial, irrelevant, or unduly repetitious, or which is not of the sort upon which responsible persons are accustomed to rely.

(2) Objections. If a party objects to the admission or rejection of any evidence or to any other ruling of the Judge during the hearing, such party shall state briefly the grounds of such objection, whereupon an automatic exception will follow if the objection is overruled by the Judge. The ruling of the Judge on any objection shall be a part of the transcript. Only objections made before the Judge may subsequently be relied upon in the proceeding.

(3) Upon proper motion, the Judge may accept direct testimony submitted pursuant to §1.807 into evidence without a witness reading the direct testimony into evidence. Such direct testimony shall become a part of the record subject to exclusion of irrelevant and immaterial parts thereof. A party shall be deemed to have waived the right to introduce pre-hearing written direct testimony and documents if such party fails to present a witness to introduce those documents. The witness introducing direct testimony and documents shall do so under oath or affirmation and shall:

(i) State his or her name, address and occupation.

(ii) State qualifications for introducing the direct testimony. If an expert, the witness shall briefly state the scientific or technical training which qualifies the witness as an expert.

(iii) Identify the direct testimony and documents previously submitted pursuant to §1.807 of this subpart.

(iv) Submit to direct and cross examination determined to be necessary and appropriate by the Judge.

(4) Cross examination. For purposes of this section, the Administrator's or his or her representative's interest shall be considered adverse to all parties. The Judge may:

(i) Require the cross-examiner to outline the intended scope of the cross examination, which shall generally be limited to the scope of the direct testimony.

(ii) Prohibit parties from cross-examining witnesses unless the Judge has determined that the cross-examiner has an adverse interest on the facts at issue to the party or witness.

(iii) Limit the number of times any party or parties having a common interest may cross-examine an adverse witness on the same matter.

(5) Proof and authentication of official records or documents. An official record or document, when admissible for any purpose, shall be admissible as evidence without the presence of the person who made or prepared the same. The Judge shall exercise discretion in determining whether an official publication of such record or document shall be necessary, or whether a copy would be permissible. If permissible such a copy shall be attested to by the person having legal custody of it, and accompanied by a certificate that such person has the custody.

(6) Exhibits. (i) All written statements, documents, charts, tabulations, or data offered into evidence at the hearing shall, after identification by the witness or his or her counsel or representative and upon satisfactory showing of authenticity, relevancy, and materiality, be numbered as exhibits and received in evidence and made a part of the record.

(ii) Such exhibits shall be submitted in quadruplicate and in documentary form.

(7) Official notice. (i) Subject to paragraph (d)(7)(ii) of this section, official notice at the hearing may be taken of such matters as are judicially noticed by the courts of the United States and of any other matter of technical, scientific, or commercial fact of established character.

(ii) Interested persons shall be given an adequate period of time, at the hearing or subsequent to it, of matters so noticed and shall be given adequate opportunity to show that such facts are inaccurate or are erroneously noticed.

(8) Offer of proof. (i) Whenever evidence is excluded from the record, the party offering such evidence may make an offer of proof, which shall be included in the transcript.

(ii) The offer of proof shall consist of a brief statement describing the evidence to be offered. If the evidence consists of a brief oral statement, it shall be inserted into the transcript; if the evidence consists of an exhibit(s), it shall be inserted into the record for the purpose of an offer of proof. In such event, it shall be considered a part of the record if the Secretary determines that the Judge's ruling in excluding the evidence was erroneous.

(iii) The Judge shall not allow the insertion of such evidence in toto if the taking of such evidence will consume a considerable length of time at the hearing. In such event, if the Secretary determines that the Judge erred in excluding the evidence, and that such error was substantial, the hearing may be reopened to permit the taking of such evidence.

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