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e-CFR data is current as of March 2, 2021

Title 45Subtitle BChapter XIIISubchapter CPart 1326Subpart E → Subject Group


Title 45: Public Welfare
PART 1326—DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES FORMULA GRANT PROGRAMS
Subpart E—Practice and Procedure for Hearings Pertaining to States' Conformity and Compliance With Developmental Disabilities State Plans, Reports, and Federal Requirements


Hearing Procedures

§1326.100   Who presides.

(a) The presiding officer at a hearing must be the Secretary, his or her designee, or another person specifically designated for a particular hearing or hearings.

(b) The designation of a presiding officer must be in writing. A copy of the designation must be served on all parties and amici curiae.

§1326.101   Authority of presiding officer.

(a) The presiding officer has the duty to conduct a fair hearing, avoid delay, maintain order, and make a record of the proceedings. The presiding officer has all powers necessary to accomplish these ends, including, but not limited to, the power to:

(1) Change the date, time, and place of the hearing, upon notice to the parties. This includes the power to continue the hearing in whole or in part;

(2) Hold conferences to settle or simplify the issues in a proceeding, or to consider other matters that may aid in the expeditious disposition of the proceedings;

(3) Regulate participation of parties and amici curiae and require parties and amici curiae to state their positions with respect to the issues in the proceeding;

(4) Administer oaths and affirmations;

(5) Rule on motions and other procedural items on matters pending before him or her, including issuance of protective orders or other relief to a party against whom discovery is sought;

(6) Regulate the course of the hearing and conduct of counsel therein;

(7) Examine witnesses;

(8) Receive, rule on, exclude, or limit evidence or discovery;

(9) Fix the time for filing motions, petitions, briefs, or other items in matters pending before him or her;

(10) If the presiding officer is the Secretary, or his or her designee, make a final decision;

(11) If the presiding officer is a person other than the Secretary or his or her designee, the presiding officer shall certify the entire record, including recommended findings and proposed decision, to the Secretary or his or her designee; and

(12) Take any action authorized by the rules in this subpart or 5 U.S.C. 551-559.

(b) The presiding officer does not have authority to compel the production of witnesses, papers, or other evidence by subpoena.

(c) If the presiding officer is a person other than the Secretary or his or her designee, his or her authority is to render a recommended decision with respect to program requirements which are to be considered at the hearing. In case of any noncompliance, he or she shall recommend whether payments or allotments should be withheld with respect to the entire State plan or the activities of the State's Protection and Advocacy System, or whether the payments or allotments should be withheld only with respect to those parts of the program affected by such noncompliance.

§1326.102   Rights of parties.

All parties may:

(a) Appear by counsel, or other authorized representative, in all hearing proceedings;

(b) Participate in any prehearing conference held by the presiding officer;

(c) Agree to stipulations of facts which will be made a part of the record;

(d) Make opening statements at the hearing;

(e) Present relevant evidence on the issues at the hearing;

(f) Present witnesses who then must be available for cross-examination by all other parties;

(g) Present oral arguments at the hearing; and

(h) Submit written briefs, proposed findings of fact, and proposed conclusions of law, after the hearing.

§1326.103   Discovery.

The Department and any party named in the notice issued pursuant to §1326.90 has the right to conduct discovery (including depositions) against opposing parties as provided by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. There is no fixed rule on priority of discovery. Upon written motion, the presiding officer must promptly rule upon any objection to discovery action. The presiding officer also has the power to grant a protective order or relief to any party against whom discovery is sought and to restrict or control discovery so as to prevent undue delay in the conduct of the hearing. Upon the failure of any party to make discovery, the presiding officer may issue any order and impose any sanction other than contempt orders authorized by Rule 37 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

[80 FR 44807, July 27, 2015, as amended at 85 FR 72911, Nov. 16, 2020]

§1326.104   Evidentiary purpose.

The hearing is directed to receiving factual evidence and expert opinion testimony related to the issues in the proceeding. Argument will not be received in evidence; rather, it must be presented in statements, memoranda, or briefs, as directed by the presiding officer. Brief opening statements, which shall be limited to a statement of the party's position and what it intends to prove, may be made at hearings.

§1326.105   Evidence.

(a) Testimony. Testimony by witnesses at the hearing is given orally under oath or affirmation. Witnesses must be available at the hearing for cross-examination by all parties.

(b) Stipulations and exhibits. Two or more parties may agree to stipulations of fact. Such stipulations, or any exhibit proposed by any party, must be exchanged at the prehearing conference or at a different time prior to the hearing if the presiding officer requires it.

(c) Rules of evidence. Technical rules of evidence do not apply to hearings conducted pursuant to this subpart, but rules or principles designed to assure production of the most credible evidence available and to subject testimony to test by cross-examination are applied where reasonably necessary by the presiding officer. A witness may be cross-examined on any matter material to the proceeding without regard to the scope of his or her direct examination. The presiding officer may exclude irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious evidence. All documents and other evidence offered or taken for the record is open to examination by the parties and opportunity must be given to refute facts and arguments advanced on either side of the issues.

§1326.106   Exclusion from hearing for misconduct.

Disrespectful, disorderly, or rebellious language or contemptuous conduct, refusal to comply with directions, or continued use of dilatory tactics by any person at the hearing before a presiding officer shall constitute grounds for immediate exclusion of such person from the hearing by the presiding officer.

§1326.107   Unsponsored written material.

Letters expressing views or urging action and other unsponsored written material regarding matters in issue in a hearing is placed in the correspondence section of the docket of the proceeding. This material is not deemed part of the evidence or record in the hearing.

§1326.108   Official transcript.

The Department will designate the official reporter for all hearings. The official transcript of testimony taken, together with any stipulations, exhibits, briefs, or memoranda of law filed with them is filed with the Department. Transcripts of testimony in hearings may be obtained from the official reporter by the parties and the public at rates not to exceed the maximum rates fixed by the contract between the Department and the reporter. Upon notice to all parties, the presiding officer may authorize corrections to the transcript which involve matters of substance. Transcripts must be taken by stenotype machine and not be voice recording devices, unless otherwise agreed by all of the parties and the presiding officer.

§1326.109   Record for decision.

The transcript of testimony, exhibits, and all papers and requests filed in the proceedings, except the correspondence section of the docket, including rulings and any recommended or initial decision, constitute the exclusive record for decision.

Post-Hearing Procedures, Decisions

§1326.110   Post-hearing briefs.

The presiding officer must fix the time for filing post-hearing briefs. This time may not exceed 30 days after termination of the hearing and receipt of the transcript. Briefs may contain proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law. If permitted, reply briefs may be filed no later than 15 days after filing of the post-hearing briefs.

§1326.111   Decisions following hearing.

(a) If the Secretary, or his or her designee, is the presiding officer, he or she must issue a decision within 60 days after the time for submission of post-hearing briefs has expired.

(b)(1) If the presiding officer is another person designated for a particular hearing or hearings, he or she must, within 30 days after the time for submission of post-hearing briefs has expired, certify the entire record to the Secretary (or his or her designee) including the recommended findings and proposed decision.

(2) The Secretary, or his or her designee, must serve a copy of the recommended findings and proposed decision upon all parties and amici.

(3) Any party may, within 20 days, file exceptions to the recommended findings and proposed decision and supporting brief or statement with the Secretary, or his or her designee.

(4) The Secretary, or his or her designee, must review the recommended decision and, within 60 days of its issuance, issue his or her own decision.

(c) If the Secretary, or his or her designee, concludes:

(1) In the case of a hearing pursuant to sections 124, 127, or 143 of the Act, that a State plan or the activities of the State's Protection and Advocacy System does not comply with Federal requirements, he or she shall also specify whether the State's payment or allotment for the fiscal year will not be authorized for the State or whether, in the exercise of his or her discretion, the payment or allotment will be limited to the parts of the State plan or the activities of the State's Protection and Advocacy System not affected by the noncompliance.

(2) In the case of a hearing pursuant to section 127 of the Act that the State is not complying with the requirements of the State plan, he or she also must specify whether the State's payment or allotment will be made available to the State or whether, in the exercise of his or her discretion, the payment or allotment will be limited to the parts of the State plan not affected by such noncompliance. The Secretary, or his or her designee, may ask the parties for recommendations or briefs or may hold conferences of the parties on these questions.

(d) The decision of the Secretary, or his or her designee, under this section is the final decision of the Secretary and constitutes “final agency action” within the meaning of 5 U.S.C. 704 and the “Secretary's action” within the meaning of section 128 of the Act (42 U.S.C. 15028). The Secretary's, or his or her designee's, decision must be promptly served on all parties and amici.

§1326.112   Effective date of decision by the Secretary.

(a) If, in the case of a hearing pursuant to section 124 of the Act, the Secretary, or his or her designee, concludes that a State plan does not comply with Federal requirements, and the decision provides that the payment or allotment will be authorized but limited to parts of the State plan not affected by such noncompliance, the decision must specify the effective date for the authorization of the payment or allotment.

(b) In the case of a hearing pursuant to sections 127 or 143 of the Act, if the Secretary, or his or her designee, concludes that the State is not complying with the requirements of the State plan or if the activities of the State's Protection and Advocacy System do not comply with Federal requirements, the decision that further payments or allotments will not be made to the State, or will be limited to the parts of the State plan or activities of the State Protection and Advocacy System not affected, must specify the effective date for withholding payments or allotments.

(c) The effective date may not be earlier than the date of the decision of the Secretary, or his or her designee, and may not be later than the first day of the next calendar quarter.

(d) The provision of this section may not be waived pursuant to §1326.84.

[80 FR 44807, July 27, 2015, as amended at 85 FR 72911, Nov. 16, 2020]

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