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Title 50Chapter IISubchapter CPart 221Subpart B → Subject Group


Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
PART 221—CONDITIONS AND PRESCRIPTIONS IN FERC HYDROPOWER LICENSES
Subpart B—Hearing Process


Hearing, Briefing, and Decision

§221.50   When and where will the hearing be held?

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, the hearing will be held at the time and place set at the initial prehearing conference under §221.40, generally within 25 days after the date set for completion of discovery.

(b) On motion by a party or on the ALJ's initiative, the ALJ may change the date, time, or place of the hearing if he or she finds:

(1) That there is good cause for the change; and

(2) That the change will not unduly prejudice the parties and witnesses.

§221.51   What are the parties' rights during the hearing?

Each party has the following rights during the hearing, as necessary to assure full and accurate disclosure of the facts:

(a) To present testimony and exhibits, consistent with the requirements in §§221.21(c), 221.22(c), 221.25(c), 221.42(b), and 221.52;

(b) To make objections, motions, and arguments; and

(c) To cross-examine witnesses and to conduct re-direct and re-cross examination as permitted by the ALJ.

§221.52   What are the requirements for presenting testimony?

(a) Written direct testimony. Unless otherwise ordered by the ALJ, all direct hearing testimony for each party's initial case must be prepared and submitted in written form. The ALJ will determine whether rebuttal testimony, if allowed, must be submitted in written form.

(1) Prepared written testimony must:

(i) Have line numbers inserted in the left-hand margin of each page;

(ii) Be authenticated by an affidavit or declaration of the witness;

(iii) Be filed within 10 days after the date set for completion of discovery; and

(iv) Be offered as an exhibit during the hearing.

(2) Any witness submitting written testimony must be available for cross-examination at the hearing.

(b) Oral testimony. Oral examination of a witness in a hearing, including on cross-examination or redirect, must be conducted under oath and in the presence of the ALJ, with an opportunity for all parties to question the witness.

(c) Telephonic testimony. The ALJ may by order allow a witness to testify by telephonic conference call.

(1) The arrangements for the call must let each party listen to and speak to the witness and each other within the hearing of the ALJ.

(2) The ALJ will ensure the full identification of each speaker so the reporter can create a proper record.

(3) The ALJ may issue a subpoena under §221.47 directing a witness to testify by telephonic conference call.

§221.53   How may a party use a deposition in the hearing?

(a) In general. Subject to the provisions of this section, a party may use in the hearing any part or all of a deposition taken under §221.44 against any party who:

(1) Was present or represented at the taking of the deposition; or

(2) Had reasonable notice of the taking of the deposition.

(b) Admissibility. (1) No part of a deposition will be included in the hearing record, unless received in evidence by the ALJ.

(2) The ALJ will exclude from evidence any question and response to which an objection:

(i) Was noted at the taking of the deposition; and

(ii) Would have been sustained if the witness had been personally present and testifying at a hearing.

(3) If a party offers only part of a deposition in evidence:

(i) An adverse party may require the party to introduce any other part that ought in fairness to be considered with the part introduced; and

(ii) Any other party may introduce any other parts.

(c) Videotaped deposition. If the deposition was recorded on videotape and is admitted into evidence, relevant portions will be played during the hearing and transcribed into the record by the reporter.

§221.54   What are the requirements for exhibits, official notice, and stipulations?

(a) General. (1) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) through (d) of this section, any material offered in evidence, other than oral testimony, must be offered in the form of an exhibit.

(2) Each exhibit offered by a party must be marked for identification.

(3) Any party who seeks to have an exhibit admitted into evidence must provide:

(i) The original of the exhibit to the reporter, unless the ALJ permits the substitution of a copy; and

(ii) A copy of the exhibit to the ALJ.

(b) Material not offered. If a document offered as an exhibit contains material not offered as evidence:

(1) The party offering the exhibit must:

(i) Designate the matter offered as evidence;

(ii) Segregate and exclude the material not offered in evidence, to the extent practicable; and

(iii) Provide copies of the entire document to the other parties appearing at the hearing.

(2) The ALJ must give the other parties an opportunity to inspect the entire document and offer in evidence any other portions of the document.

(c) Official notice. (1) At the request of any party at the hearing, the ALJ may take official notice of any matter of which the courts of the United States may take judicial notice, including the public records of any Department party.

(2) The ALJ must give the other parties appearing at the hearing an opportunity to show the contrary of an officially noticed fact.

(3) Any party requesting official notice of a fact after the conclusion of the hearing must show good cause for its failure to request official notice during the hearing.

(d) Stipulations. (1) The parties may stipulate to any relevant facts or to the authenticity of any relevant documents.

(2) If received in evidence at the hearing, a stipulation is binding on the stipulating parties.

(3) A stipulation may be written or made orally at the hearing.

§221.55   What evidence is admissible at the hearing?

(a) General. (1) Subject to the provisions of §221.42(b), the ALJ may admit any written, oral, documentary, or demonstrative evidence that is:

(i) Relevant, reliable, and probative; and

(ii) Not privileged or unduly repetitious or cumulative.

(2) The ALJ may exclude evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the risk of undue prejudice, confusion of the issues, or delay.

(3) Hearsay evidence is admissible. The ALJ may consider the fact that evidence is hearsay when determining its probative value.

(4) The Federal Rules of Evidence do not directly apply to the hearing, but may be used as guidance by the ALJ and the parties in interpreting and applying the provisions of this section.

(b) Objections. Any party objecting to the admission or exclusion of evidence must concisely state the grounds. A ruling on every objection must appear in the record.

§221.56   What are the requirements for transcription of the hearing?

(a) Transcript and reporter's fees. The hearing will be transcribed verbatim.

(1) The Department of Commerce's designated ALJ office will secure the services of a reporter and pay the reporter's fees to provide an original transcript to the Department of Commerce's designated ALJ office on an expedited basis.

(2) Each party must pay the reporter for any copies of the transcript obtained by that party.

(b) Transcript Corrections. (1) Any party may file a motion proposing corrections to the transcript. The motion must be filed within 5 days after receipt of the transcript, unless the ALJ sets a different deadline.

(2) Unless a party files a timely motion under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the transcript will be presumed to be correct and complete, except for obvious typographical errors.

(3) As soon as practicable after the close of the hearing and after consideration of any motions filed under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the ALJ will issue an order making any corrections to the transcript that the ALJ finds are warranted.

§221.57   Who has the burden of persuasion, and what standard of proof applies?

(a) Any party who has filed a request for a hearing has the burden of persuasion with respect to the issues of material fact raised by that party.

(b) The standard of proof is a preponderance of the evidence.

§221.58   When will the hearing record close?

(a) The hearing record will close when the ALJ closes the hearing, unless he or she directs otherwise.

(b) Evidence may not be added after the hearing record is closed, but the transcript may be corrected under §221.56(b).

§221.59   What are the requirements for post-hearing briefs?

(a) General. (1) Each party may file a post-hearing brief within 15 days after the close of the hearing.

(2) A party may file a reply brief only if requested by the ALJ. The deadline for filing a reply brief, if any, will be set by the ALJ.

(3) The ALJ may limit the length of the briefs to be filed under this section.

(b) Content. (1) An initial brief must include:

(i) A concise statement of the case;

(ii) A separate section containing proposed findings regarding the issues of material fact, with supporting citations to the hearing record;

(iii) Arguments in support of the party's position; and

(iv) Any other matter required by the ALJ.

(2) A reply brief, if requested by the ALJ, must be limited to any issues identified by the ALJ.

(c) Form. (1) An exhibit admitted in evidence or marked for identification in the record may not be reproduced in the brief.

(i) Such an exhibit may be reproduced, within reasonable limits, in an appendix to the brief.

(ii) Any pertinent analysis of an exhibit may be included in a brief.

(2) If a brief exceeds 20 pages, it must contain:

(i) A table of contents and of points made, with page references; and

(ii) An alphabetical list of citations to legal authority, with page references.

§221.60   What are the requirements for the ALJ's decision?

(a) Timing. The ALJ must issue a decision within the shorter of the following time periods:

(1) 30 days after the close of the hearing under §221.58; or

(2) 120 days after the effective date stated in the referral notice under §221.26(c)(4), 7 CFR 1.626(c)(4), or 43 CFR 45.26(c)(4).

(b) Content. (1) The decision must contain:

(i) Findings of fact on all disputed issues of material fact;

(ii) Conclusions of law necessary to make the findings of fact (such as rulings on materiality and on the admissibility of evidence); and

(iii) Reasons for the findings and conclusions.

(2) The ALJ may adopt any of the findings of fact proposed by one or more of the parties.

(3) The decision will not contain conclusions as to whether any preliminary condition or prescription should be adopted, modified, or rejected, or whether any proposed alternative should be accepted or rejected.

(c) Service. Promptly after issuing his or her decision, the ALJ must:

(1) Serve the decision on each party to the hearing;

(2) Prepare a list of all documents that constitute the complete record for the hearing process (including the decision) and certify that the list is complete; and

(3) Forward to FERC the complete record for the hearing process, along with the certified list prepared under paragraph (c)(2) of this section, for inclusion in the record for the license proceeding. Materials received in electronic form, e.g., as attachments to electronic mail, should be transmitted to FERC in electronic form. However, for cases in which a settlement was reached prior to a decision, the entire record need not be transmitted to FERC. In such situations, only the initial pleadings (hearing requests with attachments, any notices of intervention and response, answers, and referral notice) and any dismissal order of the ALJ need be transmitted.

(d) Finality. The ALJ's decision under this section with respect to the disputed issues of material fact will not be subject to further administrative review. To the extent the ALJ's decision forms the basis for any condition or prescription subsequently included in the license, it may be subject to judicial review under 16 U.S.C. 825l(b).

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