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e-CFR data is current as of August 7, 2020

Title 16Chapter IISubchapter CPart 1502 → Subpart E

Title 16: Commercial Practices

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.

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§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.

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§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.

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§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.

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§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.

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§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.

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§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.

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§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.

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§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.

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§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.

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§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.

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§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.

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§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.

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§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.

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§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.

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§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.

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