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

Title 45Subtitle BChapter XIIISubchapter CPart 1326 → Subpart E


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


Contents

General

§1326.80   Definitions.
§1326.81   Scope of rules.
§1326.82   Records to the public.
§1326.83   Use of gender and number.
§1326.84   Suspension of rules.
§1326.85   Filing and service of papers.

Preliminary Matters—Notice and Parties

§1326.90   Notice of hearing or opportunity for hearing.
§1326.91   Time of hearing.
§1326.92   Place.
§1326.93   Issues at hearing.
§1326.94   Request to participate in hearing.

Hearing Procedures

§1326.100   Who presides.
§1326.101   Authority of presiding officer.
§1326.102   Rights of parties.
§1326.103   Discovery.
§1326.104   Evidentiary purpose.
§1326.105   Evidence.
§1326.106   Exclusion from hearing for misconduct.
§1326.107   Unsponsored written material.
§1326.108   Official transcript.
§1326.109   Record for decision.
§1326.110   Post-hearing briefs.
§1326.111   Decisions following hearing.
§1326.112   Effective date of decision by the Secretary.

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General

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§1326.80   Definitions.

For purposes of this subpart:

Payment or allotment. The term “payment” or “allotment” means an amount provided under part B or C of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill or Rights Act of 2000. This term includes Federal funds provided under the Act irrespective of whether the State must match the Federal portion of the expenditure. This term shall include funds previously covered by the terms “Federal financial participation,” “the State's total allotment,” “further payments,” “payments,” “allotment” and “Federal funds.”

Presiding officer. The term “presiding officer” means anyone designated by the Secretary to conduct any hearing held under this subpart. The term includes the Secretary, or the Secretary's designee, if the Secretary or his or her designee presides over the hearing. For purposes of this subpart the Secretary's “designee” refers to a person, such as the Administrator of ACL, who has been delegated broad authority to carry out all or some of the authorizing statute. The term designee does not refer to a presiding officer designated only to conduct a particular hearing or hearings.

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§1326.81   Scope of rules.

(a) The rules of procedures in this subpart govern the practice for hearings afforded by the Department to States pursuant to sections 124, 127, and 143 of the Act. (42 U.S.C. 15024, 15027 and 15043).

(b) Nothing in this part is intended to preclude or limit negotiations between the Department and the State, whether before, during, or after the hearing to resolve the issues that are, or otherwise would be, considered at the hearing. Negotiation and resolution of issues are not part of the hearing, and are not governed by the rules in this subpart, except as otherwise provided in this subpart.

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§1326.82   Records to the public.

All pleadings, correspondence, exhibits, transcripts of testimony, exceptions, briefs, decisions, and other documents filed in the docket in any proceeding are subject to public inspection.

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§1326.83   Use of gender and number.

As used in this subpart, words importing the singular number may extend and be applied to several persons or things, and vice versa. Words importing either gender may be applied to the other gender or to organizations.

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§1326.84   Suspension of rules.

Upon notice to all parties, the Secretary or the Secretary's designee may modify or waive any rule in this subpart, unless otherwise expressly provided, upon determination that no party will be unduly prejudiced and justice will be served.

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§1326.85   Filing and service of papers.

(a) All papers in the proceedings must be filed with the designated individual in an original and two copies. Only the originals of exhibits and transcripts of testimony need be filed.

(b) Copies of papers in the proceedings must be served on all parties by personal delivery or by mail. Service on the party's designated representative is deemed service upon the party.

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Preliminary Matters—Notice and Parties

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§1326.90   Notice of hearing or opportunity for hearing.

Proceedings are commenced by mailing a notice of hearing or opportunity for hearing from the Secretary, or his or her designee, to the State Council on Developmental Disabilities and the Designated State Agency, or to the State Protection and Advocacy System or designating official. The notice must state the time and place for the hearing and the issues that will be considered. The notice must be published in the Federal Register.

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§1326.91   Time of hearing.

The hearing must be scheduled not less than 30 days, nor more than 60 days after the notice of the hearing is mailed to the State.

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§1326.92   Place.

The hearing must be held on a date and at a time and place determined by the Secretary, or his or her designee with due regard for convenience, and necessity of the parties or their representatives. The site of the hearing shall be accessible to individuals with disabilities.

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§1326.93   Issues at hearing.

(a) Prior to a hearing, the Secretary or his or her designee may notify the State in writing of additional issues which will be considered at the hearing. That notice must be published in the Federal Register. If that notice is mailed to the State less than 20 days before the date of the hearing, the State or any other party, at its request, must be granted a postponement of the hearing to a date 20 days after the notice was mailed or such later date as may be agreed to by the Secretary or his or her designee.

(b) If any issue is resolved in whole or in part, but new or modified issues are presented, the hearing must proceed on the new or modified issues.

(c)(1) If at any time, whether prior to, during, or after the hearing, the Secretary, or his or her designee, finds that the State has come into compliance with Federal requirements on any issue in whole or in part, he or she must remove the issue from the proceedings in whole or in part as may be appropriate. If all issues are removed the Secretary, or his or her designee, must terminate the hearing.

(2) Prior to the removal of an issue, in whole or in part, from a hearing involving issues relating to the conformity with Federal requirements under part B of the Act, of the State plan or the activities of the State Protection and Advocacy System, the Secretary, or his or her designee, must provide all parties other than the Department and the State (see §1326.94(b)) with the statement of his or her intention to remove an issue from the hearing and the reasons for that decision. A copy of the proposed State plan provision or document explaining changes in the activities of the State's Protection and Advocacy System on which the State and the Secretary, or his or her designee, have settled must be sent to the parties. The parties must have an opportunity to submit in writing within 15 days their views as to, or any information bearing upon, the merits of the proposed provision and the merits of the reasons for removing the issue from the hearing.

(d) In hearings involving questions of noncompliance of a State's operation of its program under part B of the Act, with the State plan or with Federal requirements, or compliance of the State Protection and Advocacy System with Federal requirements, the same procedure set forth in paragraph (c)(2) of this section must be followed with respect to any report or evidence resulting in a conclusion by the Secretary, or his or her designee, that a State has achieved compliance.

(e) The issues considered at the hearing must be limited to those issues of which the State is notified as provided in §1326.90 and paragraph (a) of this section, and new or modified issues described in paragraph (b) of this section, and may not include issues or parts of issues removed from the proceedings pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section.

[80 FR 44807, July 27, 2015, as amended at 81 FR 35647, June 3, 2016; 85 FR 72911, Nov. 16, 2020]

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§1326.94   Request to participate in hearing.

(a) The Department, the State, the State Council on Developmental Disabilities, the Designated State Agency, and the State Protection and Advocacy System, as appropriate, are parties to the hearing without making a specific request to participate.

(b)(1) Other individuals or groups may be recognized as parties if the issues to be considered at the hearing have caused them injury and their interests are relevant to the issues in the hearing.

(2) Any individual or group wishing to participate as a party must file a petition with the designated individual within 15 days after notice of the hearing has been published in the Federal Register, and must serve a copy on each party of record at that time in accordance with §1326.85(b). The petition must concisely state:

(i) Petitioner's interest in the proceeding;

(ii) Who will appear for petitioner;

(iii) The issues the petitioner wishes to address; and

(iv) Whether the petitioner intends to present witnesses.

(c)(1) Any interested person or organization wishing to participate as amicus curiae must file a petition with the designated individual before the commencement of the hearing. The petition must concisely state:

(i) The petitioner's interest in the hearing;

(ii) Who will represent the petitioner; and

(iii) The issues on which the petitioner intends to present argument.

(2) The presiding officer may grant the petition if he or she finds that the petitioner has a legitimate interest in the proceedings and that such participation will not unduly delay the outcome and may contribute materially to the proper disposition of the issues.

(3) An amicus curiae may present a brief oral statement at the hearing at the point in the proceedings specified by the presiding officer. It may submit a written statement of position to the presiding officer prior to the beginning of a hearing and must serve a copy on each party. It also may submit a brief or written statement at such time as the parties submit briefs and must serve a copy on each party.

[80 FR 44807, July 27, 2015, as amended at 81 FR 35647, June 3, 2016]

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Hearing Procedures

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§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.

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§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.

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§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.

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§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]

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§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.

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§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.

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§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.

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§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.

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§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.

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§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

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§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.

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§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.

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§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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