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e-CFR data is current as of September 18, 2020

Title 49Subtitle BChapter VPart 511 → Subpart D


Title 49: Transportation
PART 511—ADJUDICATIVE PROCEDURES


Subpart D—Discovery; Compulsory Process


Contents
§511.31   General provisions governing discovery.
§511.32   Written interrogatories to parties.
§511.33   Production of documents and things.
§511.34   Requests for admission.
§511.35   Testimony upon oral examination.
§511.36   Motions to compel discovery.
§511.37   Sanctions for failure to comply with order.
§511.38   Subpoenas.
§511.39   Orders requiring witnesses to testify or provide other information and granting immunity.

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§511.31   General provisions governing discovery.

(a) Applicability. The discovery rules established in this subpart are applicable to the discovery of information among the parties to a proceeding. Parties seeking information from persons not parties may do so by subpoena in accordance with §511.38.

(b) Discovery methods. Parties may obtain discovery by one or more of the following methods: (1) Written interrogatories; (2) requests for production of documents or things; (3) requests for admissions; or (4) testimony upon oral examination. Unless the Presiding Officer otherwise orders under paragraph (d) of this section, the frequency of use of these methods is not limited.

(c) Scope of discovery. The scope of discovery is as follows:

(1) In general. Parties may obtain discovery regarding any matter not privileged, which is relevant to the subject matter involved in the proceedings, whether it relates to the claim or defense of the party seeking discovery or to the claim or defense of any other party. It is not ground for objection that the information sought will be inadmissible at the hearing if the information sought appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

(2) Exception. Parties may not obtain discovery of documents which accompanied the staff's recommendation as to whether a complaint should issue or of documents or portions thereof which would be exempt from discovery under Rule 26(b)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

(3) Hearing preparation: Experts. A party may obtain discovery of facts known and opinions held by experts, regardless of whether they are acquired or developed in anticipation of or for litigation. Such discovery may be had by any of the methods provided in paragraph (b) of this section.

(d) Protective orders. Upon motion by a party or person and for good cause shown, the Presiding Officer may make any order which justice requires to protect such party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, competitive disadvantage, oppression or undue burden or expense, including one or more of the following: (1) That the discovery shall not be had; (2) that the discovery may be had only on specified terms and conditions, including a designation of the time and/or place; (3) that the discovery shall be had only by a method of discovery other than that selected by the party seeking discovery; (4) that certain matters shall not be inquired into, or that the scope of discovery shall be limited to certain matters; (5) that discovery shall be conducted with no one present except persons designated by the Presiding Officer; (6) that a trade secret or other confidential research, development, or commercial information shall not be disclosed or shall be disclosed only in a designated way or only to designated parties; and (7) that responses to discovery shall be placed in camera in accordance with §511.45.

If a motion for a protective order is denied in whole or in part, the Presiding Officer may, on such terms or conditions as are just, order that any party provide or permit discovery.

(e) Sequence and timing of discovery. Discovery may commence at any time after filing of the answer. Unless otherwise provided in these Rules or by order of the Presiding Officer, methods of discovery may be used in any sequence and the fact that a party is conducting discovery shall not operate to delay any other party's discovery.

(f) Supplementation of responses. A party who has responded to a request for discovery shall supplement the response with information thereafter acquired.

(g) Completion of discovery. All discovery shall be completed as soon as practical but in no case longer than one hundred fifty (150) days after issuance of a complaint unless otherwise ordered by the Presiding Officer in exceptional circumstances and for good cause shown. All discovery shall be served by a date which affords the party from whom discovery is sought the full response period provided by these Rules.

(h) Service and filing of discovery. All discovery requests and written responses, and all notices of the taking of testimony, shall be filed with the Docket Section and served on all parties and the Presiding Officer.

(i) Control of discovery. The use of these discovery procedures is subject to the control of the Presiding Officer, who may issue any just and appropriate order for the purpose of ensuring their timely completion.

[45 FR 81578, Dec. 11, 1980, as amended at 53 FR 15783, May 3, 1988]

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§511.32   Written interrogatories to parties.

(a) Availability; procedures for use. Any party may serve upon any other party written interrogatories to be answered by the party served or, if the party served is a public or private corporation or a partnership or association or governmental agency, by any officer or agent, who shall furnish such information as is available to the party. Interrogatories may, without leave of the Presiding Officer, be served upon any party after filing of the answer.

(b) Procedures for response. Each interrogatory shall be answered separately and fully in writing under oath, unless it is objected to, in which event the reasons for objection shall be stated in lieu of an answer. The answers are to be signed by a responsible representative of the respondent and the objections signed by the representative making them. The party upon whom the interrogatories have been served shall serve a copy of the answers, and objections if any, within 30 days after service of the interrogatories. The Presiding Officer may allow a shorter or longer time for response. The party submitting the interrogatories may move for an order under §511.36 with respect to any objection to or other failure to answer an interrogatory.

(c) Scope of interrogatories. Interrogatories may relate to any matters which can be inquired into under §511.31(c)(1), and the answers may be used to the extent permitted under this part. An interrogatory otherwise proper is not objectionable merely because an answer to the interrogatory would involve an opinion or contention that relates to fact or to the application of law to fact, but the Presiding Officer may order that such an interrogatory need not be answered until a later time.

(d) Option to produce business records. Where the answer to an interrogatory may be derived or ascertained from the business records of the party upon whom the interrogatory has been served, or from an examination, audit or inspection of such business records, or from a compilation, abstract or summary based thereon, and the burden of deriving the answer is substantially the same for the party serving the interrogatory as for the party served, it is a sufficient answer to the interrogatory to specify the records from which the answer may be derived or ascertained and to afford to the party serving the interrogatory reasonable opportunity to examine, audit or inspect such records and to make copies, complications, abstracts, or summaries.

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§511.33   Production of documents and things.

(a) Scope. Any party may serve upon any other party a request (1) to produce and permit the party making the request, or someone acting on behalf of that party, to inspect and copy any designated documents (including writings, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, phono-records, and any other data-compilation from which information can be obtained, translated, if necessary, by the party in possession into reasonably usable form), or (2) to inspect and copy, test or sample tangible things which constitute or contain matters within the scope of §511.31(c)(1) and which are in the possession, custody or control of the party upon whom the request is served.

(b) Procedure for request. The request may be served at any time after the filing of the answer without leave of the Presiding Officer. The request shall set forth the items to be inspected either by individual item or by category, and shall describe each item or category with reasonable particularity. The request shall specify a reasonable time, place and manner for making the inspection and performing the related acts.

(c) Procedure for response. The party upon whom the request is served shall serve a written response within twenty (20) days after service of the request. The Presiding Officer may allow a shorter or longer time for response. The response shall state, with respect to each item or category requested, that inspection and related activities will be permitted as requested, unless the request is objected to, in which event the reasons for objection shall be stated. If objection is made to only part of an item or category, that part shall be so specified. The party submitting the request may move for an order under §511.36 with respect to any objection to or other failure to respond to the request or any part thereof, or to any failure to permit inspection as requested.

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§511.34   Requests for admission.

(a) Procedure for request. A party may serve upon any other party a written request for the admission, for the purposes of the pending proceeding only, of the truth of any matters within the scope of §511.31(c)(1) set forth in the request that relate to statements or opinions of fact or of the application of law to fact, including the genuineness of documents described in the request. Copies of documents shall be served with the request unless they have been, or are otherwise furnished or made available for inspection and copying. The request may, without leave of the Presiding Officer, be served upon any party after filing of the answer. Each matter as to which an admission is requested shall be separately set forth.

(b) Procedure for response. The matter as to which an admission is requested is deemed admitted unless within thirty (30) days after service of the request, or within such shorter or longer time as the Presiding Officer may allow, the party to whom the request is directed serves upon the party requesting the admission a written answer or objection addressed to the matter, signed by the party or the party's representatives. If objection is made, the reasons therefore shall be stated.

The answer shall specifically admit or deny the matter or set forth in detail the reasons why the answering party cannot truthfully admit or deny the matter. A denial shall fairly meet the substance of the requested admission. When good faith requires that a party qualify an answer or deny only a part of the matter as to which an admission is requested, the party shall specify the portion that is true and qualify or deny the remainder. An answering party may not give lack of information or knowledge as a reason for failure to admit or deny, unless the party states that he or she has made reasonable inquiry and that the information known or readily available to him or her is insufficient to enable him or her to admit or deny. A party who considers that a matter as to which an admission has been requested presents a genuine issue for hearing may not, on that ground alone, object to the request but may deny the matter or set forth reasons why the party cannot admit or deny it. The party who has requested an admission may move to determine the sufficiency of the answer or objection thereto in accordance with §511.36. If the Presiding Officer determines that an answer does not comply with the requirements of this section, he or she may order that the matter be deemed admitted or that an amended answer be served.

(c) Effect of admission. Any matter admitted under this section is conclusively established unless the Presiding Officer on motion permits withdrawal or amendment of such admission. The Presiding Officer may permit withdrawal or amendment when the presentation of the merits of the action will be served thereby and the party that obtained the admission fails to satisfy the Presiding Officer that withdrawal or amendment will prejudice that party in maintaining an action or defense on the merits.

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§511.35   Testimony upon oral examination.

(a) When testimony may be taken. At any time after the answer is filed under §511.12, upon leave of the Presiding Officer and under such terms and conditions as the Presiding Officer may prescribe, any party may take the testimony of any other party, including the agents, employees, consultants or prospective witnesses of that party at a place convenient to the witness. The attendance of witnesses and the production of documents and things at the examination may be compelled by subpoena as provided in §511.38.

(b) Notice of oral examination—(1) Examination of a party. A party desiring to examine another party to the proceeding shall, after obtaining leave from the Presiding Officer, serve written notice of the examination on all other parties and the Presiding Officer at least ten (10) days before the date of the examination. The notice shall state (i) the time and place for making the examination; (ii) the name and address of each person to be examined, if known, or if the name is not known, a general description sufficient to identify him; and (iii) the subject matter of the expected testimony. If a subpoena duces tecum is to be served on the person to be examined, the designation of the materials to be produced, as set forth in the subpoena, shall be attached to or included in the notice of examination.

(2) Examination of a nonparty. A party desiring to examine a person who is not a party to the proceeding shall make application for a subpoena, in accordance with §511.38, to compel the attendance, testimony and/or production of documents by such person who is not a party. The party desiring such examination shall serve written notice of the examination on all other parties to the proceeding, after issuance of the subpoena by the Presiding Officer or a designated alternate.

(3) Opposition to notice. A person served with a notice of examination may, within 3 days of the date of service, oppose, in writing, the examination. The Presiding Officer shall rule on the notice and any opposition and may order the taking of all noticed examinations, upon a showing of good cause therefor. The Presiding Officer may, for good cause shown, enlarge or shorten the time for the taking of an examination.

(c) Persons before whom examinations may be taken. Examinations may be taken before any person authorized to administer oaths by the laws of the United States or of the place where the examination is held. No examination shall be taken before a person who is a relative or employee or attorney or representative of any party, or who is a relative or employee of such attorney or representative, or who is financially interested in the action.

(d) Procedure—(1) Examination. Each witness shall be duly sworn, and all testimony shall be duly recorded. All parties or their representatives may be present and participate in the examination. Examination and cross-examination of witnesses may proceed as permitted at the hearing. Questions objected to shall be answered subject to the objections. Objections shall be in short form, and shall state the grounds relied upon. The questions propounded and the answers thereto, together with all objections made, shall be recorded by the official reporter before whom the examination is made. The original or a verified copy of all documents and things produced for inspection during the examination of the witness shall, upon a request of any party present, be marked for identification and annexed to the record of the examination.

(2) Motion to terminate or limit examination. At any time during the examination, upon motion of any party or of the witness, and upon showing that the examination is being conducted in bad faith or in such manner as unreasonably to annoy, embarrass or oppress the witness or party, the Presiding Officer may, upon motion, order the party conducting the examination to terminate the examination, or may limit the scope and manner of the examination as provided in §511.31(d).

(3) Participation by parties not present. In lieu of attending an examination, any party may serve written questions in a sealed envelope on the party conducting the examination. That party shall transmit the envelope to the official reporter, who shall unseal it and propound the questions contained therein to the witness.

(e) Transcription and filing of testimony—(1) Transcription. Upon request by any party, the testimony recorded at an examination shall be transcribed. When the testimony is fully transcribed, the transcript shall be submitted to the witness for examination and signing, and shall be read to or by the witness, unless such examination and signature are waived by the witness. Any change in form or substance which the witness desires to make shall be entered upon the transcript of the official reporter with a statement of the reasons given by the witness for making them. The transcript shall then be signed by the witness, unless the parties by stipulation waive the signing, or the witness is ill or cannot be found or refuses to sign. If the transcript is not signed by the witness within thirty (30) days of its submission to him, the official reporter shall sign it and state on the record the fact of the waiver of signature or of the illness or absence of the witness or the fact of the refusal to sign, together with a statement of the reasons therefor. The testimony may then be used as fully as though signed, in accordance with paragraph (i) of this section.

(2) Certification and filing. The official reporter shall certify on the transcript that the witness was duly sworn and that the transcript is a true record of the testimony given and corrections made by the witness. The official reporter shall then seal the transcript in an envelope endorsed with the title and docket number of the action and marked “Testimony of [name of witness]” and shall promptly file the transcript with the Docket Section. The Presiding Officer shall notify all parties of the filing of the transcript and the Docket Section shall furnish a copy of the transcript to any party or to the witness upon payment of reasonable charges therefor.

(f) Costs of examination. The party who notices the examination shall pay for the examination. The party who requests transcription of the examination shall pay for the transcription.

(g) Failure to attend or to serve subpoena; expenses. If a party who notices an examination fails to attend and proceed therewith and another party attends in person or by a representative pursuant to the notice, the Presiding Officer may order the party who gave the notice to pay the attending party the reasonable expenses incurred. If a party who notices an examination fails to serve a subpoena upon the witness and as a result the witness does not attend, and if another party attends in person or by a representative because that party expects the examination to be made, the Presiding Officer may order the party who gave notice to pay the attending party the reasonable expenses incurred.

(h) Examination to preserve testimony—(1) When available. By leave of the Presiding Officer, a party may examine a witness for the purpose of perpetuating the testimony of that witness. A party who wishes to conduct such an examination shall obtain prior leave of the Presiding Officer by filing a motion. The motion shall include a showing of substantial reason to believe that the testimony could not be presented at the hearing. If the Presiding Officer is satisfied that the perpetuation of the testimony may prevent a failure of justice or is otherwise reasonably necessary, he or she shall order that the deposition be taken.

(2) Procedure. Notice of an examination to preserve testimony shall be served at least fifteen (15) days prior to the examination. The examination shall be taken in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (d) of this section. Any examination taken to preserve testimony shall be fully transcribed and filed in accordance with paragraph (e) of this section.

(i) Use of testimony obtained under this section. At the hearing or upon a motion or an interlocutory proceeding, any part or all of a deposition, so far as admissible under the rules of evidence applied as though the witness were then present and testifying, may be used against any party who was present or represented at the taking of the deposition or who had reasonable notice thereof, in accordance with any of the following provisions:

(1) Any deposition may be used by any party for the purpose of contradicting or impeaching the testimony of the deponent as a witness.

(2) The deposition of a party or of a person who at the time of the taking of his testimony was an officer, director or managing agent of a party may be used against that party for any purpose.

(3) The deposition of a witness, whether or not a party, may be used by any party for any purpose if the Presiding Officer finds:

(i) That the witness is dead; or

(ii) That the witness is at a greater distance than 100 miles from the place of the hearing, or is out of the United States, unless it appears that the absence of the witness was procured by the party offering the deposition; or

(iii) That the witness is unable to attend or testify because of age, illness, infirmity, or imprisonment; or

(iv) That the party offering the deposition has been unable to procure the attendance of the witness by subpoena; or

(v) Upon application and notice, that such exceptional circumstances exist as to make it desirable, in the interest of justice and with due regard to the importance of presenting the testimony of witnesses orally in open court, to allow the deposition to be used.

(4) If only part of a deposition is offered in evidence by a party, an adverse party may require him to introduce any other part which ought in fairness to be considered with the part introduced, and any party may introduce any other parts.

[45 FR 81578, Dec. 11, 1980, as amended at 53 FR 15783, May 3, 1988]

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§511.36   Motions to compel discovery.

If a party fails to respond to discovery, in whole or in part, the party seeking discovery may move within twenty (20) days for an order compelling an answer, or compelling inspection or production of documents, or otherwise compelling discovery. For purposes of this subsection, an evasive or incomplete response is to be treated as a failure to respond. If the motion is granted, the Presiding Officer shall issue an order compelling discovery. If the motion is denied in whole or in part, the Presiding Officer may make such protective order as he or she would have been empowered to make on a motion pursuant to §511.31(d). When making oral examinations, the discovering party shall continue the examination to the extent possible with respect to other areas of inquiry before moving to compel discovery.

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§511.37   Sanctions for failure to comply with order.

If a party fails to obey an order to provide or permit discovery, the Presiding Officer may take such action as is just, including but not limited to the following:

(a) Infer that the admission, testimony, document or other evidence would have been adverse to the party;

(b) Order that for the purposes of the proceeding, the matters regarding which the order was made or any other designated facts shall be taken to be established in accordance with the claim of the party obtaining the order;

(c) Order that the party withholding discovery not introduce into evidence or otherwise rely, in support of any claim or defense, upon the documents or other evidence withheld;

(d) Order that the party withholding discovery not introduce into evidence or otherwise use at the hearing, information obtained in discovery;

(e) Order that the party withholding discovery not be heard to object to introduction and use of secondary evidence to show what the withheld admission, testimony, documents, or other evidence would have shown;

(f) Order that a pleading, or part of a pleading, or a motion or other submission by the party, concerning which the order was issued, be stricken, or that decision on the pleadings be rendered against the party, or both; and

(g) Exclude the party or representative from proceedings, in accordance with §511.42(b).

Any such action may be taken by order at any point in the proceedings.

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§511.38   Subpoenas.

(a) Availability. A subpoena shall be addressed to any party or any person not a party for the purpose of compelling attendance, testimony and production of documents at a hearing or oral examination.

(b) Form. A subpoena shall identify the action with which it is connected; shall specify the person to whom it is addressed and the date, time and place for compliance with its provisions; and shall be issued by order of the Presiding Officer and signed by the Chief Counsel, or by the Presiding Officer. A subpoena duces tecum shall specify the books, papers, documents, or other materials or data-compilations to be produced.

(c) How obtained—(1) Content of application. An application for the issuance of a subpoena stating reasons shall be submitted in triplicate to the Presiding Officer.

(2) Procedure of application. The original and two copies of the subpoena, marked “original,” “duplicate” and “triplicate,” shall accompany the application. The Presiding Officer shall rule upon an application for a subpoena ex parte, by issuing the subpoena or by issuing an order denying the application.

(d) Issuance of a subpoena. The Presiding Officer shall issue a subpoena by signing and dating, or ordering the Chief Counsel to sign and date, each copy in the lower right-hand corner of the document. The “duplicate” and “triplicate” copies of the subpoena shall be transmitted to the applicant for service in accordance with these Rules; the “original” copy shall be retained by or forwarded to the Chief Counsel for retention in the docket of the proceeding.

(e) Service of a subpoena. A subpoena may be served in person or by certified mail, return receipt requested, as provided in §511.16(b). Service shall be made by delivery of the signed “duplicate” copy to the person named therein.

(f) Return of service. A person serving a subpoena shall promptly execute a return of service, stating the date, time, and manner of service. If service is effected by mail, the signed return receipt shall accompany the return of service. In case of failure to make service, a statement of the reasons for the failure shall be made. The “triplicate” of the subpoena, bearing or accompanied by the return of service, shall be returned forthwith to the Chief Counsel after service has been completed.

(g) Motion to quash or limit subpoena. Within five (5) days of receipt of a subpoena, the person against whom it is directed may file with the Presiding Officer a motion to quash, modify, or limit the subpoena, setting forth the reasons why the subpoena should be withdrawn or why it should be modified or limited in scope. Any such motion shall be answered within five (5) days of service, and shall be ruled on immediately thereafter. The order shall specify the date, if any, for compliance with the specifications of the subpoena and the reasons for the decision.

(h) Consequences of failure to comply. In the event of failure to comply with a subpoena, the Presiding Officer may take any of the actions enumerated in §511.37 or may order any other appropriate relief to compensate for the withheld testimony, documents, or other materials. If in the opinon of the Presiding Officer such relief is insufficient, the Presiding Officer shall certify to the Administrator a request for judicial enforcement of the subpoena.

[45 FR 81578, Dec. 11, 1980, as amended at 53 FR 26261, July 12, 1988]

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§511.39   Orders requiring witnesses to testify or provide other information and granting immunity.

(a) A party who desires the issuance of an order requiring a witness to testify or provide other information upon being granted immunity from prosecution under title 18, U.S.C., section 6002, may make a motion to that effect. The motion shall be made and ruled on in accordance with §511.22, and shall include a showing:

(1) That the testimony or other information sought from a witness or prospective witness may be necessary to the public interest; and

(2) That such individual has refused or is likely to refuse to testify or provide such information on the basis of that individual's privilege against self-incrimination.

(b) If the Presiding Officer determines that the witness' testimony appears necessary and that the privilege against self-incrimination may be invoked, he or she may certify to the Administrator a request that he or she obtain the approval of the Attorney General of the United States for the issuance of an order granting immunity.

(c) Upon application to and approval of the Attorney General of the United States, and after the witness has invoked the privilege against self-incrimination, the Presiding Officer shall issue the order granting immunity unless he or she determines that the privilege was improperly invoked.

(d) Failure of a witness to testify after a grant of immunity or after a denial of the issuance of an order granting immunity shall result in the imposition of appropriate sanctions as provided in §511.37.

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