This subpart applies to any proceeding, or part of a proceeding, that the Commission or the Secretary under delegated authority sets for a hearing to be conducted in accordance with this subpart.
[Order 492, 53 FR 16067, May 5, 1988]
(a) Notice or order initiating hearing. A hearing under this subpart will be initiated by:
(1) Order of the Commission; or
(2) Notice by the Secretary at the direction of the Commission or under delegated authority.
(b) Contents of notice or order initiating hearing. Any order or notice under paragraph (a) of this section will set forth:
(1) The authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing is to be held;
(2) The nature of the proceeding;
(3) The final date for the filing of interventions, if the dates were not fixed by an earlier notice;
(4) The presiding officer, if designated at that time; and
(5) The date, time, and location of the hearing or prehearing conference, if known; and
(6) Any other appropriate matter.
(c) Consolidation, severance, and phasing. Any notice or order under this section may direct consolidation of proceedings, phasing of a proceeding, or severance of proceedings or issues in a proceeding.
(a) The Chief Administrative Law Judge may, on motion or otherwise, order proceedings pending under this subpart consolidated for hearing on, or settlement of, any or all matters in issue in the proceedings, or order the severance of proceedings or issues in a proceeding. The order may be appealed to the Commission pursuant to Rule 715.
(b) If the Commission orders that the presiding officer close the record in any proceeding by a specific date, the Chief Administrative Law Judge may, upon motion or otherwise, extend the close-of-record date for good cause. This staff action may be appealed to the Commission only under Rule 1902.
(1) It shall be the duty of the presiding officer to conduct a fair and impartial hearing and to determine the matter justly under the law.
(2) The presiding officer will cause all appearances during a hearing to be entered on the record with a notation in whose behalf each appearance is made.
(3) The presiding officer will establish the order of presentation of the cases of all participants in the hearing.
(4) The presiding officer will assure that the taking of evidence and subsequent matters proceed with all reasonable diligence and with the least delay practicable.
(5) The presiding officer will prepare and certify an initial decision or a revised initial decision, whichever is appropriate, to the Commission as provided in Subpart G of this part.
(b) Powers. Except as otherwise ordered by the Commission or provided by law, the presiding officer may:
(1) Schedule and otherwise regulate the course of the hearing;
(2) Recess, reconvene, postpone, or adjourn the hearing;
(3) Administer oaths;
(4) Rule on and receive evidence;
(5) Cause Discovery to be conducted;
(6) Exercise powers granted a presiding officer under Subpart D;
(7) Hold conferences of the participants, as provided in Subpart F of this part, including for the purpose of considering the use of alternative dispute resolution procedures;
(8) Rule on, and dispose of, procedural matters, including oral or written motions;
(9) Summarily dispose of a proceeding or part of a proceeding, as provided in Rule 217;
(10) Certify a question to the Commission, as provided in Rule 714;
(11) Permit or deny appeal of an interlocutory ruling, as provided in Rule 715;
(12) Rule on motions to intervene, as provided in Rule 214;
(13) Separate any issue or group of issues from other issues in a proceeding and treat such issue or group of issues as a separate phase of the proceeding;
(14) Maintain order, as follows:
(i) Ensure that any disregard by any person of rulings on matters of order and procedure is noted on the record or, if appropriate, is made the subject of a special written report to the Commission;
(ii) In the event any person engages in disrespectful, disorderly, or contumacious language or conduct in connection with the hearing, recess the hearing for such time as necessary to regain order;
(iii) Request that the Commission take appropriate action, including removal from the proceeding, against a participant or counsel, if necessary to maintain order.
(15) Modify any time period, if such modification is in the interest of justice and will result in no undue prejudice to any participant;
(16) Limit the number of expert witnesses who may testify on any issue, consistent with the rule against repetitious testimony in Rule 509(a);
(17) Limit the number of persons, other than staff, representing a similar interest who may examine witnesses or make or argue motions or objections;
(18) Require; or authorize the admission of, further evidence upon any issue at any time before the close of the evidentiary record;
(19) Rule on motions for reconsideration of an initial decision as provided in Rule 717;
(20) Take any other action necessary or appropriate to the discharge of the duties of a presiding officer, consistent with applicable law and policy.
(1) A presiding officer may withdraw from a proceeding, if that officer believes himself or herself disqualified.
(2) The Commission may, for good cause, order the removal of any presiding officer from a proceeding, on motion filed with the Commission or otherwise.
Consistent with the provisions of this part, a participant has the right to present such evidence, including rebuttal evidence, to make such objections and arguments, and to conduct such cross-examination, as may be necessary to assure true and full disclosure of the facts.
(a) Prepared written direct and rebuttal testimony. Unless the presiding officer orders such testimony to be presented orally, direct and rebuttal testimony of a witness in a hearing must be prepared and submitted in written form, as required by Rule 507. Any witness submitting written testimony must be available for cross-examination, as provided in this subpart.
(b) Oral testimony during hearing. Oral examination of a witness in a hearing must be conducted under oath and in the presence of the presiding officer, with opportunity for all participants to question the witness to the extent consistent with Rules 504(b)(17), 505, and 509(a).
(a) Offered as an exhibit. The prepared written testimony of any witness must be offered as an exhibit. The presiding officer will allow a reasonable period of time for the preparation of such written testimony.
(b) Time for filing. Any prepared written testimony must be filed and served within the time provided by the presiding officer, in no case later than 10 days before the session of the hearing at which such exhibit is offered, unless a shorter period is permitted under paragraph (c) of this section.
(c) Late-filed testimony.
(1) If all participants in attendance at the hearing agree, the 10-day requirement for filing any written testimony under paragraph (b) of this section is waived.
(2) The presiding officer may permit the introduction of any prepared written testimony without compliance with paragraph (b) of this section, if the presiding officer determines that the introduction of the testimony:
(i) Is necessary for a full disclosure of the facts or is warranted by any other showing of good cause; and
(ii) Would not be unduly prejudicial to any participant.
(3) If any written testimony is served and filed within the 10 day period provided in paragraph (b) of this section, the presiding officer will provide the participants in attendance with a reasonable opportunity to inspect the testimony.
(d) Form; authentication. Prepared written testimony must have line numbers inserted in the left-hand margin of each page and must be authenticated by an affidavit of the witness.
(a) General rules.
(2) The presiding officer will cause each exhibit offered by a participant to be marked for identification.
(b) Designation and treatment of matter sought to be admitted.
(1) If a document offered as an exhibit contains material not offered as evidence, the participant offering the exhibit must:
(i) Plainly designate the matter offered as evidence; and
(ii) Segregate and exclude the material not offered in evidence, to the extent practicable.
(2) If, in a document offered as an exhibit, material not offered in evidence is so extensive as to unnecessarily encumber the record, the material offered in evidence will be marked for identification. The remainder of the document will be considered not to have been offered in evidence.
(3) Copies of any document offered as an exhibit under paragraph (b)(2) of this section must be delivered to the other participants appearing at the hearing by the participant offering the exhibit in evidence. The participants will be offered an opportunity to inspect the entire document and to offer as an exhibit in evidence, in like manner, any other portions of the document.
(c) Public document items by reference. If all or part of a public document is offered in evidence and the participant offering the document shows that all or the pertinent part of the document, is reasonably available to the public, the document need not be produced or marked for identification but may be offered in evidence as a public document by identifying all or the relevant part of the document to be offered.
(d) Official notice of facts.
(1) A presiding officer may take official notice of any matter that may be judicially noticed by the courts of the United States, or of any matter about which the Commission, by reason of its functions, is expert.
(2) The presiding officer must afford any participant, making a timely request, an opportunity to show the contrary of an officially noticed fact.
(3) Any participant requesting official notice of facts after the conclusion of the hearing must set forth reasons to justify the failure to request official notice prior to the close of the hearing.
(1) Participants in a proceeding may stipulate to any relevant matters of fact or the authenticity of any relevant documents.
(2) A stipulation may be received in evidence at the hearing and, if received in evidence, the stipulation is binding on the stipulating participants with respect to any matter stipulated.
(3) A stipulation may be written or made orally at the hearing.
(a) General standard. The presiding officer should exclude from evidence any irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious material. The presiding officer may also exclude from evidence any other material which the presiding officer determines is not of the kind which would affect reasonable and fair-minded persons in the conduct of their daily affairs.
(b) Ruling on evidence.
(1) The presiding officer will rule on the admissibility of any evidence offered.
(2) If any participant objects to the admission or exclusion of evidence, the participant must state briefly the grounds for the objection.
(3) The presiding officer will not permit formal exceptions to any ruling on evidence. This prohibition against formal exceptions does not preclude a participant from raising, as an issue, the validity of any ruling on evidence later in the proceeding, consistent with Rule 711.
(1) Any statement made at a hearing session will be transcribed in a verbatim report, with nothing omitted except as directed by the presiding officer on the record. A statement at a hearing may not occur off-the-record, except as otherwise directed by the presiding officer.
(2) After the closing of a record, changes in the transcript are not permitted, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section.
(b) Transcript corrections.
(1) Any correction in the transcript of a hearing may be made only if the correction conforms the transcript to the evidence presented at the hearing and to the truth.
(2) A transcript correction may be incorporated in the record, in accordance with a ruling of the presiding officer, if:
(i) Agreed to by all participants and approved by the presiding officer; or
(ii) The presiding officer requests submittal of transcript corrections and rules on the corrections submitted.
(3) Transcript corrections may be made at any time during the hearing or after the close of evidence, as the presiding officer determines appropriate, but only if the correction is made not less than 10 days before the time for filing final briefs.
(c) Close of evidentiary record. The presiding officer will designate the time at which the evidentiary record is closed. Evidence may not be added to the evidentiary record after the record is closed, unless the record is reopened under Rule 716.
(d) Copies of exhibits and motions to participants. Except as otherwise provided in this subpart, copies of exhibits and motions will be provided at the hearing to any participants who have not been provided copies.
(e) Fees of subpoenaed witnesses.
(1) Any witnesses subpoenaed by the Commission must be paid the same fees and mileage provided for similar services in the district courts of the United States.
(2) Any fees and mileage paid to a subpoenaed witness under paragraph (e)(1) of this section will be paid by the Commission, unless the witness is subpoenaed at the instance of a party.
(3) If the witness is subpoenaed at the instance of a party, any fees and mileage paid to the witness under paragraph (e)(1) of this section must be paid by the party. The Commission, before issuing any subpoena at the instance of the party, may require the party to deposit an amount adequate to cover the witness probable fees and mileage under paragraph (e)(1) of this section. The deposit will be refunded when the party pays the witness in full.
(f) Offers of proof.
(1) Any offer of proof made in connection with a ruling of the presiding officer rejecting or excluding proffered oral testimony must consist of a statement of the substance of the evidence which the participant claims would be adduced by the testimony.
(2) If any excluded evidence is in the form of an exhibit or is a public document, a copy of such exhibit will constitute the offer of proof or the public document will be specified for identification.