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Title 31

Displaying title 31, up to date as of 9/17/2021. Title 31 was last amended 9/16/2021.

Title 31

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§ 501.723 Prehearing disclosures; methods to discover additional matter.

(a) Initial disclosures.

(1) Except to the extent otherwise stipulated or directed by order of the Administrative Law Judge, a party shall, without awaiting a discovery request, provide to the opposing party:

(i) The name and, if known, the address and telephone number of each individual likely to have discoverable information that the disclosing party may use to support its claims or defenses, unless solely for impeachment of a witness appearing in person or by deposition, identifying the subjects of the information; and

(ii) A copy, or a description by category and location, of all documents, data compilations, and tangible things that are in the possession, custody, or control of the party and that the disclosing party may use to support its claims or defenses, unless solely for impeachment of a witness appearing in person or by deposition;

(2) The disclosures described in paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section shall be made not later than 30 days after the issuance of an Order Instituting Proceedings, unless a different time is set by stipulation or by order of the Administrative Law Judge.

(b) Prehearing disclosures.

(1) In addition to the disclosures required by paragraph (a) of this section, a party must provide to the opposing party, and promptly file with the Administrative Law Judge, the following information regarding the evidence that it may present at hearing for any purpose other than solely for impeachment of a witness appearing in person or by deposition:

(i) An outline or narrative summary of its case or defense (the Order Instituting Proceedings will usually satisfy this requirement for the Director and the answer thereto will usually satisfy this requirement for the respondent);

(ii) The legal theories upon which it will rely;

(iii) Copies and a list of documents or exhibits that it intends to introduce at the hearing; and

(iv) A list identifying each witness who will testify on its behalf, including the witness's name, occupation, address, phone number, and a brief summary of the expected testimony.

(2) Unless otherwise directed by the Administrative Law Judge, the disclosures required by paragraph (b)(1) of this section shall be made not later than 30 days before the date of the hearing.

(c) Disclosure of expert testimony. A party who intends to call an expert witness shall submit, in addition to the information required by paragraph (b)(1)(iv) of this section, a statement of the expert's qualifications, a list of other proceedings in which the expert has given expert testimony, and a list of publications authored or co-authored by the expert.

(d) Form of disclosures. Unless the Administrative Law Judge orders otherwise, all disclosures under paragraphs (a) through (c) of this section shall be made in writing, signed, and served as provided in § 501.705.

(e) Methods to discover additional matter. Parties may obtain discovery by one or more of the following methods: Depositions of witnesses upon oral examination or written questions; written interrogatories to another party; production of documents or other evidence for inspection; and requests for admission. All depositions of Federal employees must take place in Washington, DC, at the Department of the Treasury or at the location where the Federal employee to be deposed performs his or her duties, whichever the Federal employee's supervisor or the Office of Chief Counsel shall deem appropriate. All depositions shall be held at a date and time agreed by the Office of Chief Counsel and the respondent or respondent's representative, and for an agreed length of time.

(f) Discovery scope and limits. Unless otherwise limited by order of the Administrative Law Judge in accordance with paragraph (f)(2) of this section, the scope of discovery is as follows:

(1) In general. The availability of information and documents through discovery is subject to the assertion of privileges available to the parties and witnesses. Privileges available to the Director and the Department include exemptions afforded pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(1) through (9)) and the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a). Parties may obtain discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, that is relevant to the merits of the pending action, including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any books, documents, or other tangible things and the identity and location of any persons having knowledge of any discoverable matter. For good cause, the Administrative Law Judge may order discovery of any matter relevant to the subject matter involved in the proceeding. Relevant information need not be admissible at the hearing if the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

(2) Limitations. The Administrative Law Judge may issue any order that justice requires to ensure that discovery requests are not unreasonable, oppressive, excessive in scope or unduly burdensome, including an order to show cause why a particular discovery request is justified upon motion of the objecting party. The frequency or extent of use of the discovery methods otherwise permitted under this section may be limited by the Administrative Law Judge if he or she determines that:

(i) The discovery sought is unreasonably cumulative or duplicative, or is obtainable from some other source that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less expensive;

(ii) The party seeking discovery has had ample opportunity by discovery in the action to obtain the information sought; or

(iii) The burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit, taking into account the needs of the hearing, the importance of the issues at stake, and the importance of the proposed discovery in resolving the issues.

(3) Interrogatories. Respondent's interrogatories shall be served upon the Office of the Chief Counsel not later than 30 days after issuance of the Order Instituting Proceedings. The Director's interrogatories shall be served by the later of 30 days after the receipt of service of respondent's interrogatories or 40 days after issuance of the Order Instituting Proceedings if no interrogatories are filed by respondent. Parties shall respond to interrogatories not later than 30 days after the date interrogatories are received. Interrogatories shall be limited to 20 questions only. Each subpart, section, or other designation of a part of a question shall be counted as one complete question in computing the permitted 20 question total. Where more than 20 questions are served upon a party, the receiving party may determine which of the 20 questions the receiving party shall answer. The limitation on the number of questions in an interrogatory may be waived by the Administrative Law Judge.

(4) Privileged matter. Privileged documents are not discoverable. Privileges include, but are not limited to, the attorney-client privilege, attorney work-product privilege, any government's or government agency's deliberative-process or classified information privilege, including materials classified pursuant to Executive Order 12958 (3 CFR, 1995 Comp., p. 333) and any future Executive orders that may be issued relating to the treatment of national security information, and all materials and information exempted from release to the public pursuant to the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) or the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(1) through (9)).

(g) Updating discovery. A party who has made an initial disclosure under paragraph (a) of this section or responded to a request for discovery with a disclosure or response is under a duty to supplement or correct the disclosure or response to include information thereafter acquired whenever:

(1) The party learns that in some material respect the information disclosed is incomplete or incorrect, if the additional or corrective information has not otherwise been made known to the other party during the discovery process or in writing; or

(2) Ordered by the Administrative Law Judge. The Administrative Law Judge may impose sanctions for failure to supplement or correct discovery.

(h) Time limits. All discovery, including all responses to discovery requests, shall be completed not later than 20 days prior to the date scheduled for the commencement of the hearing, unless the Administrative Law Judge finds on the record that good cause exists to grant additional time to complete discovery.

(i) Effect of failure to comply. No witness may testify and no document or exhibit may be introduced at the hearing if such witness, document, or exhibit is not listed in the prehearing submissions pursuant to paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, except for good cause shown.