(a) Any respondent who has filed a timely answer and who is determined in an initial decision to be liable for a civil penalty or assessment may appeal such decision to the Secretary by filing a notice of appeal with the judicial officer in accordance with this section. The judicial officer of USDA shall consider all appeals to the Secretary under this subpart and render a decision on behalf of the Secretary.
(1) A notice of appeal may be filed at any time within 30 days after the ALJ issues an initial decision. However, if another party files a motion for reconsideration under § 1.337 of this part, consideration of the appeal shall be stayed automatically pending resolution of the motion for reconsideration.
(2) If a motion for reconsideration is timely filed, a notice of appeal may be filed within 30 days after the ALJ denies the motion or issues a revised initial decision, whichever applies.
(c) The judicial officer may extend the initial 30-day period during which a notice of appeal may be filed for an additional 30 days if the respondent files a request for an extension within the initial 30-day period and shows good cause.
(d) If the respondent timely files a notice of appeal with the judicial officer and the time for filing motions for reconsideration under § 1.337 of this part has expired, the ALJ will forward the record of the proceeding to the judicial officer.
(e) A notice of appeal shall be accompanied by a written brief specifying exceptions to the initial decision and reasons supporting the exceptions.
(f) The representative for USDA may file a brief in opposition to exceptions within 30 days of receiving the brief proposing exceptions.
(g) There is no right to appear personally before the judicial officer.
(h) There is no right to interlocutory appeal of rulings by the ALJ.
(i) The judicial officer, in reviewing the decision, shall not consider any objection that was not raised before the ALJ unless a demonstration is made that extraordinary circumstances caused the failure to raise the objection.
(j) If any party demonstrates to the satisfaction of the judicial officer that additional evidence not presented to the ALJ is material and that there were reasonable grounds for the failure to present such evidence to the ALJ, the judicial officer shall remand the matter to the ALJ for consideration of such additional evidence.
(k) The judicial officer may affirm, reduce, reverse, compromise, remand or settle any penalty or assessment determined by the ALJ.
(l) The judicial officer shall promptly serve each party to the appeal with a copy of the decision of the judicial officer and a statement describing the respondent's right to seek judicial review.
(m) Unless a petition for review is filed as provided in 31 U.S.C. 3805 after a respondent has exhausted all administrative remedies under this part and within 60 days after the date on which the judicial officer serves the respondent with a copy of the judicial officer's decision, a determination that a respondent is liable under § 1.303 of this part is final and is not subject to judicial review.