U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Jan 21, 2020
(a) Assignment; service and posting of notice. In those proceedings in which an oral hearing is to be held, the Board will assign a time and place for hearing. Notice of hearings will be posted on the Board's Web site, will be served upon the parties and such other persons as may be entitled to receive notice under the Act, and will be available for inspection at the Board's office.
(b) Requests for changes in assignment. Requests for postponements of date of hearing will be granted only in exceptional circumstances.
(c) Continuances. (1) A continuance may be granted at the discretion of the presiding officer.
(2) If the presiding officer announces the time and place of a continued hearing on the record, no further notice need be given.
(a) Issuance. A subpoena may be issued upon the direction of the Board on its own motion or upon request. A subpoena may be issued by the Board or by the officer presiding at a hearing and must be signed by the Director of the Office of Proceedings or a member of the Board.
(b) Requests. (1) A request for a subpoena to compel the appearance of a person at a hearing to give oral testimony, but not to produce documents, may be made either by letter (only the original need be filed with the Board) or orally upon the record at the hearing. A showing of general relevance and reasonable scope of the evidence sought to be introduced through the subpoenaed person may be required.
(2) A request for a subpoena to compel a witness to produce documentary evidence should be made in writing by petition. The petition should specify with particularity the books, papers, or documents desired and facts expected to be proved, and should show the general relevance and reasonable scope of the evidence sought. The officer presiding at a hearing may grant a request for such a subpoena made orally upon the record.
(c) Service. The original subpoena should be exhibited to the person served, should be read to him if he is unable to read, and a copy should be delivered to him by the officer or person making service.
(d) Return. If service of subpoena is made by a United States marshal or his deputy, service should be evidenced by his return of the subpoena. If made by any other person, such person shall make an affidavit stating the date, time and manner of service; and return such affidavit on, or with, the original subpoena in accordance with the form thereon. In case of failure to make service the reasons for the failure should be stated on the original subpoena. The written acceptance of service of a subpoena by the person subpoenaed will be sufficient without other evidence of return. The original subpoena bearing or accompanied by the required return, affidavit, statement, or acceptance of service, should be returned forthwith to the Chief, Section of Administration, Office of Proceedings, unless otherwise directed.
(e) Witness fees. A witness who is summoned and responds to the summons is entitled to the same fee as is paid for like service in the courts of the United States. Such fee is to be paid by the party at whose insistence the testimony is taken at the time the subpoena is served, except that when the subpoena is issued on behalf of the United States or an officer or agency thereof, fees and mileage need not be tendered at the time of service.
(a) General. (1) The presiding officer has the authority to regulate the procedure in the hearing before him, and has authority to take all measures necessary or proper for the efficient performance of the duties assigned him. These include authority: (i) To hold hearings; (ii) to administer oaths and affirmations; (iii) to grant intervention; (iv) to accept any pleading; (v) to establish special rules of procedure appropriate to the effective handling of the particular proceeding; (vi) to examine witnesses; (vii) to issue subpoenas at the hearing; (viii) to dispose of requests for discovery; (ix) to hold conferences for the settlement and simplification of issues; (x) to rule on motions and dispose of procedural requests; (xi) to make initial decisions; (xii) to exclude any person from the hearing for contemptuous conduct; and (xiii) to take any other action authorized by this part, by the Administrative Procedure Act, or by the Interstate Commerce Act and related acts.
(2) The presiding officer has the authority: (i) To terminate examination or cross-examination of repetitious or cumulative nature; (ii) to limit direct examination to material matters; (iii) to limit cross-examination to disputed material facts; (iv) to require that principal examination or cross-examination be conducted by one or more counsel representing similar interests in proceedings where several parties are involved; (v) to set reasonable schedules for the presentation of witnesses; (vi) and to set reasonable time limits for the examination or cross-examination of witnesses. In order to enforce this paragraph, the officer may require a clear statement on the record of the nature of the testimony to be given by any witness.
(b) Motions to dismiss; amendments. (1) The presiding officer shall have power to decide any motion to dismiss the proceeding or other motion which involves final determination of the merits of the proceeding.
(2) The presiding officer may grant leave to amend any application or complaint.
(c) Preparation of the decision by the prevailing party. Any proceeding in which an oral hearing is held and in which the officer is able to announce his decision either:
(1) On the record after the close of the taking of testimony and the hearing of arguments by the officer, or
(2) By appropriate notification to the parties after the close of the hearing, may be made the subject of an initial decision prepared by a party or parties in whose favor the officer decides, within a period specified by the officer, and subject to such changes as the officer considers appropriate in the draft prepared for him.
(d) Recording; media coverage. The presiding officer shall have authority to permit or to refuse to permit the recording of the hearing by means of live or delayed television or radio broadcast, or the use of a tape recorder or other electronic or photographic equipment by any person other than the official reporter.
(a) Purposes. Upon written notice by the Board in any proceeding, or upon written or oral instruction of an officer, parties or their representatives may be directed to appear before an officer at a specified time and place for a conference, prior to or during the course of a hearing, or in lieu of personally appearing, to submit suggestions in writing, for the purpose of formulating issues and considering:
(1) The simplification of issues;
(2) The necessity or desirability of amending the pleadings either for the purpose of clarification, amplification, or limitation;
(3) The possibility of making admissions of certain averments of fact or stipulations concerning the use by any or all parties of matters of public record, such as annual reports and the like, to avoid the unnecessary introduction of proof;
(4) The procedure at the hearing;
(5) The limitation of the number of witnesses;
(6) The propriety of prior mutual exchange between or among the parties of prepared testimony and exhibits; and
(7) Such other matters, including disposition of requests for discovery, as may aid in the simplification of the evidence and disposition of the proceeding. Parties may request a prehearing conference.
(b) Facts disclosed privileged. Facts disclosed in the course of the prehearing conference are privileged and, except by agreement, will not be used against participating parties either before the Board or elsewhere unless fully corroborated by other evidence.
(c) Recordation and decision. Action taken at the conference, including a recitation of the amendments allowed to the pleadings, the agreements made by the parties as to any of the matters considered, and defining the issues, will be recorded in an appropriate decision unless the parties enter into a written stipulation as to such matters, or agree to a statement thereof made on the record by the officer.
(d) Objection to the decision; subsequent proceedings. If a decision is entered, the parties may, within 20 days of the date of service, or within such lesser time as is set by the officer, present objections on the grounds that the decision does not fully or correctly embody the agreements reached at the conference. Thereafter the terms of the written stipulation or statement of the officer, as the case may be, will determine the subsequent course of the proceedings, unless modified to prevent manifest injustice.
Apart from the procedure contemplated by the prehearing provisions, the parties may, by stipulation in writing filed with the Board at any stage of the proceeding, or orally made at the hearing, agree upon any pertinent facts in the proceeding. The parties should agree to facts in this manner whenever practicable.
(a) Who may appear. Any individual may appear for himself. Any member of a partnership which is a party to any proceeding may appear for such partnerships upon adequate identification. A bona fide officer or a full-time employee of a corporation, association, or of an individual may appear for such corporation, association, or individual by permission of the officer presiding at the hearing. A party also may be represented by a practitioner.
(b) Withdrawal or absence from hearing. A practitioner who has entered his appearance at the hearing shall not be permitted to withdraw from the hearing, or willfully be absent therefrom, except for good cause and, wherever practicable, only with the permission of the presiding officer. If a person who has entered an appearance withdraws from the hearing in a manner other than that specified, the Board or the Officer may take such action as, in the interest of justice and the protection of the lawful rights of all parties to the proceeding, the circumstances of the case may warrant, including the striking out of all or any part of any pleading of the offending party, and including the possible dismissal of the action or proceeding, or any part thereof, the entry of an order of default against that party, or if the withdrawal is without the permission of the presiding officer, disciplining of the practitioner concerned.
(a) How requested. Intervention will normally be granted only upon petition. In exceptional circumstances, where the issues would not be broadened or the proceeding delayed, an officer may, at his or her discretion, allow intervention upon motion made orally at the hearing.
(b) Content generally. A petition for leave to intervene must set forth the grounds for the proposed intervention, the position and interest of the petitioner in the proceeding, and whether petitioner's position is in support of or in opposition to the relief sought. If the proceeding is by formal complaint and affirmative relief is sought by petitioner, the petition should conform to the requirements for a formal complaint.
(c) When filed. A petition for leave to intervene in any proceeding should be filed prior to or at the time the proceeding is called for hearing, but not after, except for good cause shown.
(d) Broadening issues; filing. If the petition seeks a broadening of the issues and shows that they would not thereby be unduly broadened, and in respect thereof seeks affirmative relief, the petition should be filed in time to permit service upon and answer by the parties in advance of the hearing.
(e) Copies; service; replies. When a petition for leave to intervene is tendered at the hearing, sufficient copies of the petition must be provided for distribution to the parties represented at the hearing. When a petition for leave to intervene is not tendered at the hearing, the petition should be submitted to the Board together with a certificate that service has been made by petitioner. Any reply in opposition to a petition for leave to intervene not tendered at the hearing must be filed within 20 days after service of the petition to intervene. At the discretion of the Board, leave to intervene may be granted or denied before the expiration of the time allowed for replies.
(f) Disposition. Leave to intervene will be granted only when the petitioner addresses issues reasonably pertinent to the issues already presented and which do not unduly broaden them. If leave is granted the petitioner becomes an intervener and a party to the proceeding.
Witnesses will be orally examined under oath before the officer unless the facts are presented to the Board in the manner provided under modified procedure. In formal complaint, application, and investigation proceedings, complainant, applicant, and respondent, respectively, shall open and close at the hearing. In the event of further hearings granted on petition, the petitioners requesting further hearing shall open and close the proceeding. Instances exist in which parties other than the respondent may open and close in investigations where the burden of proof is not upon the respondent. Interveners shall follow the party on whose behalf the intervention is made. The foregoing order of presentation may be varied by the officer.
With the approval of the officer, a witness may read into the record, as his testimony, statements of fact or expressions of opinion prepared by the witness, or written answers to interrogatories of counsel. A prepared statement of a witness who is present at the hearing may be received as an exhibit, provided that the statement does not include argument. Before any such statement is read or admitted in evidence, the witness shall deliver to the officer, the reporter, and to opposing counsel, as may be directed by the officer, a copy of such statement or of such interrogatories and the written answers thereto. The admissibility of the evidence contained in such statement will be subject to the same rules as if such testimony was produced orally, including the right of cross-examination of the witness. The officer may require that the witness testify orally if, in the officer's opinion, the memory or demeanor of the witness may be of importance.
A portion of the record before the Board in another proceeding may be offered in evidence at an oral hearing. A party making such an offer must provide, as an exhibit, a certified copy of the material sought to be introduced. A hearing officer may waive the requirement that a copy be provided, subject to such conditions as he or she may impose to assure that a copy will be available later, if needed, at no expense to the Board and to assure that the interests of other parties are not prejudiced. An offer of evidence under this section will be subject to objection by other parties.
When documents, such as freight bills or bills of lading, are numerous, the officer may refuse to receive all the documents in evidence and instead admit only a limited number of representative documents. He may instruct, if the proffer be for the purpose of proving damages, that introduction be deferred until there is opportunity to comply with § 1133.2. If the proffer be for another purpose the officer may require the party in orderly fashion to abstract the relevant data from the documents, affording other parties reasonable opportunity to examine both the documents and the abstract, and thereupon offer such abstract in evidence in exhibit form.
(a) Copies. Unless the officer otherwise directs, the original and 10 copies of each exhibit of a documentary character should be furnished for the use of the Board. The original will be delivered to the reporter, and the copy to the officer. If the hearing is before a board, a copy of the exhibit should be furnished to each member of the board, unless the board otherwise directs. Unless the officer for cause directs otherwise, a reasonable number of copies should be furnished to counsel in attendance at the hearing.
(b) Interchange prior to hearing. Whenever practicable, the parties should interchange copies of exhibits or other pertinent material or matter before or at the commencement of the hearing; and the Board or presiding officer may so direct.
(c) When excluded how treated. When exhibit has been identified, objected to, and excluded, the officer will develop whether the party offering the exhibit withdraws the offer, and if so, permit the return of the exhibit to him. If the excluded exhibit is not withdrawn, it should be given an exhibit number for identification and be incorporated in the record. Exhibit numbers once used for identification will not be duplicated thereafter.
Except as provided in this section or as expressly may be permitted in a particular instance, the Board will not receive in evidence or consider as part of the record any documents, letters, or other writings submitted for consideration in connection with any proceeding after close of the hearing, and may return any such documents to the sender. Before the close of a hearing the officer may, at the request of a party or upon his own motion, or upon agreement of the parties, require that a party furnish additional documentary evidence that supplements the existing record, within a stated period of time. Documentary evidence to be furnished in this way will be given an exhibit number at the time of filing and the parties advised accordingly.
It is sufficient that a party, at the time the ruling is made or sought, make known to the officer on the record the action which he desires the officer to take or his objection to the action of the officer and his grounds for that objection. An objection not pressed in brief will be considered as waived. Where no brief is filed an objection will be considered as waived if not pressed in an appeal or reply to an appeal, if filed, or in a separate petition dealing only with that objection.
Rulings of the presiding officer may be appealed prior to service of the initial decision only if:
(a) The ruling denies or terminates any person's participation,
(b) The ruling grants a request for the inspection of documents not ordinarily available for public inspection,
(c) The ruling overrules an objection based on privilege, the result of which ruling is to require the presentation of testimony or documents, or
(d) The presiding officer finds that the ruling may result in substantial irreparable harm, substantial detriment to the public interest, or undue prejudice to a party.
At the discretion of the hearing officer and upon reasonable notice to the parties, oral argument may be made at the close of testimony before him as an alternative to the filing of written briefs. Such argument, which should include requested findings and conclusions, will be recorded and made a part of the transcript of testimony, and will be available to the Board for consideration in deciding the case. The making of such argument will not preclude oral argument before the Board.
(a) Filing. After the close of the hearing, the complete transcript of the testimony taken and the exhibits shall be part of the record in the proceeding.
(b) Corrections. A suggested correction in a transcript ordinarily will be considered only if offered not later than 20 days after the date each transcript is filed with the Board. A copy of the letter (original only need be filed with the Board) requesting the suggested corrections should be served upon all parties of record and with 2 copies to the official reporter.
(c) Objections to corrections. Parties disagreeing with corrections suggested pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section should file written objections in the same manner as suggested corrections are to be filed. Objections to suggested corrections should be filed not later than 15 days after the filing with the Board of suggested corrections. If no objections are timely filed, the Office of Proceedings shall make the suggested corrections to the transcript. If objections are timely filed, the officer who presided at the hearing shall determine the merits of the suggested correction and enter an appropriate decision in the proceeding.
(d) No free copies. The Board will not furnish free copies of the transcript to any party to any proceeding.
(a) When filed. In a proceeding which has been the subject of oral hearing, and in which briefs are to be filed, that fact will be stated by the officer on the record. The officer shall fix the time for filing briefs. Simultaneous filing will normally be required, and reply briefs will not normally be permitted.
(b) Evidence abstract. A brief filed after a hearing may contain an abstract of the evidence relied upon by the party filing it, preferably assembled by subjects, with reference to the pages of the record, if written, or exhibit where the evidence appears. In the event the party elects not to include a separate abstract in his brief, he should give specific reference to the portions of the record, whether transcript or otherwise, relied upon in support of the respective statements of fact made throughout the brief.
(c) Requested findings. Each brief should include such requests for specific findings, separately stated and numbered, as the party desires the Board to make.
(d) Exhibit reproduction. Exhibits should not be reproduced in the brief, but may be shown, within reasonable limits, in an appendix to the brief. Analysis of such exhibits should be included in the brief where pertinent.
Matters of fact that are verified and filed prior to oral hearing and that are not specifically denied constitute evidence and are part of the record. A witness, who would present such evidence, must be made available for cross-examination if a request is reasonably made. This rule does not apply to protests against tariffs or schedules.