(a) The ALJ shall issue an initial decision, which shall contain findings of fact, conclusions of law, and the amount of any penalties and assessments imposed.
(b) The findings of fact shall include a finding on each of the following issues for every claim or statement with respect to which a penalty or assessment was proposed:
(1) Whether any claim or statement identified in the complaint violates § 1.303 of this part;
(2) If the respondent is liable for penalties or assessments, the appropriate amount of any such penalties or assessments considering any mitigating or aggravating factors described in § 1.335 of this part.
(c) The ALJ shall serve the initial decision on all parties within 90 days after the time for submission of post-hearing briefs and reply briefs (if permitted) has expired. The ALJ shall include with the initial decision a statement describing the right of any respondent determined to be liable for a civil penalty or assessment to file notice of appeal with the judicial officer. The ALJ may extend the time period for serving the initial decision on the parties.
(d) Unless the initial decision of the ALJ is timely appealed to the judicial officer, or a motion for reconsideration of the initial decision is timely filed, the initial decision shall constitute the final decision of the Secretary and shall be final and binding on the parties 30 days after it is issued by the ALJ.
Title 7 published on 2014-01-01
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