28 U.S. Code § 2509 - Congressional reference cases
(a) Whenever a bill, except a bill for a pension, is referred by either House of Congress to the chief judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims pursuant to section 1492 of this title, the chief judge shall designate a judge as hearing officer for the case and a panel of three judges of the court to serve as a reviewing body. One member of the review panel shall be designated as presiding officer of the panel.
(b) Proceedings in a congressional reference case shall be under rules and regulations prescribed for the purpose by the chief judge who is hereby authorized and directed to require the application of the pertinent rules of practice of the Court of Federal Claims insofar as feasible. Each hearing officer and each review panel shall have authority to do and perform any acts which may be necessary or proper for the efficient performance of their duties, including the power of subpena and the power to administer oaths and affirmations. None of the rules, rulings, findings, or conclusions authorized by this section shall be subject to judicial review.
(c) The hearing officer to whom a congressional reference case is assigned by the chief judge shall proceed in accordance with the applicable rules to determine the facts, including facts relating to delay or laches, facts bearing upon the question whether the bar of any statute of limitation should be removed, or facts claimed to excuse the claimant for not having resorted to any established legal remedy. He shall append to his findings of fact conclusions sufficient to inform Congress whether the demand is a legal or equitable claim or a gratuity, and the amount, if any, legally or equitably due from the United States to the claimant.
(d) The findings and conclusions of the hearing officer shall be submitted by him, together with the record in the case, to the review panel for review by it pursuant to such rules as may be provided for the purpose, which shall include provision for submitting the report of the hearing officer to the parties for consideration, exception, and argument before the panel. The panel, by majority vote, shall adopt or modify the findings or the conclusions of the hearing officer.
(e) The panel shall submit its report to the chief judge for transmission to the appropriate House of Congress.
(f) Any act or failure to act or other conduct by a party, a witness, or an attorney which would call for the imposition of sanctions under the rules of practice of the Court of Federal Claims shall be noted by the panel or the hearing officer at the time of occurrence thereof and upon failure of the delinquent or offending party, witness, or attorney to make prompt compliance with the order of the panel or the hearing officer a full statement of the circumstances shall be incorporated in the report of the panel.
(g) The Court of Federal Claims is hereby authorized and directed, under such regulations as it may prescribe, to provide the facilities and services of the office of the clerk of the court for the filing, processing, hearing, and dispatch of congressional reference cases and to include within its annual appropriations the costs thereof and other costs of administration, including (but without limitation to the items herein listed) the salaries and traveling expenses of the judges serving as hearing officers and panel members, mailing and service of process, necessary physical facilities, equipment, and supplies, and personnel (including secretaries and law clerks).
Source(June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 977; Pub. L. 89–681, § 2,Oct. 15, 1966, 80 Stat. 958; Pub. L. 97–164, title I, § 139(h),Apr. 2, 1982, 96 Stat. 42; Pub. L. 102–572, title IX, § 902(a),Oct. 29, 1992, 106 Stat. 4516.)
Historical and Revision Notes
Based on title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., § 257 (Mar. 3, 1911, ch. 231, § 151,36 Stat. 1138).
Jurisdiction provisions of section 257 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., appear in section 1492 of this title.
A provision as to the court’s power to render judgment on a referred claim and its duty to report thereon to Congress, was omitted from this section as covered by sections 791 (c) and 1492 of this title.
Changes were made in phraseology.
1992—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 102–572, § 902(a)(1), substituted “United States Court of Federal Claims” for “United States Claims Court”.
Subsecs. (b), (f), (g). Pub. L. 102–572, § 902(a)(2), substituted “Court of Federal Claims” for “Claims Court”.
1982—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97–164, § 139(h)(1), substituted “chief judge” for “chief commissioner” wherever appearing, “United States Claims Court” for “Court of Claims”, “judge as hearing officer” for “trial commissioner”, “judges” for “commissioners”, and “presiding officer” for “presiding commissioner”.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 97–164, § 139(h)(2)(A)–(C), substituted “chief judge” for “chief commissioner”, “Claims Court” for “Court of Claims”, and “hearing officer” for “trial commissioner”.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 97–164, § 139(h)(2)(A), (B), substituted “hearing officer” for “trial commissioner” and “chief judge” for “chief commissioner”.
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 97–164, § 139(h)(2)(A), (D), substituted “hearing officer” for “trial commissioner” wherever appearing and struck out “of commissioners” after “review panel”.
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 97–164, § 139(h)(2)(B), substituted “chief judge” for “chief commissioner”.
Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 97–164, § 139(h)(2)(A), (C), substituted “Claims Court” for “Court of Claims”, and “hearing officer” for “trial commissioner” wherever appearing.
Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 97–164, § 139(h)(2)(C), (E), substituted “Claims Court” for “Court of Claims” and “judges serving as hearing officers” for “commissioners serving as trial commissioners”.
1966—Pub. L. 89–681substituted provisions for reference of bills to the chief commissioner of the Court of Claims pursuant to section 1492 of this title for provisions calling simply for reference to the Court of Claims, substituted provisions naming the trial commissioner to whom a reference case is assigned by the chief commissioner for provisions simply naming the Court of Claims as the agency by which findings and conclusions are made, and inserted provisions for the designation of a trial commissioner and reviewing body consisting of three other commissioners, the promulgation of rules and regulations for Congressional reference cases by the chief commissioner, the procedure to be followed, and the supplying of facilities and personnel for the dispatch of Congressional reference cases.
Effective Date of 1992 Amendment
Amendment by Pub. L. 102–572effective Oct. 29, 1992, see section 911 ofPub. L. 102–572, set out as a note under section 171 of this title.
Effective Date of 1982 Amendment