14 CFR 1264.136 - Initial decision.
(a) The presiding officer shall issue an initial decision based solely on the record, 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:
(2) If the person is liable for penalties or assessments, the appropriate amount of any such penalties or assessments considering any mitigating or aggravating factors found in the case, such as those described in § 1264.130.
(c) The presiding officer shall promptly 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 or upon notification that the record is now closed. The presiding officer shall at the same time serve all parties with a statement describing the right of any defendant determined to be liable for a civil penalty or assessment to file a motion for reconsideration with the presiding officer or a notice of appeal with the authority head. If the presiding officer fails to meet the deadline contained in this paragraph, he or she shall notify the parties of the reason for the delay and shall set a new deadline.
(d) Unless the initial decision of the presiding officer is timely appealed to the authority head, or a motion for reconsideration of the initial decision is timely filed, the initial decision shall constitute the final decision of the authority head and shall be final and binding on the parties 30 days after it is issued by the presiding officer.