(a) All documents transmitted to the Office of Administrative Law Judges under § 725.421 shall be placed into evidence by the administrative law judge, subject to objection by any party.
(1) Documentary evidence pertaining to the liability of a potentially liable operator and/or the identification of a responsible operator which was not submitted to the district director shall not be admitted into the hearing record in the absence of extraordinary circumstances. Medical evidence in excess of the limitations contained in § 725.414 shall not be admitted into the hearing record in the absence of good cause.
(2) Subject to the limitations in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, any other documentary material, including medical reports, which was not submitted to the district director, may be received in evidence subject to the objection of any party, if such evidence is sent to all other parties at least 20 days before a hearing is held in connection with the claim.
(3) Documentary evidence, which is not exchanged with the parties in accordance with this paragraph, may be admitted at the hearing with the written consent of the parties or on the record at the hearing, or upon a showing of good cause why such evidence was not exchanged in accordance with this paragraph. If documentary evidence is not exchanged in accordance with paragraph (b)(2) of this section and the parties do not waive the 20-day requirement or good cause is not shown, the administrative law judge shall either exclude the late evidence from the record or remand the claim to the district director for consideration of such evidence.
(4) A medical report which is not made available to the parties in accordance with paragraph (b)(2) of this section shall not be admitted into evidence in any case unless the hearing record is kept open for at least 30 days after the hearing to permit the parties to take such action as each considers appropriate in response to such evidence. If, in the opinion of the administrative law judge, evidence is withheld from the parties for the purpose of delaying the adjudication of the claim, the administrative law judge may exclude such evidence from the hearing record and close the record at the conclusion of the hearing.
(c) Subject to paragraph (b) of this section, documentary evidence which the district director excludes from the record, and the objections to such evidence, may be submitted by the parties to the administrative law judge, who shall independently determine whether the evidence shall be admitted.
(1) If the evidence is admitted, the administrative law judge may, in his or her discretion, remand the claim to the district director for further consideration.
(2) If the evidence is admitted, the administrative law judge shall afford the opposing party or parties the opportunity to develop such additional documentary evidence as is necessary to protect the right of cross-examination.
(d) All medical records and reports submitted by any party shall be considered by the administrative law judge in accordance with the quality standards contained in part 718 of this subchapter.
(e) If the administrative law judge concludes that the complete pulmonary evaluation provided pursuant to § 725.406, or any part thereof, fails to comply with the applicable quality standards, or fails to address the relevant conditions of entitlement (see § 725.202(d)(2)(i) through (iv)) in a manner which permits resolution of the claim, the administrative law judge shall, in his or her discretion, remand the claim to the district director with instructions to develop only such additional evidence as is required, or allow the parties a reasonable time to obtain and submit such evidence, before the termination of the hearing.
Title 20 published on 2012-04-01.
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