22 CFR § 51.71 - The hearing.
(a) The Department will name a hearing officer, who will generally be a Department employee from the Bureau of Consular Affairs. The hearing officer will make only preliminary findings of fact and submit recommendations based on the record of the hearing, as defined in 22 CFR 51.72, to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Passport Services, or his or her designee, in the Bureau of Consular Affairs.
(b) The hearing shall take place in Washington, DC or, if the person requesting the hearing is overseas, at the appropriate U.S. diplomatic or consular post. The person requesting the hearing must appear in person or with or through his or her attorney. Failure to appear at the scheduled hearing will constitute an abandonment of the request for a hearing, and the Department's revocation, cancellation or denial will be considered the Department's final action.
(c) Any attorney appearing at a hearing must be admitted to practice in any state of the United States, the District of Columbia, or any territory or possession of the United States, or be admitted to practice before the courts of the country in which the hearing is to be held.
(d) There is no right to subpoena witnesses or to conduct discovery. However, the person requesting the hearing may testify in person, offer evidence in his or her own behalf, present witnesses, and make arguments at the hearing. The person requesting the hearing is responsible for all costs associated with the presentation of his or her case, including the cost of interpreters, who must be certified in accordance with standards established for federal courts under 28 U.S.C. 1827. The Department may present witnesses, offer evidence, and make arguments in its behalf. The Department is responsible for all costs associated with the presentation of its case.
(e) The hearing is informal and permissive. As such, the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 554 et seq. do not apply to the hearing. Formal rules of evidence also do not apply; however, the hearing officer may impose reasonable restrictions on relevancy, materiality, and competency of evidence presented. Testimony will be under oath or by affirmation under penalty of perjury. The hearing officer may not consider any information that is not also made available to the person requesting the hearing, the Department, and made a part of the record of the proceeding.
(f) If any witness is unable to appear, the hearing officer may, in his or her discretion, accept an affidavit or sworn deposition testimony of the witness, the cost for which will be the responsibility of the requesting party, subject to such limits as the hearing officer deems appropriate.
(g) The person requesting the hearing and the Department of State may submit written briefs or argument prior to the hearing, but it is not required. The hearing officer will specify the date and schedule for the parties to submit written briefs, should they choose to do so.
(h) The purpose of the hearing is to provide the person requesting the hearing an opportunity to challenge the basis for the Department's decision to deny or revoke the passport, or cancel the Consular Report of Birth Abroad. The burden of production is on the Department, and the Department shall provide the evidence it relied upon in revoking or denying the passport, or cancelling the Consular Report of Birth Abroad, prior to the hearing. The burden of persuasion is on the person requesting the hearing, to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the Department improperly revoked the passport or denied the passport application, or cancelled the Consular Report of Birth Abroad, based on the facts and law in effect at the time such action was taken.