28 CFR 32.5 - Evidence.
(a) Except as otherwise may be expressly provided in the Act or this part, a claimant has the burden of persuasion as to all material issues of fact, and by the standard of proof of “more likely than not.”
(b) Except as otherwise may be expressly provided in this part, the PSOB determining official may, at his discretion, consider (but shall not be bound by) the factual findings of a public agency.
(c) Rules 301 (presumptions), 401 (relevant evidence), 402 (admissibility), 602 to 604 (witnesses), 701 to 704 (testimony), 901 to 903 (authentication), and 1001 to 1007 (contents of writings, records, and photographs) of the Federal Rules of Evidence shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to all filings, hearings, and other proceedings or matters. No extrinsic evidence of authenticity as a condition precedent to admissibility shall be required with respect to any document purporting to bear the signature of an expert engaged by the BJA.
(d) In determining a claim, the PSOB determining official may, at his discretion, draw an adverse inference if, without reasonable justification or excuse -
(i) Such material- or relevant evidence or -information within his possession, control, or ken as may reasonably be requested from time to time by such official; or
(ii) Such authorizations or waivers as may reasonably be requested from time to time by such official to enable him (or to assist in enabling him) to obtain access to material- or relevant evidence or -information of a medical, personnel, financial, or other confidential nature;
(2) A claimant under subpart C of this part fails or refuses to appear in person -
(i) At his hearing under subpart E of this part (if there be such a hearing); or
(ii) Before such official (or otherwise permit such official personally to observe his condition), at a time and location reasonably convenient to both, as may reasonably be requested by such official; or
(3) A claimant under subpart B or C of this part fails or refuses to apply for (or to pursue to completion), in timely fashion, the benefits, if any, described in § 32.15(a)(1)(i) or § 32.25(a)(1)(i), respectively.
(e) In determining a claim, the PSOB determining official may, at his discretion, draw an inference of voluntary intoxication at the time of death or catastrophic injury if, without reasonable justification or excuse, appropriate toxicologic analysis (including autopsy, in the event of death) is not performed, and/or the results thereof are not filed with the PSOB Office, where there is credible evidence suggesting that intoxication may have been a factor in the death or injury, or that the public safety officer -
(1) As of or near the injury date, was -
(i) A consumer of alcohol -
(A) In amounts likely to produce a blood-alcohol level of .10 per centum or greater in individuals similar to the officer in weight and sex; or
(B) In any amount, after ever having been treated at an inpatient facility for alcoholism;
(ii) A consumer of controlled substances included on Schedule I of the drug control and enforcement laws (see 21 U.S.C. 812(a)); or
(iii) An abuser of controlled substances included on Schedule II, III, IV, or V of the drug control and enforcement laws (see 21 U.S.C. 812(a)); or
(1) Of the public agency's acknowledgment that the public safety officer, as of the injury date, was -
(i) A public safety officer of the kind described in the certification;
(ii) Employed by the agency (i.e., performing official functions for, or on behalf of, the agency); and
(iii) One of the following:
(A) With respect to a law enforcement officer, an officer of the agency;
(B) With respect to a firefighter,
(1) An officially recognized or designated member of the agency (if it is a legally organized volunteer fire department); or
(2) An employee of the agency;
(C) With respect to a chaplain,
(1) An officially recognized or designated member of the agency (if it is a legally organized police or volunteer fire department); or
(2) An officially recognized or designated public employee of the agency (if it is a legally organized police or fire department);
(3) That the public safety officer -
(i) Sustained a line of duty injury in connection with public safety activity (or, otherwise, with efforts described in the Act, at 42 U.S.C. 3796c-1 or Public Law 107-37) related to a terrorist attack (under the former statute) or to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (under the latter statute); and
(ii) As a direct and proximate result of such injury, was (as applicable) -
(A) Killed (with respect to a claim under subpart B of this part); or
(B) Totally and permanently disabled (with respect to a claim under subpart C of this part).
(g) In determining a claim, the PSOB determining official shall have, in addition to the hearing-examiner powers specified at 42 U.S.C. 3787 (hearings, subpoenas, oaths, witnesses, evidence), and to the authorities specified at 42 U.S.C. 3788(b)-(d) (experts, consultants, government resources) and in the Act and this part, the authority otherwise and in any reasonable manner to conduct his own inquiries, as appropriate.
(h) Acceptance of payment (by a payee (or on his behalf)) shall constitute prima facie evidence that the payee (or the pay agent) -
(1) Endorses as his own (to the best of his knowledge and belief) the statements and representations made, and the evidence and information provided, pursuant to the claim; and
(2) Is aware (in connection with the claim) of no -
(ii) Concealment or withholding of evidence or information;
(iii) False, incomplete, or inaccurate statements or representations;
(iv) Mistake, wrongdoing, or deception; or
(i) A public safety officer's response to an emergency call from his public agency for him to perform public safety activity (including emergency response activity the agency is authorized to perform) shall constitute prima facie evidence of such response's non-routine character.