29 CFR 18.5 - Responsive pleadings

§ 18.5 Responsive pleadings—answer and request for hearing.
(a) Time for answer. Within thirty (30) days after the service of a complaint, each respondent shall file an answer.
(b) Default. Failure of the respondent to file an answer within the time provided shall be deemed to constitute a waiver of his right to appear and contest the allegations of the complaint and to authorize the administrative law judge to find the facts as alleged in the complaint and to enter an initial or final decision containing such findings, appropriate conclusions, and order.
(c) Signature required. Every answer filed pursuant to these rules shall be signed by the party filing it or by at least one attorney, in his or her individual name, representing such party. The signature constitutes a certificate by the signer that he or she has read the answer; that to the best of his or her knowledge, information and belief there is good ground to support it; and that it is not interposed for delay.
(d) Content of answer—
(1) Orders to show cause. Any person to whom an order to show cause has been directed and served shall respond to the same by filing an answer in writing. Arguments opposing the proposed sanction should be supported by reference to specific circumstances or facts surrounding the basis for the order to show cause.
(2) Complaints. Any respondent contesting any material fact alleged in a complaint, or contending that the amount of a proposed penalty or award is excessive or inappropriate or contending that he or she is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, shall file an answer in writing. An answer shall include:
(i) A statement that the respondent admits, denies, or does not have and is unable to obtain sufficient information to admit or deny each allegation; a statement of lack of information shall have the effect of a denial; any allegation not expressly denied shall be deemed to be admitted;
(ii) A statement of the facts supporting each affirmative defense.
(e) Amendments and supplemental pleadings. If and whenever determination of a controversy on the merits will be facilitated thereby, the administrative law judge may, upon such conditions as are necessary to avoid prejudicing the public interest and the rights of the parties, allow appropriate amendments to complaints, answers, or other pleadings; provided, however, that a complaint may be amended once as a matter of right prior to the answer, and thereafter if the administrative law judge determines that the amendment is reasonably within the scope of the original complaint. When issues not raised by the pleadings are reasonably within the scope of the original complaint and are tried by express or implied consent of the parties, they shall be treated in all respects as if they had been raised in the pleadings, and such amendments may be made as necessary to make them conform to the evidence. The administrative law judge may, upon reasonable notice and such terms as are just, permit supplemental pleadings setting forth transactions, occurrences or events which have happened since the date of the pleadings and which are relevant to any of the issues involved.
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Executive Order ... 12778