33 CFR § 125.43 - Hearing procedure.

§ 125.43 Hearing procedure.

(a) Hearings shall be conducted in an orderly manner and in a serious, businesslike atmosphere of dignity and decorum and shall be expedited as much as possible.

(b) The hearing shall be in open or closed session at the option of the applicant or holder.

(c) Testimony before the Hearing Board shall be given under oath or affirmation.

(d) The Chairman of the Hearing Board shall inform the applicant or holder of his right to:

(1) Participate in the hearing;

(2) Be represented by counsel of his choice;

(3) Present witnesses and offer other evidence in his own behalf and in refutation of the reasons set forth in the Notice of the Commandant; and

(4) Cross-examine any witnesses offered in support of such reasons.

(e) Hearings shall be opened by the reading of the Notice of the Commandant and the answer thereto. Any statement and affidavits filed by the applicant or holder may be incorporated in the record by reference.

(f) The Hearing Board may, in its discretion, invite any person to appear at the hearing and testify. However, the Board shall not be bound by the testimony of such witness by reason of having called him and shall have full right to cross-examine the witness. Every effort shall be made to produce material witnesses to testify in support of the reasons set forth in the Notice of the Commandant, in order that such witnesses may be confronted and cross-examined by the applicant or holder.

(g) The applicant or holder may introduce such evidence as may be relevant and pertinent. Rules of evidence shall not be binding on the Hearing Board, but reasonable restrictions may be imposed as to the relevancy, competency and materiality of matters considered. If the applicant or holder is, or may be, handicapped by the non-disclosure to him of confidential sources, or by the failure of witnesses to appear, the Hearing Board shall take the fact into consideration.

(h) The applicant or holder or his counsel or representative shall have the right to control the sequence of witnesses called by him.

(i) The Hearing Board shall give due consideration to documentary evidence developed by investigation, including membership cards, petitions bearing the applicant's or holder's signature, books, treatises or articles written by the applicant or holder and testimony by the applicant or holder before duly constituted authority.

(j) Complete verbatim stenographic transcription shall be made of the hearing by qualified reporters and the transcript shall constitute a permanent part of the record. Upon request, the applicant or holder or his counsel or representative shall be furnished, without cost, a copy of the transcript of the hearing.

(k) The Board shall reach its conclusion and base its determination on information presented at the hearing, together with such other information as may have been developed through investigation and inquiries or made available by the applicant or holder.

(l) If the applicant or holder fails, without good cause shown to the satisfaction of the chairman, to appear personally or to be represented before the Hearing Board, the Board shall proceed with consideration of the matter.

(m) The recommendation of the Hearing Board shall be in writing and shall be signed by all members of the Board. The Board shall forward to the Commandant, with its recommendation, a memorandum of reasons in support thereof. Should any member be in disagreement with the majority a dissent should be noted setting forth the reasons therefor. The recommendation of the Board, together with the complete record of the case, shall be sent to the Commandant as expeditiously as possible.