§ 668.98Interlocutory appeals to the Secretary from rulings of a hearing official.
(a) A ruling by a hearing official may not be appealed to the Secretary until the issuance of an initial decision, except that the Secretary may, at any time prior to the issuance of the initial decision, grant a review of a ruling upon either a certification by a hearing official of the ruling to the Secretary for review or the filing of a petition for review of a ruling by one or both of the parties, if—
(1) That ruling involves a controlling question of substantive or procedural law; and
(2) The immediate resolution of the question will materially advance the final disposition of the proceeding or subsequent review will be an inadequate remedy.
(1) A petition for interlocutory review of an interim ruling must include the following:
(i) A brief statement of the facts necessary to an understanding of the issue on which review is sought.
(ii) A statement of the issue.
(iii) A statement of the reasons showing that the ruling complained of involves a controlling question of substantive or procedural law and why immediate review of the ruling will materially advance the disposition of the case, or why subsequent review will be an inadequate remedy.
(2) A petition may not exceed ten pages, double-spaced, and must be filed with a copy of the ruling and any findings and opinions relating to the ruling.
(c) A copy of the petition must be provided to the hearing official at the time of filing with the secretary, and a copy of a petition or any certification must be served upon the parties by certified mail, return receipt requested. The petition or certification must reflect this service.
(d) If a party files a petition under this section, the hearing official may state to the Secretary a view as to whether review is appropriate or inappropriate by submitting a brief statement addressing the party's petition within 10 days of the receipt of that petition by the hearing official. A copy of the statement must be served on all parties by certified mail, return receipt requested.
(e) A party's response to a petition or certification for interlocutory review must be filed within seven days after service of the petition or statement, as applicable, and may not exceed ten pages, double-spaced, in length. A copy of the response must be served on the parties and the hearing official by hand delivery or regular mail.
(f) The filing of a petition for interlocutory review does not automatically stay the proceedings. A stay during consideration of a petition for review may be granted by the hearing official if that official has certified or stated to the Secretary that review of the ruling is appropriate. The Secretary may order a stay of proceedings at any time after the filing of a request for interlocutory review.
(g) The Secretary notifies the parties if a petition or certification for interlocutory review is accepted, and may provide the parties a reasonable time within which to submit written argument with regard to the merit of the petition or certification.
(h) If the Secretary takes no action on a petition or certification for review within 15 days of receipt of it, the request is deemed to be denied.
(i) The Secretary may affirm, modify, set aside, or remand the interim ruling of the hearing official.
(j) The Secretary may delegate to a designated department official the functions described in paragraphs (f) through (i) of this section.