37 CFR § 11.44 - Hearings.

§ 11.44 Hearings.

(a) The hearing officer shall preside over hearings in disciplinary proceedings. After the time for filing an answer has elapsed, the hearing officer shall set the time and place for the hearing. In cases involving an incarcerated respondent, any necessary oral hearing may be held at the location of incarceration. Oral hearings will be stenographically recorded and transcribed, and the testimony of witnesses will be received under oath or affirmation. The hearing officer shall conduct the hearing as if the proceeding were subject to 5 U.S.C. 556. A copy of the transcript of the hearing shall become part of the record. A copy of the transcript shall be provided to the OED Director and the respondent at the expense of the Office.

(b) If the respondent to a disciplinary proceeding fails to appear at the hearing after a notice of hearing has been issued by the hearing officer, the hearing officer may deem the respondent to have waived the opportunity for a hearing and may proceed with the hearing in the absence of the respondent. Where the respondent does not appear, the hearing officer may strike the answer or any other pleading, deem the respondent to have admitted the facts as alleged in the complaint, receive evidence in aggravation or mitigation, enter a default judgment, and/or enter an initial decision imposing discipline on the respondent.

(c) A hearing under this section will not be open to the public except that the hearing officer may grant a request by a respondent to open his or her hearing to the public and make the record of the disciplinary proceeding available for public inspection, provided, a protective order is entered to exclude from public disclosure information which is privileged or confidential under applicable laws or regulations.

[73 FR 47689, Aug. 14, 2008, as amended at 86 FR 28461, May 26, 2021]

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