39 CFR § 952.17 - Presiding officers.

§ 952.17 Presiding officers.

(a) The presiding officer at any hearing shall be an Administrative Law Judge qualified in accordance with law or the Judicial Officer (39 U.S.C. 204). The Chief Administrative Law Judge shall assign cases. The Judicial Officer may, for good cause shown, preside at the hearing if an Administrative Law Judge is unavailable.

(b) The presiding officer shall have authority to:

(1) Administer oaths and affirmations;

(2) Examine witnesses;

(3) Rule upon offers of proof, admissibility of evidence, and matters of procedure;

(4) Order any pleading amended upon motion of a party at any time prior to the close of the hearing;

(5) Maintain discipline and decorum and exclude from the hearing any person acting in an inappropriate manner;

(6) Require the filing of briefs or memoranda of law on any matter upon which he or she is required to rule;

(7) Order prehearing conferences for the purpose of the settlement or simplification of issues by the parties;

(8) Order the proceeding reopened at any time prior to his or her decision for the receipt of additional evidence;

(9) Render an initial decision, which becomes the final agency decision unless a timely appeal is taken, except that the Judicial Officer may issue a tentative or a final decision;

(10) Rule on motion by either party, or on his or her own initiative, for a determination on the written record in lieu of an oral hearing in his or her sole discretion;

(11) Rule on motion by either party, or on his or her own initiative, to permit a hearing to be conducted by telephone, video conference, or other appropriate means;

(12) Rule upon applications and requests filed under §§ 952.19 and 952.21; and

(13) Exercise all other authority conferred upon the presiding officer by the Administrative Procedure Act or other applicable law.