39 CFR 959.16 - Presiding officers.
(a) The presiding officer shall be either an Administrative Law Judge qualified in accordance with law, or the Judicial Officer. The Chief Administrative Law Judge shall assign cases to Administrative Law Judges upon rotation so far as practicable. The Judicial Officer may, for good cause found, preside at the reception of evidence in proceedings upon request of either party.
(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 indecorous 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 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; and,
(9) Render an initial decision if the presiding officer is an Administrative Law Judge, which becomes the final decision of the Postal Service unless a timely appeal is taken; the Judicial Officer may issue a tentative or a final decision.