43 CFR § 4.476 - Conduct of hearing; reporter's fees; transcript.

§ 4.476 Conduct of hearing; reporter's fees; transcript.

(a) The appellant, the State Director or his representative, and recognized intervenors will stipulate so far as possible all material facts and the issue or issues involved. The administrative law judge will state any other issues on which he may wish to have evidence presented. Issues which appear to the administrative law judge to be unnecessary to a proper disposition of the case will be excluded; but the party asserting such issue may state briefly for the record the substance of the proof which otherwise would have been offered in support of the issue. Issues not covered by the appellant's specifications of error may not be admitted except with the consent of the State Director or his representative, unless the administrative law judge rules that such issue is essential to the controversy and should be admitted. The parties will then be given an opportunity to submit offers of settlement and proposals of adjustment for the consideration of the administrative law judge and of the other parties.

(b) Unless the administrative law judge orders otherwise, the State Director or his representative will then make the opening statement, setting forth the facts leading to the appeal. Upon the conclusion of the opening statement, the appellant shall present his case, consistent with his specifications of error. (In the case of a show cause, the State Director shall set forth the facts leading to the issuance of the show cause notice and shall present his case following the opening statement.) Following the appellant's presentation, or upon his failure to make such presentation, the administrative law judge, upon his own motion or upon motion of any of the parties, may order summary dismissal of the appeal with prejudice because of the inadequacy or insufficiency of the appellant's case, to be followed by a written order setting forth the reasons for the dismissal and taking such other action under this subpart as may be proper and warranted. An appeal may be had from such order as well as from any other final determination made by the administrative law judge.

(c) In the absence or upon denial of such motion the State Director or his representative and recognized intervenors may present evidence if such a presentation appears to the administrative law judge to be necessary for a proper disposition of the matters in controversy, adhering as closely as possible to the issues raised by the appellant. All oral testimony shall be under oath or affirmation, and witnesses shall be subject to cross-examination by any party to the proceeding. The administrative law judge may question any witness whenever it appears necessary. Documentary evidence will be received by the administrative law judge and made a part of the record, if pertinent to any issue, or may be entered by stipulation. No exception need be stated or noted and every ruling of the administrative law judge will be subject to review on appeal. The party affected by an adverse ruling sustaining an objection to the admission of evidence, may insert in the record, as a tender of proof, a brief written statement of the substance of the excluded evidence; and the opposing party may then make an offer of proof in rebuttal. The administrative law judge shall summarily stop examination and exclude testimony on any issue which he determines has been adjudicated previously in an appeal involving the same preference and the same parties or their predecessors in interest, or which is obviously irrelevant and immaterial to the issues in the case. At the conclusion of the testimony the parties at the hearing shall be given a reasonable opportunity, considering the number and complexity of the issues and the amount of testimony, to submit to the administrative law judge proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law, and reasons in support thereof, or to stipulate to a waiver of such findings and conclusions.

(d) The reporter's fees will be borne by the Government. Each party must pay for any copies of the transcript that the party requests. The Government will file the original transcript with the case record.

[44 FR 41790, July 18, 1979. Redesignated at 68 FR 68770, Dec. 10, 2003, as amended at 75 FR 64669, Oct. 20, 2010]