46 CFR 502.25 - Presiding officer defined.

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§ 502.25 Presiding officer.

(a) Definition. Presiding officer includes, where applicable, one or more members of the Commission or an administrative law judge.

(b) Functions and powers. The officer designated to hear a case shall have the following powers:

(1) Notices of hearing, subpoenas, depositions, pleadings and scope of proceedings. To arrange and give notice of hearing; sign and issue subpoenas authorized by law; take or cause depositions to be taken; rule upon proposed amendments or supplements to pleadings; and, delineate the scope of a proceeding instituted by order of the Commission by amending, modifying, clarifying, or interpreting said order.

(2) Alternative means of dispute resolution and conferences for settlement or simplification of issues. To inform the parties as to the availability of one or more alternative means of dispute resolution, encourage use of such methods, and require consideration of their use at an early state of the proceeding; hold conferences for the settlement or simplification of the issues by consent of the parties or by the use of alternative means of dispute resolution; transmit the request of parties for the appointment of a mediator or settlement judge, as provided by § 502.91; and require the attendance at any such conference pursuant to 5 U.S.C 556(c)(8), of at least one representative of each party who has authority to negotiate concerning resolution of issues in controversy.

(3) Hearings, evidence, procedural requests, motions, oaths and affirmations, and witnesses. To regulate the course of a hearing; prescribe the order in which evidence shall be presented; dispose of procedural requests or similar matters; hear and rule upon motions; administer oaths and affirmations; examine witnesses; direct witnesses to testify or produce evidence available to them; rule upon offers of proof and receive relevant, material, reliable, and probative evidence; act upon motions to intervene; permit submission of facts, arguments, offers of settlement, and proposals of adjustment; and, if the parties so request, issue formal opinions providing tentative evaluations of the evidence submitted; hear oral argument at the close of the testimony.

(4) Time management and other matters. To fix the time for filing briefs, motions, and other documents to be filed in connection with hearings and the administrative law judge's decision thereon, except as otherwise provided by the rules in this part; act upon petitions for enlargement of time to file such documents, including answers to formal complaints; and dispose of any other matter that normally and properly arises in the course of proceedings.

(5) Exclusion of persons from a hearing. To exclude any person from a hearing for disrespectful, disorderly, or inappropriate language or conduct.

(c) Functions and powers pursuant to Reorganization Plan No. 7 of 1961. All of the functions delegated in subparts A to Q and subpart T of this part, inclusive, to the Chief Judge, presiding officer, or administrative law judge include the functions with respect to hearing, determining, ordering, certifying, reporting, or otherwise acting as to any work, business, or matter, pursuant to the provisions of section 105 of Reorganization Plan No. 7 of 1961. [Rule 147.]

(d) Designation of administrative law judge. An administrative law judge will be designated by the Chief Administrative Law Judge to preside at hearings required by statute, in rotation so far as practicable, unless the Commission or one or more members thereof shall preside, and will also preside at hearings not required by statute when designated to do so by the Commission.

(e) Attachment of functions. In proceedings handled by the Office of Administrative Law Judges, its functions shall attach:

(1) Upon the service by the Commission of a Notice of Filing of Complaint and Assignment of complaint filed pursuant to § 502.62, or § 502.182, or upon referral under subpart T of this part; or

(2) Upon reference by the Commission of a petition for a declaratory order pursuant to § 502.68; or

(3) Upon forwarding for assignment by the Office of the Secretary of a special docket application pursuant to § 502.271; or

(4) Upon the initiation of a proceeding and ordering of hearing before an administrative law judge pursuant to § 502.63.

(f) Unavailability. If the presiding officer assigned to a proceeding becomes unavailable, the Commission, or Chief Judge (if such presiding officer was an administrative law judge), shall designate a qualified officer to take his or her place. Any motion predicated upon the substitution of a new presiding officer for one originally designated shall be made within ten (10) days after notice of such substitution.

(g) Disqualification of presiding or participating officer. Any presiding or participating officer may at any time withdraw if he or she deems himself or herself disqualified, in which case there will be designated another presiding officer. If a party to a proceeding, or its representative, files a timely and sufficient affidavit of personal bias or disqualification of a presiding or participating officer, the Commission will determine the matter as a part of the record and decision in the case. [Rule 25.]

[78 FR 45069, July 26, 2013]

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