47 CFR § 1.311 - General.
Sections 1.311 through 1.325 provide for taking the deposition of any person (including a party), for interrogatories to parties, and for orders to parties relating to the production of documents and things and for entry upon real property. These procedures may be used for the discovery of relevant facts, for the production and preservation of evidence for use in a hearing proceeding, or for both purposes.
(a) Applicability. For purposes of discovery, these procedures may be used in any case of adjudication (as defined in the Administrative Procedure Act) which has been designated for hearing. For the preservation of evidence, they may be used in any case which has been designated for hearing and is conducted under the provisions of this subpart (see § 1.201).
(b) Scope of examination. Persons and parties may be examined regarding any matter, not privileged, which is relevant to the hearing issues, including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition and location of any books, documents, or other tangible things and the identity and location of persons having knowledge of relevant facts. It is not ground for objection to use of these procedures that the testimony will be inadmissible at the hearing if the testimony sought appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. The use of these procedures against the Commission is subject to the following additional limitations:
(1) The informer's privilege shall encompass information which may lead to the disclosure of an informer's identity.
(2) Commission personnel may not be questioned by deposition for the purposes of discovery except on special order of the Commission, but may be questioned by written interrogatories under § 1.323. Interrogatories shall be served on the appropriate Bureau Chief (see § 1.21(b)). They will be answered and signed by those personnel with knowledge of the facts. The answers will be served by the Secretary of the Commission upon parties to the proceeding.
(3) Commission records are not subject to discovery under § 1.325. The inspection of Commission records is governed by the Freedom of Information Act, as amended, and by §§ 0.451 through 0.467 of this chapter. Commission employees may be questioned by written interrogatories regarding the existence, nature, description, custody, condition and location of Commission records, but may not be questioned concerning their contents unless the records are available (or are made available) for inspection under §§ 0.451 through 0.467. See § 0.451(b)(5) of this chapter.
(4) Subject to paragraphs (b) (1) through (3) of this section, Commission personnel may be questioned generally by written interrogatories regarding the existence, description, nature, custody, condition and location of relevant documents and things and regarding the identity and location of persons having knowledge of relevant facts, and may otherwise only be examined regarding facts of the case as to which they have direct personal knowledge.
(c) Schedule for use of the procedures.
(1) Except as provided by special order of the presiding officer, discovery may be initiated after the initial conference provided for in § 1.248(b) of this part.
(2) In all proceedings, the presiding officer may at any time order the parties or their attorneys to appear at a conference to consider the proper use of these procedures, the time to be allowed for such use, and/or to hear argument and render a ruling on disputes that arise under these rules.
(d) Stipulations regarding the taking of depositions. If all of the parties so stipulate in writing and if there is no interference to the conduct of the proceeding, depositions may be taken before any person, at any time (subject to the limitation below) or place, upon any notice and in any manner, and when so taken may be used like other depositions. A copy of the stipulation shall be filed using the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System, and a copy of the stipulation shall be served on the presiding officer or case manager at least 3 days before the scheduled taking of the deposition.