49 CFR 1114.31 - Failure to respond to discovery.
(a)Failure to answer. If a deponent fails to answer or gives an evasive answer or incomplete answer to a question propounded under § 1114.24(a), or a party fails to answer or gives evasive or incomplete answers to written interrogatories served pursuant to § 1114.26(a), the party seeking discovery may apply for an order compelling an answer by motion filed with the Board and served on all parties and deponents. Such motion to compel an answer must be filed with the Board and served on all parties and deponents. Such motion to compel an answer must be filed with the Board within 10 days after the failure to obtain a responsive answer upon deposition, or within 10 days after expiration of the period allowed for submission of answers to interrogatories. On matters relating to a deposition on oral examination, the proponent of the question may complete or adjourn the examination before he applies for an order.
(1)Reply to motion to compel generally. Except in rate cases to be considered under the stand-alone cost methodology or simplified standards, the time for filing a reply to a motion to compel is governed by 49 CFR 1104.13.
(2)Reply to motion to compel in stand-alone cost and simplified standards rate cases. A reply to a motion to compel must be filed with the Board within 10 days thereafter in a rate case to be considered under the stand-alone cost methodology or under the simplified standards.
(3)Conference with parties on motion to compel. Within 5 business days after the filing of a reply to a motion to compel in a rate case to be considered under the stand-alone cost methodology or under the simplified standards, Board staff may convene a conference with the parties to discuss the dispute, attempt to narrow the issues, and gather any further information needed to render a ruling.
(4)Ruling on motion to compel in stand-alone cost and simplified standards rate cases. Within 5 business days after a conference with the parties convened pursuant to paragraph (a)(3) of this section, the Director of the Office of Proceedings will issue a summary ruling on the motion to compel discovery. If no conference is convened, the Director of the Office of Proceedings will issue this summary ruling within 10 days after the filing of the reply to the motion to compel. Appeals of a Director's ruling will proceed under 49 CFR 1115.9, and the Board will attempt to rule on such appeals within 20 days after the filing of the reply to the appeal.
(b)Failure to comply with order.
(1) If a party or other witness refuses to be sworn or refuses to answer any question after being directed to do so by the Board, such refusal may subject the refusing party or person to action by the Board under 49 U.S.C. 721(c) and (d) to compel appearance and compliance with the Board's order.
(2) If any party or an officer, director, managing agent, or employee of a party or person refuses to obey an order made under paragraph (a) of this section requiring him to answer designated questions, or an order made under § 1114.30 requiring him to produce any document or other thing for inspection, copying, testing, sampling, or photographing or to permit it to be done, or to permit entry upon land or other property, the Board may make such orders in regard to the refusal as are just, and among others the following:
(i) An order that the matters regarding which questions were asked, or the character or description of the thing or land, or the contents of the paper, or any other designated facts should be taken to be established for the purposes of the proceeding in accordance with the claim of the party obtaining the order:
(ii) An order refusing to allow the disobedient party to support or oppose designated claims or defenses, or prohibiting him from introducing in evidence designated documents or things or items of testimony:
(iii) An order striking out pleadings or parts thereof, or staying further proceedings until the order is obeyed, or dismissing the proceedings or any party thereof.
(iv) In lieu of any of the foregoing orders, or in addition thereto, the Board shall require the party failing to obey the order or the attorney advising that party, or both, to pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees, caused by the failure, unless the Board finds that the failure was substantially justified or that other circumstances make an award of expenses unjust.
(c)Expenses on refusal to admit. If a party, after being served with a request under § 1114.27 to admit the genuineness of any document or the truth of any matter of fact, serves a sworn denial thereof, and if the party requesting the admission thereafter proves the genuineness of any such document or the truth of any such matter of fact the Board may order the party making such denial to pay to such other party the reasonable expenses incurred in making that proof, including reasonable attorney's fees.
(d)Failure of party to attend or serve answers. If a party or a person or an officer, director, managing agent, or employee of a party or person willfully fails to appear before the officer who is to take his deposition, after being served with a proper notice, or fails to serve answers to interrogatories submitted under § 1114.26, after proper service of such interrogatories, the Board on motion and notice may strike out all or any part of any pleading of that party or person, or dismiss the proceeding or any part thereof. In lieu of any such order or in addition thereto, the Board shall require the party failing to act or the attorney advising that party or both to pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees, caused by the failure, unless the Board finds that the failure was substantially justified or that other circumstances make an award of expenses unjust.
(e)Expenses against United States. Expenses and attorney's fees are not to be imposed upon the United States under this rule.