7 CFR 1.139 - Procedure upon failure to file an answer or admission of facts.
The failure to file an answer, or the admission by the answer of all the material allegations of fact contained in the complaint, shall constitute a waiver of hearing. Upon such admission or failure to file, complainant shall file a proposed decision, along with a motion for the adoption thereof, both of which shall be served upon the respondent by the Hearing Clerk. Within 20 days after service of such motion and proposed decision, the respondent may file with the Hearing Clerk objections thereto. If the Judge finds that meritorious objections have been filed, complainant's Motion shall be denied with supporting reasons. If meritorious objections are not filed, the Judge shall issue a decision without further procedure or hearing. Copies of the decision or denial of complainant's Motion shall be served by the Hearing Clerk upon each of the parties and may be appealed pursuant to § 1.145. Where the decision as proposed by complainant is entered, such decision shall become final and effective without further proceedings 35 days after the date of service thereof upon the respondent, unless there is an appeal to the Judicial Officer by a party to the proceeding pursuant to § 1.145: Provided, however, That no decision shall be final for purposes of judicial review except a final decision of the Judicial Officer upon appeal.