7 CFR § 1.425 - Judges.

§ 1.425 Judges.

(a)Assignment. No Judge shall be assigned to serve in any proceeding who:

(1) Has any pecuniary interest in any matter or business involved in the proceeding;

(2) Is related within the third degree by blood or marriage to any party to the proceeding; or

(3) Has any conflict of interest which might impair the Judge's objectivity in the proceeding.

(b)Disqualification of Judge.

(1) Any party to the proceeding may, by motion made to the Judge, request that the Judge withdraw from the proceeding because of an alleged disqualifying reason. Such motion shall set forth with particularity the grounds of alleged disqualification. The Judge may then either rule upon or certify the motion to the Secretary, but not both.

(2) A Judge shall withdraw from any proceeding for any reason deemed by the Judge to be disqualifying.

(c)Powers. Subject to review as provided elsewhere in this part, the Judge, in any assigned proceeding shall have power to:

(1) Rule upon motions and requests;

(2) Set the time and place of a pre-hearing conference and the hearing, adjourn the hearing from time to time, and change the time and place of hearing;

(3) Administer oaths and affirmations;

(4) Request the presence of and examine witnesses and receive relevant evidence at the hearing;

(5) Take or order the taking of depositions as authorized under these rules;

(6) Admit or exclude evidence;

(7) Hear oral argument on facts or law,

(8) Do all acts and take all measures necessary for the maintenance of order, including the exclusion of contumacious counsel or other persons;

(9) Request additional information from any party to aid in the Judge's determination; and

(10) Take all other actions authorized under these procedures.

(d)Who may act in the absence of the Judge. In case of the absence of the Judge or the Judge's inability to act, the powers and duties to be performed by the Judge under these rules of practice in connection with any assigned proceeding may, without abatement of the proceeding unless otherwise directed by the Chief Judge, be assigned to any other Judge.