7 CFR § 1.428 - Depositions.

§ 1.428 Depositions.

(a)Motion for taking deposition. Upon the motion of a party to the proceeding, the Judge may, at any time after the filing of the submission, order the taking of testimony by deposition. The Motion shall be in writing, shall be filed with the Hearing Clerk, and shall set forth:

(1) The name and address of the proposed deponent;

(2) The name and address of the person (referred to hereafter in this section as the “officer”) qualified under the regulations in this part to take depositions, before whom the proposed examination is to be made;

(3) The proposed time and place of the examination; and

(4) The reasons why such deposition should be taken, which shall be solely for the purpose of eliciting testimony which otherwise might not be available at the time of the hearing, for uses as provided in paragraph (g) of this section.

(b)Judge's order for taking deposition.

(1) If the Judge finds that testimony may not be otherwise available at the hearing, the taking of the deposition may be ordered. The order shall be served upon the parties, and shall state:

(i) The time and place of the examination;

(ii) The name of the officer before whom the examination is to be made; and

(iii) The name of the deponent.

(2) The officer and the time and place need not be the same as those suggested in the motion.

(c)Qualifications of officer. The deposition shall be made before the Judge or before an officer authorized by the law of the United States or by the law of the place of the examination to administer oaths, or before an officer authorized by the Secretary to administer oaths.

(d)Procedure on examinations.

(1) The deponent shall be subject to cross-examination. Objections to questions or documents shall be in short form, stating the grounds of objections relied upon. The questions propounded, together with all objections made (but not including argument or debate), shall be recorded verbatim. In lieu of oral examination, parties may transmit written questions to the officer prior to the examination and the officer shall propound such questions to the deponent.

(2) The applicant shall arrange for the examination of the witness either by oral examination, or by written questions upon agreement of the parties or as directed by the Judge. If the examination is conducted by means of written questions, copies of the questions shall be served upon the other party to the proceeding and filed with the officer and the other party may serve cross questions and file them with the officer at any time prior to the time of the examination.

(e)Certification by officer. The officer shall certify on the deposition that the deponent was duly sworn and that the deposition is a true record of the deponent's testimony. The officer shall then securely seal the deposition, together with one copy thereof (unless there are more than two parties in the proceeding, in which case there should be another copy for each additional party), in an envelope and mail the same by registered or certified mail to the Hearing Clerk.

(f)Corrections to the transcript.

(1) At any time prior to the hearing any party may file a motion proposing corrections to the transcript of the deposition.

(2) Unless a party files such a motion in the manner prescribed, the transcript shall be presumed, except for obvious typographical errors, to be a true, correct, and complete transcript of the testimony given in the deposition proceeding and to contain an accurate description or reference to all exhibits in connection therewith, and shall be deemed to be certified correct without further procedure.

(3) At any time prior to use of the deposition in accordance with paragraph (g) of this section and after consideration of any objections filed thereto, the Judge may issue an order making any corrections in the transcript which the Judge finds are warranted, which corrections shall be entered onto the original transcript by the Hearing Clerk (without obscuring the original text).

(g)Use of deposition. A deposition ordered and taken in accordance with the provisions of this section may be used in a proceeding under these rules if the Judge finds that the evidence is otherwise admissible and that the witness is dead; that the witness is unable to attend or testify because of age, sickness, infirmity, or imprisonment; or that such exceptional circumstances exist as to make it desirable, in the interests of justice, to allow the deposition to be used. If the party upon whose motion the deposition was taken refuses to offer it in evidence, any other party may offer the deposition or any thereof in evidence. If only part of a deposition is offered in evidence by a party, an adverse party may require the introduction of any other part which ought in fairness to be considered with the part introduced and any party may introduce any other parts.