7 CFR 283.6 - Answer.
(a) Filing and service. Not later than 60 days after the State agency submits its appeal petition, or within 60 days following service of a ruling in accordance with § 283.5, FNS shall file an answer signed by the FNS Administrator or authorized representative or the attorney of record in the appeal. The attorney may file an appearance of record prior to or simultaneously with the filing of the answer.
(b) Contents. The answer shall clearly admit, deny, or explain each of the allegations of the appeal petition and shall:
(1) Clearly set forth any defense asserted by FNS; or
(2) State that FNS admits all the facts alleged in the appeal petition; or
(3) State that FNS admits the jurisdictional allegations of the appeal petition and neither admits nor denies the remaining allegations and consents to the issuance of an order without further procedure.
(c) Default. Failure to file a timely answer shall be deemed, for purposes of the appeal, an admission of the allegations in the appeal petition and failure to deny or otherwise respond to an allegation of the appeal petition shall be deemed for purposes of the appeal, an admission of said allegation, unless FNS and the State agency have agreed to a consent decision pursuant to § 283.10.