(a)Issuance of Notice to practitioner. (1) If, upon completion of the preliminary inquiry, the EOIR disciplinary counsel determines that sufficient prima facie evidence exists to warrant charging a practitioner with professional misconduct as set forth in § 1003.102, he or she will file with the Board and issue to the practitioner who was the subject of the preliminary inquiry a Notice of Intent to Discipline. Service of this notice will be made upon the practitioner by either certified mail to his or her last known address, as defined in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, or by personal delivery. Such notice shall contain a statement of the charge(s), a copy of the preliminary inquiry report, the proposed disciplinary sanctions to be imposed, the procedure for filing an answer or requesting a hearing, and the mailing address and telephone number of the Board. In summary disciplinary proceedings brought pursuant to § 1003.103(b), a preliminary inquiry report is not required to be filed with the Notice of Intent to Discipline.
(2) For the purposes of this section, the last known address of a practitioner is the practitioner's address as it appears in EOIR's case management system if the practitioner is actively representing a party before EOIR on the date that the EOIR disciplinary counsel issues the Notice of Intent to Discipline. If the practitioner does not have a matter pending before EOIR on the date of the issuance of a Notice of Intent to Discipline, then the last known address for a practitioner will be as follows:
(i) Attorneys in the United States: the attorney's address that is on record with a state jurisdiction that licensed the attorney to practice law.
(ii) Accredited representatives: the address of a recognized organization with which the accredited representative is affiliated.
(iii) Accredited officials: the address of the embassy of the foreign government that employs the accredited official.
(iv) All other practitioners: the address for the practitioner that appears in EOIR's case management system for the most recent matter on which the practitioner represented a party.
(3)DHS Issuance of Notice to practitioner.DHS may file a Notice of Intent to Discipline with the Board in accordance with 8 CFR 292.3(e).
(b)Copy of notice; reciprocity of discipline. A copy of the Notice of Intent to Discipline filed by the EOIR disciplinary counsel shall be forwarded to DHS, which may submit a written request to the Board or the adjudicating official requesting that any discipline imposed upon a practitioner which restricts his or her authority to practice before the Board and the Immigration Courts also apply to the practitioner's authority to practice before DHS. A copy of the Notice of Intent to Discipline filed by DHS shall be forwarded to the EOIR disciplinary counsel, who may submit a written request to the Board or the adjudicating official requesting that any discipline imposed upon a practitioner that restricts his or her authority to practice before DHS also apply to the practitioner's authority to practice before the Board and the Immigration Courts. Proof of service on the practitioner of any request to broaden the scope of the proposed discipline must be filed with the adjudicating official.
(c)Answer—(1) Filing. The practitioner shall file a written answer to the Notice of Intent to Discipline with the Board within 30 days of the date of service of the Notice of Intent to Discipline unless, on motion to the Board, an extension of time to answer is granted for good cause. A motion for an extension of time to answer must be received by the Board no later than three (3) working days before the time to answer has expired. A copy of the answer and any such motion shall be served by the practitioner on the counsel for the government.
(2)Contents. The answer shall contain a statement of facts which constitute the grounds of defense and shall specifically admit or deny each allegation set forth in the Notice of Intent to Discipline. Every allegation in the Notice of Intent to Discipline which is not denied in the answer shall be deemed to be admitted and may be considered as proved, and no further evidence in respect of such allegation need be adduced. The practitioner may also state affirmatively special matters of defense and may submit supporting documents, including affidavits or statements, along with the answer.
(3)Request for hearing. The practitioner shall also state in the answer whether he or she requests a hearing on the matter. If no such request is made, the opportunity for a hearing will be deemed waived.
(d)Failure to file an answer. (1) Failure to file an answer within the time period prescribed in the Notice of Intent to Discipline, except where the time to answer is extended by the Board, shall constitute an admission of the allegations in the Notice of Intent to Discipline and no further evidence with respect to such allegations need be adduced.
(2) Upon such a default by the practitioner, the counsel for the government shall submit to the Board proof of service of the Notice of Intent to Discipline. The practitioner shall be precluded thereafter from requesting a hearing on the matter. The Board shall issue a final order adopting the proposed disciplinary sanctions in the Notice of Intent to Discipline unless to do so would foster a tendency toward inconsistent dispositions for comparable conduct or would otherwise be unwarranted or not in the interests of justice. With the exception of cases in which the Board has already imposed an immediate suspension pursuant to § 1003.103, any final order imposing discipline shall not become effective sooner than 15 days from the date of the order to provide the practitioner opportunity to comply with the terms of such order, including, but not limited to, withdrawing from any pending immigration matters and notifying immigration clients of the imposition of any sanction. A practitioner may file a motion to set aside a final order of discipline issued pursuant to this paragraph, with service of such motion on counsel for the government, provided:
(i) Such a motion is filed within 15 days of the date of service of the final order; and
(ii) His or her failure to file an answer was due to exceptional circumstances (such as serious illness of the practitioner or death of an immediate relative of the practitioner, but not including less compelling circumstances) beyond the control of the practitioner.