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(a) Requests to submit written evidence without a hearing. Where respondent has elected to submit written evidence in accordance with §386.14(d)(1)(iii)(A):
(1) Agency Counsel must serve all written evidence and argument in support of the Notice of Claim no later than 60 days following service of respondent’s reply. The written evidence and argument must be served on the Agency Decisionmaker in accordance with §§386.6 and 386.7. The submission must include all pleadings, notices, and other filings in the case to date.
(2) Respondent will, not later than 45 days following service of Agency Counsel’s written evidence and argument, serve its written evidence and argument on the Agency Decisionmaker in accordance with §§386.6 and 386.7.
(3) Agency Counsel may file a written response to respondent’s submission. Any such submission must be filed within 20 days of service of respondent’s submission.
(4) All written evidence submitted by the parties must conform to the requirements of §386.49.
(5) Following submission of evidence and argument as outlined in this section, the Agency Decisionmaker may issue a Final Order based on the evidence and arguments submitted, or may issue any other order as may be necessary to adjudicate the matter.
(b) Requests for hearing. (1) If a request for a formal or informal hearing has been filed, the Assistant Administrator will determine whether there exists a dispute of a material fact at issue in the matter. If so, the matter will be set for hearing in accordance with respondent’s reply. If it is determined that there does not exist a dispute of a material fact at issue in the matter, the Agency Decisionmaker may issue a decision based on the written record, or may request the submission of further evidence or argument.
(2) If a respondent requests a formal or informal hearing in its reply, the Field Administrator must serve upon the Agency Decisionmaker and respondent a notice of consent or objection with a basis to the request within 60 days of service of respondent’s reply. Failure to serve an objection within the time allotted may result in referral of the matter to hearing.
(3) Requests for formal hearing. Following the filing of an objection with basis, the Field Administrator must serve a motion for Final Order pursuant to Sec. 386.36 unless otherwise ordered by the Agency Decisionmaker. The motion must set forth the reasons why the Field Administrator is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Respondent must, within 45 days of service of the motion for Final Order, submit and serve a response to the Field Administrator’s motion. After reviewing the record, the Agency Decisionmaker will either set the matter for hearing by referral to the Office of Hearings or issue a Final Order based upon the submissions.
(4) Requests for informal hearing.
(i) If the Field Administrator objects with basis to a request for an informal hearing, he/she must serve the objection, a copy of the Notice of Claim, and a copy of respondent’s reply, on the respondent and Agency Decisionmaker, pursuant to paragraph (b)(2) of this section. Based upon the Notice of Claim, the reply, and the objection with basis, the Agency Decisionmaker will issue an order granting or denying the request for informal hearing.
(A) Informal hearing granted. If the request for informal hearing is granted by the Agency Decisionmaker, a Hearing Officer will be assigned to hear the matter and will set forth the date, time and location for hearing. No further motions will be entertained, and no discovery will be allowed. At hearing, all parties may present evidence, written and oral, to the Hearing Officer, following which the Hearing Officer will issue a report to the Agency Decisionmaker containing findings of fact and recommending a disposition of the matter. The report will serve as the sole record of the proceedings. The Agency Decisionmaker may issue a Final Order adopting the report, or issue other such orders as he/she may deem appropriate. By participating in an informal hearing, respondent waives its right to a formal hearing.
(B) Informal hearing denied. If the request for informal hearing is denied, the Field Administrator must serve a motion for Final Order pursuant to §386.36, unless otherwise directed by the Agency Decisionmaker. The motion must set forth the reasons why the Field Administrator is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Respondent must, within 45 days of service of the motion for Final Order, submit and serve a response to the Field Administrator’s motion. After reviewing the record, the Agency Decisionmaker will set the matter for formal hearing by referral to the Office of Hearings, or will issue a Final Order based upon the submissions.
(C) Nothing in this section shall limit the Agency Decisionmaker’s authority to refer any matter for formal hearing, even in instances where respondent seeks only an informal hearing.
[50 FR 40306, Oct. 2, 1985, as amended at 56 FR 10183, Mar. 11, 1991; 70 FR 28481, May 18, 2005; 88 FR 80182, Nov. 17, 2023]