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Code of Federal Regulations Title 7. Agriculture § 7.15f.13 What is the function of the ALJ and who may communicate with him?

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(a) What are the powers of the ALJ? The ALJ is responsible for conducting a hearing at your request on your Section 741 Complaint Request. He or she will have all powers prescribed in these rules and will make a proposed determination on your complaint. The proposed determination then will become the final determination after 35 days, unless the ASCR reviews the proposed determination.

(b) What is an ex parte communication? An ex parte communication is a communication by one party to a proceeding with the ALJ outside of the presence of, or without notice to, the other parties to a proceeding. Ex parte communications in the proceedings on your complaint are prohibited and will be handled as follows:

(1) The ALJ will not engage in ex parte communications regarding the merits of a complaint with any party or with any person having any interest in the proceedings on the complaint, including OCR and any person in an advocacy or investigative capacity, at any time between the assignment of a hearing to him or her and the issuance of a proposed determination. This prohibition does not apply to:

(i) Discussions of procedural matters related to the complaint;  or

(ii) Discussions of the merits of the complaint where all parties to the proceeding on the complaint have been given notice and an opportunity to participate.

(2) In the case of a communication described in paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section, a memorandum of any such discussion shall be included in the hearing record.

(3) No party to the proceeding or other interested person shall make or knowingly cause to be made to the ALJ an ex parte communication relevant to the merits of the complaint.

(4) If the ALJ receives an ex parte communication in violation of this section, the ALJ will place in the written record:

(i) All such written communications;

(ii) Memoranda stating the substance of all such oral communications;  and

(iii) All written responses to such communications, and memoranda stating the substance of any oral responses to such communications.

(c) Upon receipt of a communication knowingly made or knowingly caused to be made by a party in violation of this section the ALJ may, to the extent consistent with the interests of justice and the policy underlying these proceedings, require the party or other interested person making the communication to show cause why such party's claim or interest in the complaint should not be dismissed, denied, disregarded, or otherwise adversely affected on account of such violation.

Cite this article: - Code of Federal Regulations Title 7. Agriculture § 7.15f.13 What is the function of the ALJ and who may communicate with him? - last updated October 03, 2022 |

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