50 C.F.R. § 452.05   Hearings.

Title 50 - Wildlife and Fisheries

Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries

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§ 452.05   Hearings.

(a) Hearings. (1) To develop the record for the report under §452.04, the Secretary, in consultation with the members of the Committee, shall hold a hearing in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 554, 555, and 556.

(2) The Secretary shall designate an Administrative Law Judge to conduct the hearing. The Secretary shall assign technical staff to assist the Administrative Law Judge.

(3) When the Secretary designates the Administrative Law Judge, the Secretary may establish time periods for conducting the hearing and closing the record.

(4) The Secretary may require the applicant to submit further discussions of the information required by §451.02(e)(5). This information will be made part of the record.

(b) Prehearing conferences. (1) The Administrative Law Judge may, on his own motion or the motion of a party or intervenor, hold a prehearing conference to consider:

(i) The possibility of obtaining stipulations, admissions of fact or law and agreement to the introduction of documents;

(ii) The limitation of the number of witnesses;

(iii) Questions of law which may bear upon the course of the hearings;

(iv) Prehearing motions, including motions for discovery; and

(v) Any other matter which may aid in the disposition of the proceedings.

(2) If time permits and if necessary to materially clarify the issues raised at the prehearing conference, the Administrative Law Judge shall issue a statement of the actions taken at the conference and the agreements made. Such statement shall control the subsequent course of the hearing unless modified for good cause by a subsequent statement.

(c) Notice of hearings. Hearings and prehearing conferences will be announced by a notice in the Federal Register stating: (1) The time, place and nature of the hearing or prehearing conference; and (2) the matters of fact and law to be considered. Such notices will ordinarily be published at least 15 days before the scheduled hearings.

(d) Conduct of hearings—(1) Admissibility of evidence. Relevant, material, and reliable evidence shall be admitted. Immaterial, irrelevant, unreliable, or unduly repetitious parts of an admissible document may be segregated and excluded so far as practicable.

(2) Motions, objections, rebuttal and cross-examination. Motions and objections may be filed with the Administrative Law Judge, rebuttal evidence may be submitted, and cross-examination may be conducted, as required for a full and true disclosure of the facts, by parties, witnesses under subpoena, and their respective counsel.

(i) Objections. Objections to evidence shall be timely, and the party making them may be required to state briefly the grounds relied upon.

(ii) Offers of proof. When an objection is sustained, the examining party may make a specific offer of proof and the Administrative Law Judge may receive the evidence in full. Such evidence, adequately marked for identification, shall be retained in the record for consideration by any reviewing authority.

(iii) Motions. Motions and petitions shall state the relief sought, the basis for relief and the authority relied upon. If made before or after the hearing itself, these matters shall be in writing and shall be filed and served on all parties. If made at the hearing, they may be stated and responded to orally, but the Administrative Law Judge may require that they be reduced to writing. Oral argument on motions and deadlines by which to file responses to written motions will be at the discretion of the Administrative Law Judge.

(e) Applicant responsibility. In proceedings conducted pursuant to this section, the exemption applicant has the burden of going forward with evidence concerning the criteria for exemption.

(f) Open meetings and record. All hearings and all hearing records shall be open to the public.

(g) Requests for information, subpoenas. (1) The Administrative Law Judge is authorized to exercise the authority of the Committee to request, subject to the Privacy Act of 1974, that any person provide information necessary to enable the Committee to carry out its duties. Any Federal agency or the exemption applicant shall furnish such information to the Administrative Law Judge. (2) The Administrative Law Judge may exercise the authority of the Committee to issue subpoenas for the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of relevant papers, books, and documents.

(h) Information collection. The information collection requirements contained in §452.05 do not require approval by the Office of Management and Budget under 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., because it is anticipated there will be fewer than ten respondents annually.

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