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§ 2.319 Power of the presiding officer.

A presiding officer has the duty to conduct a fair and impartial hearing according to law, to take appropriate action to control the prehearing and hearing process, to avoid delay and to maintain order. The presiding officer has all the powers necessary to those ends, including the powers to:

(a) Administer oaths and affirmations;

(b) Issue subpoenas authorized by law, including subpoenas requested by a participant for the attendance and testimony of witnesses or the production of evidence upon the requestor's showing of general relevance and reasonable scope of the evidence sought;

(c) Consolidate parties and proceedings in accordance with §§ 2.316 and 2.317 and/or direct that common interests be represented by a single spokesperson;

(d) Rule on offers of proof and receive evidence. In proceedings under this part, strict rules of evidence do not apply to written submissions. However, the presiding officer may, on motion or on the presiding officer's own initiative, strike any portion of a written presentation or a response to a written question that is irrelevant, immaterial, unreliable, duplicative or cumulative.

(e) Restrict irrelevant, immaterial, unreliable, duplicative or cumulative evidence and/or arguments;

(f) Order depositions to be taken as appropriate;

(g) Regulate the course of the hearing and the conduct of participants;

(h) Dispose of procedural requests or similar matters;

(i) Examine witnesses;

(j) Hold conferences before or during the hearing for settlement, simplification of contentions, or any other proper purpose;

(k) Set reasonable schedules for the conduct of the proceeding and take actions reasonably calculated to maintain overall schedules;

(l) Refer rulings to the Commission under § 2.323(f)(1), or certify questions to the Commission for its determination, either in the presiding officer's discretion, or on petition of a party under § 2.323(f)(2), or on direction of the Commission.

(m) Reopen a proceeding for the receipt of further evidence at any time before the initial decision;

(n) Appoint special assistants from the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel under § 2.322;

(o) Issue initial decisions as provided in this part;

(p) Dispose of motions by written order or by oral ruling during the course of a hearing or prehearing conference. The presiding officer should ensure that parties not present for the oral ruling are notified promptly of the ruling;

(q) Issue orders necessary to carry out the presiding officer's duties and responsibilities under this part; and

(r) Establish a schedule for briefs and oral arguments to decide any admitted contentions that, as determined by the presiding officer, constitute pure issues of law.

(s) Take any other action consistent with the Act, this chapter, and 5 U.S.C. 551–558.

[77 FR 46592, Aug. 3, 2012]

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, July 25, 2013