Title 12 Part 1081 → Subpart A → §1081.110
Title 12 → Chapter X → Part 1081 → Subpart A → §1081.110
Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR
Title 12 Part 1081 → Subpart A → §1081.110
§1081.110 Ex parte communication.
(a) Definitions. (1) For purposes of this section, ex parte communication means any material oral or written communication relevant to the merits of an adjudication proceeding that was neither on the record nor on reasonable prior notice to all parties that takes place between:
(i) An interested person not employed by the Bureau (including such person's counsel); and
(ii) The hearing officer handling the proceeding, the Director, or a decisional employee.
(2) Exception. A request for status of the proceeding does not constitute an ex parte communication.
(3) Pendency of an adjudication proceeding means the time from when the Bureau issues a notice of charges, unless the person responsible for the communication has knowledge that a notice of charges will be issued, in which case the pendency of an adjudication shall commence at the time of his or her acquisition of such knowledge, or from when an order by a court of competent jurisdiction remanding a Bureau decision and order for further proceedings becomes effective, until the time the Director enters his or her final decision and order in the proceeding and the time permitted to seek reconsideration of that decision and order has elapsed. For purposes of this section, an order of remand by a court of competent jurisdiction shall be deemed to become effective when the Bureau's right to petition for review or for a writ of certiorari has lapsed without a petition having been filed, or when such a petition has been denied. If a petition for reconsideration of a Bureau decision is filed pursuant to §1081.406, the matter shall be considered to be a pending adjudication proceeding until the time the Bureau enters an order disposing of the petition.
(b) Prohibited ex parte communications. During the pendency of an adjudication proceeding, except to the extent required for the disposition of ex parte matters as authorized by law or as otherwise authorized by this part:
(1) No interested person not employed by the Bureau shall make or knowingly cause to be made to the Director, or to the hearing officer, or to any decisional employee, an ex parte communication; and
(2) The Director, the hearing officer, or any decisional employee shall not make or knowingly cause to be made to any interested person not employed by the Bureau any ex parte communication.
(c) Procedure upon occurrence of ex parte communication. If an ex parte communication prohibited by paragraph (b) of this section is received by the hearing officer, the Director, or any decisional employee, that person shall cause all such written communications (or, if the communication is oral, a memorandum stating the substance of the communication) to be placed on the record of the proceeding and served on all parties. All other parties to the proceeding shall have an opportunity, within ten days of receipt of service of the ex parte communication, to file responses thereto and to recommend any sanctions, in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section, that they believe to be appropriate under the circumstances.
(d) Sanctions—(1) Adverse action on claim. Upon receipt of an ex parte communication knowingly made or knowingly caused to be made by a party and prohibited by paragraph (b) of this section, the Director or hearing officer, as appropriate, may, to the extent consistent with the interests of justice and the policy of the underlying statutes, require the party to show cause why his claim or interest in the proceeding should not be dismissed, denied, disregarded, or otherwise adversely affected on account of such violation.
(2) Discipline of persons practicing before the Bureau. The Director may, to the extent not prohibited by law, censure, suspend, or revoke the privilege to practice before the Bureau of any person who makes, or solicits the making of, an unauthorized ex parte communication.
(e) Separation of functions. Except to the extent required for the disposition of ex parte matters as authorized by law, the hearing officer may not consult a person or party on any matter relevant to the merits of the adjudication, unless upon notice and opportunity for all parties to participate. An employee or agent engaged in the performance of investigative or prosecuting functions for the Bureau in a case, other than the Director, may not, in that or a factually related case, participate or advise in the decision, recommended decision, or agency review of the recommended decision, except as witness or counsel in public proceedings.