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Title 10 Part 820 → Subpart B

Title 10 → Chapter III → Part 820 → Subpart B

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 10 Part 820 → Subpart B

e-CFR data is current as of December 5, 2019

Title 10Chapter IIIPart 820 → Subpart B


Title 10: Energy
PART 820—PROCEDURAL RULES FOR DOE NUCLEAR ACTIVITIES


§820.20   Purpose and scope.

(a) Purpose. This subpart establishes the procedures for investigating the nature and extent of violations of DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements, for determining whether a violation of DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements has occurred, for imposing an appropriate remedy, and for adjudicating the assessment of a civil penalty.

(b) Basis for civil penalties. DOE may assess civil penalties against any person subject to the provisions of this part who has entered into an agreement of indemnification under 42 U.S.C. 2210(d) (or any subcontractor or supplier thereto), unless exempted from civil penalties as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, on the basis of a violation of a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement.

(c) Exemptions. With respect to a violation occurring under a contract entered into before August 8, 2005, the following contractors, and subcontractors and suppliers to that prime contract only, are exempt from the assessment of civil penalties under this subpart with respect to the activities specified below:

(1) The University of Chicago for activities associated with Argonne National Laboratory;

(2) The University of California for activities associated with Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory;

(3) American Telephone and Telegraph Company and its subsidiaries for activities associated with Sandia National Laboratories;

(4) University Research Association, Inc. for activities associated with FERMI National Laboratory;

(5) Princeton University for activities associated with Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory;

(6) The Associated Universities, Inc. for activities associated with the Brookhaven National Laboratory; and

(7) Battelle Memorial Institute for activities associated with Pacific Northwest Laboratory.

(d) Nonprofit educational institutions. With respect to a violation occurring under a contract entered into before August 8, 2005, any educational institution that is considered nonprofit under the United States Internal Revenue Code shall receive automatic remission of any civil penalty assessed under this part.

(e) Limitation for not-for-profits. With respect to any violation occurring under a contract entered into on or after August 8, 2005, in the case of any not-for-profit contractor, subcontractor, or supplier, the total amount of civil penalties paid under this part may not exceed the total amount of fees paid by DOE to that entity within the U.S. Government fiscal year in which the violation occurs.

(f) Not-for-profit. For purposes of this part, a “not-for-profit” contractor, subcontractor, or supplier is one for which no part of the net earnings of the contractor, subcontractor, or supplier inures to the benefit of any natural person or for-profit artificial person.

[58 FR 43692, Aug. 17, 1993, as amended at 74 FR 11843, Mar. 20, 2009; 81 FR 94914, Dec. 27, 2016]

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§820.21   Investigations.

(a) The Director may initiate and conduct investigations and inspections relating to the scope, nature and extent of compliance by a person with the Act and the DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements and take such action as he deems necessary and appropriate to the conduct of the investigation or inspection, including any action pursuant to §820.8.

(b) Any person may request the Director to initiate an investigation or inspection pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section. A request for an investigation or inspection shall set forth the subject matter or activity to be investigated or inspected as fully as possible and include supporting documentation and information. No particular forms or procedures are required.

(c) Any person who is requested to furnish documentary evidence, information or testimony in an investigation or during an inspection shall be informed, upon written request, of the general purpose of the investigation or inspection.

(d) Information or documents that are obtained during any investigation or inspection shall not be disclosed unless the Director directs or authorizes the public disclosure of the investigation. Upon such authorization, the information or documents are a matter of public record and disclosure is not precluded by the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552 and 10 CFR part 1004. A request for confidential treatment of information for purposes of the Freedom of Information Act shall not prevent disclosure by the Director if disclosure is determined to be in the public interest and otherwise permitted or required by law.

(e) During the course of an investigation or inspection any person may submit at any time any document, statement of facts or memorandum of law for the purpose of explaining the person's position or furnish information which the person considers relevant to a matter or activity under investigation or inspection.

(f) If facts disclosed by an investigation or inspection indicate that further action is unnecessary or unwarranted, the investigation may be closed without prejudice to further investigation or inspection by the Director at any time that circumstances so warrant.

(g) The Director may issue enforcement letters that communicate DOE's expectations with respect to any aspect of the requirements of DOE's Nuclear Safety Requirements, including identification and reporting of issues, corrective actions, and implementation of DOE's Nuclear Safety Requirements, provided that an enforcement letter may not create the basis for any legally enforceable requirement pursuant to this part.

(h) The Director may sign, issue and serve subpoenas.

[58 FR 43692, Aug. 17, 1993, as amended at 72 FR 31921, June 8, 2007]

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§820.22   Informal conference.

The Director may convene an informal conference to discuss any situation that might be a violation of the Act or a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement, its significance and cause, any correction taken or not taken by the person, any mitigating or aggravating circumstances, and any other useful information. The Director may compel a person to attend the conference. This conference will not normally be open to the public and there shall be no transcript.

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§820.23   Consent order.

(a) Settlement policy. DOE encourages settlement of an enforcement proceeding at any time if the settlement is consistent with the objectives of the Act and the DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements. The Director and a person may confer at any time concerning settlement. These settlement conferences shall not be open to the public and there shall be no transcript.

(b) Consent order. Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, DOE may at any time resolve any or all issues in an outstanding enforcement proceeding with a Consent Order. A Consent Order must be signed by the Director and the person who is its subject, or a duly authorized representative, must indicate agreement to the terms contained therein and must be filed. A Consent Order need not constitute an admission by any person that the Act or a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement has been violated, nor need it constitute a finding by the DOE that such person has violated the Act or a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement. A Consent Order shall, however, set forth the relevant facts which form the basis for the Order and what remedy, if any, is imposed.

(c) Effect on enforcement adjudication. If a Consent Order is signed after the commencement of an enforcement adjudication, the adjudication of the issues subject to the Consent Order shall be stayed until the completion of the Secretarial Review Process. If the Consent Order becomes a Final Order, the adjudication shall be terminated or modified as specified in the Order.

(d) Secretarial review. A Consent Order shall become a Final Order 30 days after it is filed unless the Secretary files a rejection of the Consent Order or a Modified Consent Order. A Modified Consent Order shall become a Final Order if the Director and the person who is its subject sign it within 15 days of its filing.

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§820.24   Preliminary notice of violation.

(a) If the Director has reason to believe a person has violated or is continuing to violate a provision of the Act or a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement, he may file a Preliminary Notice of Violation. The Notice and any transmittal documents shall contain sufficient information to fairly apprise the respondent of the facts and circumstances of the alleged violations and the basis of any proposed remedy, and to properly indicate what further actions are necessary by or available to respondent.

(b) Within 30 days after the filing of a Preliminary Notice of Violation, the respondent shall file a reply.

(c) The reply shall be in writing and signed by the person filing it. The reply shall contain a statement of all relevant facts pertaining to the situation that is the subject of the Notice. The reply shall state any facts, explanations and arguments which support a denial that a violation has occurred as alleged; demonstrate any extenuating circumstances or other reason why the proposed remedy should not be imposed or should be mitigated; and furnish full and complete answers to the questions set forth in the Notice. Copies of all relevant documents shall be submitted with the reply. The reply shall include a discussion of the relevant authorities which support the position asserted, including rulings, regulations, interpretations, and previous decisions issued by DOE.

(d) The respondent may terminate an enforcement action if the reply agrees to comply with the proposed remedy and waives any right to contest the Notice or the remedy. If a respondent elects this option, the Preliminary Notice of Violation shall be deemed a Final Order upon the filing of the reply.

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§820.25   Final notice of violation.

(a) General rule. If, after reviewing the reply submitted by the respondent, the Director determines that a person violated or is continuing to violate a provision of the Act or a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement, he may file a Final Notice of Violation. The Final Notice shall concisely state the determined violation, any designated penalty, and further actions necessary by or available to respondent.

(b) Effect of final notice. (1) If a Final Notice of Violation does not contain a civil penalty, it shall be deemed filed as a Final Order 15 days after the Final Notice is filed unless the Secretary files a Final Order which modifies the Final Notice.

(2) If a Final Notice of Violation contains a civil penalty, the respondent must file within 30 days after the filing of the Final Notice:

(i) A waiver of further proceedings;

(ii) A request for an on-the-record adjudication; or

(iii) A notice of intent to seek judicial review.

(c) Effect of waiver. If a respondent waives further proceedings, the Final Notice of Violation shall be deemed a Final Order enforceable against the respondent. The respondent must pay any civil penalty set forth in the Notice of Violation within 60 days of the filing of waiver unless the Director grants additional time.

(d) Effect of request. If a respondent files a request for an on-the-record adjudication, then an enforcement adjudication commences.

(e) Effect of notice of intent. If a respondent files a Notice of Intent, the Final Notice of Violation shall be deemed a Final Order enforceable against the respondent.

(f) Amendment. The Director may amend the Final Notice of Violation at any time before an action takes place pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section. An amendment shall add fifteen days to the time periods under paragraph (b) of this section.

(g) Withdrawal. The Director may withdraw the Final Notice of Violation, or any part thereof, at any time before an action under paragraph (b) of this section.

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§820.26   Enforcement adjudication.

If a respondent files a request for an on-the-record adjudication, an enforcement adjudication is initiated and the Docketing Clerk shall notify the Secretary who shall appoint an Administrative Law Judge to be the Presiding Officer.

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§820.27   Answer.

(a) General. If a respondent files a request for an on-the-record adjudication pursuant to §820.25, a written answer to the Final Notice of Violation shall be filed at the same time the request is filed.

(b) Contents of the answer. The answer shall clearly and directly admit, deny or explain each of the factual allegations contained in the Final Notice of Violation with regard to which respondent has any knowledge, information or belief. Where respondent has no knowledge, information or belief of a particular factual allegation and so states, the allegation is deemed denied. The answer shall also state the circumstance or argument that is alleged to constitute the grounds of defense and the facts that respondent intends to place at issue.

(c) Failure to admit, deny, or explain. Failure of respondent to admit, deny, or explain any material factual allegation contained in the Final Notice of Violation constitutes an admission of the allegation.

(d) Amendment of the answer. The respondent may amend the answer to the Final Notice of Violation upon motion granted by the Presiding Officer.

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§820.28   Prehearing actions.

(a) General. The Presiding Officer shall establish a schedule for the adjudication and take such other actions as he determines appropriate to conduct the adjudication in a fair and expeditious manner.

(b) Prehearing conference. The Presiding Officer, at any time before a hearing begins, may direct the parties and their counsel, or other representatives, to appear at a conference before him to consider, as appropriate:

(1) The settlement of the case;

(2) The simplification of issues and stipulation of facts not in dispute;

(3) The necessity or desirability of amendments to pleadings;

(4) The exchange of exhibits;

(5) The limitation of the number of expert or other witnesses;

(6) Setting a time and place for the hearing; and

(7) Any other matters that may expedite the disposition of the proceeding.

(c) Exchange of witness lists and documents. Unless otherwise ordered by the Presiding Officer, at least five (5) days before any prehearing conference, each party shall make available to all other parties, as appropriate, the names of the expert and other witnesses it intends to call, together with a brief narrative summary of their expected testimony, and copies of all documents and exhibits that each party intends to introduce into evidence. Documents and exhibits shall be marked for identification as ordered by the Presiding Officer. Documents that have not been exchanged and witnesses whose names have not been exchanged shall not be introduced into evidence or allowed to testify without permission of the Presiding Officer. The Presiding Officer shall allow the parties reasonable opportunity to review new evidence.

(d) Prehearing conference order. The Presiding Officer shall prepare an order incorporating any action taken at the conference. The summary shall incorporate any written stipulations or agreements of the parties and all rulings and appropriate orders containing directions to the parties.

(e) Alternative to prehearing conference. If a prehearing conference is unnecessary or impracticable, the Presiding Officer, on motion or sua sponte, may direct the parties to make appropriate filings with him to accomplish any of the objectives set forth in this section.

(f) Other discovery. (1) Except as provided by paragraph (c) of this section, further discovery under this section shall be permitted only upon determination by the Presiding Officer:

(i) That such discovery will not in any way unreasonably delay the proceeding;

(ii) That the information to be obtained is not otherwise obtainable; and

(iii) That such information has significant probative value.

(2) The Presiding Officer shall order depositions upon oral questions only upon a showing of good cause and upon a finding that:

(i) The information sought cannot be obtained by alternative methods; or

(ii) There is substantial reason to believe that relevant and probative evidence may otherwise not be preserved for presentation by a witness at the hearing.

(3) Any party to the proceeding desiring an order to take further discovery shall make a motion therefor. Such a motion shall set forth:

(i) The circumstances warranting the taking of the discovery;

(ii) The nature of the information expected to be discovered; and

(iii) The proposed time and place where it will be taken. If the Presiding Officer determines that the motion should be granted, he shall issue an order for the taking of such discovery together with the conditions and terms thereof.

(4) When the information sought to be obtained is within the control of one of the parties, failure to comply with an order issued pursuant to this paragraph may lead to the inference that the information to be discovered would be adverse to the party from whom the information was sought, or the issuance of a default order under 820.38.

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§820.29   Hearing.

(a) General. Except as otherwise provided by this part or the Presiding Officer, a hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the Federal Rules of Evidence. The Presiding Officer shall have the discretion to admit all evidence that is not irrelevant, immaterial, unduly repetitious, or otherwise unreliable or of little probative value, if he believes the evidence might facilitate the fair and expeditious resolution of the proceeding. But such evidence may be reasonably limited by the Presiding Officer in scope and length in order to permit prompt resolution of the proceeding. In the presentation, admission, disposition, and use of evidence, the Presiding Officer shall preserve the confidentiality of trade secrets and other commercial and financial information, and shall protect classified and unclassified controlled nuclear information, as well as any other information protected from public disclosure pursuant to law or regulation. The confidential, trade secret, or classified or otherwise protected status of any information shall not, however, preclude its being introduced into evidence. The Presiding Officer may make such orders as may be necessary to consider such evidence in camera, including the preparation of a supplemental initial decision to address questions of law, fact, or discretion that arise out of that portion of the evidence that is confidential, includes trade secrets, is classified, or is otherwise protected.

(b) Subpoenas. The attendance of witnesses or the production of documentary evidence may be required by subpoena.

(c) Examination of witnesses. There shall be no direct oral testimony by witnesses, except as permitted by the Presiding Officer. In lieu of oral testimony, the Presiding Officer shall admit into the record as evidence verified written statements of fact or opinion prepared by a witness. The admissibility of the evidence contained in the statement shall be subject to the same rules as if the testimony were produced under oral examination. Before any such statement is read or admitted into evidence, the witness shall have delivered a copy of the statement to the Presiding Officer and the opposing counsel not less than 10 days prior to the date the witness is scheduled to testify. The witness presenting the statement shall swear or affirm that the statement is true and accurate to the best of his knowledge, information, and belief and shall be subject to appropriate oral cross-examination upon the contents thereof provided such cross-examination is not unduly repetitious.

(d) Burden of presentation; burden of persuasion. The Director has the burden of going forward with and of proving that the violation occurred as set forth in the Notice of Violation and that the proposed civil penalty is appropriate. Following the establishment of a prima facie case, respondent shall have the burden of presenting and of going forward with any defense to the allegations set forth in the Notice of Violation. Each matter of controversy shall be determined by the Presiding Officer upon a preponderance of the evidence.

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§820.30   Post-hearing filings.

Within fifteen days after the filing of the transcript of the hearing, or within such longer time as may be fixed by the Presiding Officer, any party may file for the consideration of the Presiding Officer, proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law, and a proposed order, together with briefs in support thereof. Reply briefs may be filed within ten days of the filing of briefs. All filings shall be in writing, shall be served upon all parties, and shall contain adequate references to the record and authorities relied on.

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§820.31   Initial decision.

(a) Initial Decision. The Presiding Officer shall file an Initial Decision as soon as practicable after the period for filing reply briefs under 820.30 has expired. The Initial Decision shall contain findings of fact, conclusions regarding all material issues of law or discretion, as well as reasons therefor, any remedy and a proposed Final Order. A party may file comments on an Initial Decision within fifteen days of its filing.

(b) Amount of civil penalty. If the Presiding Officer determines that a violation has occurred and that a civil penalty is appropriate, the Initial Decision shall set forth the dollar amount of the civil penalty. If the Presiding Officer decides to assess a penalty different in amount from the penalty assessed in the Final Notice of Violation, the Initial Decision shall set forth the specific reasons for the increase or decrease.

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§820.32   Final order.

(a) Effect of Initial Decision. The Initial Decision shall be deemed filed as a Final Order thirty days after the filing of the Initial Decision unless the Secretary files a Final Order that modifies the Initial Decision or the Secretary files a Notice of Review.

(b) Notice of review. If the Secretary files a Notice of Review, he shall file a Final Order as soon as practicable after completing his review. The Secretary may, at his discretion, order additional procedures, remand the matter or modify the remedy, including an increase or decrease in the amount of the civil penalty from the amount recommended to be assessed in the Initial Decision.

(c) Payment of a civil penalty. The respondent shall pay the full amount of any civil penalty assessed in the Final Order within thirty (30) days after the Final Order is filed unless otherwise agreed by the parties.

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§820.33   Default order.

(a) Default. The Presiding Officer, upon motion by a party or the filing of a Notice of Intent to issue a Default Order sua sponte, may find a party to be in default if the party fails to comply with the provisions of this part or an order of the Presiding Officer. The alleged defaulting party shall have ten days to answer the motion or the Notice of Intent. No finding of default shall be made against the respondent unless the Director presents sufficient evidence to the Presiding Officer to establish a prima facie case against the respondent. Default by respondent constitutes, for purposes of the pending action only, an admission of all facts alleged in the Final Notice of Violation and a waiver of respondent's rights to an on-the-record adjudication of such factual allegations. Default by the Director shall result in an order to dismiss the Final Notice of Violation with prejudice.

(b) Effect of default order. When the Presiding Officer finds a default has occurred, he shall file a Default Order against the defaulting party. This order shall constitute an Initial Decision.

(c) Contents of a default order. A Default Order shall include findings of fact showing the grounds for the order, conclusions regarding all material issues of fact, law or discretion, and the remedy.

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§820.34   Accelerated decision.

(a) General. The Presiding Officer, upon motion of any party or sua sponte, may at any time render an Accelerated Decision in favor of the Director or the respondent as to all or any part of the adjudication, without further hearing or upon such limited additional evidence, such as affidavits, as he may require, if no genuine issue of material fact exists and a party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, as to all or any part of the adjudication. In addition, the Presiding Officer, upon motion of the respondent, may render at any time an Accelerated Decision to dismiss an action without further hearing or upon such limited additional evidence as he requires, on the basis of failure to establish a prima facie case or other grounds that show no right to relief on the part of the Director.

(b) Effect of Accelerated Decision. (1) If an Accelerated Decision is rendered as to all the issues and claims in the adjudication, the decision constitutes an Initial Decision of the Presiding Officer, and shall be filed with the Docketing Clerk.

(2) If an Accelerated Decision is rendered on less than all issues or claims in the adjudication, the Presiding Officer shall determine what material facts exist without substantial controversy and what material facts remain controverted in good faith. He shall thereupon file an interlocutory order specifying the facts that appear substantially uncontroverted, and the issues and claims upon which the adjudication will proceed.

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§820.35   Ex parte discussions.

At no time after a respondent has requested an on-the-record adjudication of the assessment of a civil penalty shall a DOE Official, or any person who is likely to advise a DOE Official in the decision on the case, discuss ex parte the merits of the proceeding with any interested person outside DOE, with any DOE staff member who performs a prosecutorial or investigative function in such proceeding or a factually related proceeding, or with any representative of such person. Any ex parte memorandum or other communication addressed to a DOE Official during the pendency of the proceeding and relating to the merits thereof, by or on behalf of any party shall be regarded as argument made in the proceeding and shall be served upon all other parties. Any oral communication shall be set forth in a written memorandum and served on all other parties. The other parties shall be given an opportunity to reply to such memorandum or communication.

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§820.36   Filing, form, and service of documents.

(a) Filing in an enforcement proceeding. The original and three copies of any document in an enforcement proceeding shall be filed with the Docketing Clerk commencing with the filing of a Preliminary Notice of Violation.

(b) Form of documents in an enforcement proceeding. (1) Except as provided herein, or by order of the DOE Official, there are no specific requirements as to the form of documents filed in an enforcement proceeding.

(2) The first page of every document shall contain a caption identifying the respondent and the docket number.

(3) The original of any document (other than exhibits) shall be signed by the person filing it or by his counsel or other representative. The signature constitutes a representation by the signer that he has read the pleading, letter or other document, that to the best of his knowledge, information and belief, the statements made therein are true, and that it is not interposed for delay.

(4) The initial document filed by any person shall contain his name, address and telephone number. Any changes in this information shall be communicated promptly to the Docketing Clerk and all participants to the proceeding. A person who fails to furnish such information and any changes thereto shall be deemed to have waived his right to notice and service under this part.

(5) The Docketing Clerk may refuse to file any document that does not comply with this section. Written notice of such refusal, stating the reasons therefor, shall be promptly given to the person submitting the document. Such person may amend and resubmit any document refused for filing.

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§820.37   Participation in an adjudication.

(a) Parties. In an enforcement adjudication, the Director and the respondent shall be the only parties; provided that the Presiding Officer may permit a person to intervene as a party if the person demonstrates it could be liable in the event a civil penalty is assessed.

(b) Appearances. Any party to an enforcement adjudication may appear in person or by counsel or other representative. A partner may appear on behalf of a partnership and an officer may appear on behalf of a corporation. Persons who appear as counsel or other representative must conform to the standards of conduct and ethics required of practitioners before the courts of the United States.

(c) Amicus Curiae. Persons not parties to an enforcement adjudication who wish to file briefs may so move. The motion shall identify the interest of the person and shall state the reasons why the proposed amicus brief is desirable. If the motion is granted, the Presiding Officer shall issue an order setting the time for filing such brief. An amicus curiae is eligible to participate in any briefing after his motion is granted, and shall be served with all briefs, reply briefs, motions, and orders relating to issues to be briefed.

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§820.38   Consolidation and severance.

(a) Consolidation. The Presiding Officer may, by motion or sua sponte, consolidate any or all matters at issue in two or more enforcement adjudications under this part where there exists common parties or common questions of fact or law, consolidation would expedite and simplify consideration of the issues, and consolidation would not adversely affect the rights of parties engaged in otherwise separate adjudications.

(b) Severance. The Presiding Officer may, by motion or sua sponte, for good cause shown order any enforcement adjudication severed with respect to any or all parties or issues.

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§820.39   Motions.

(a) General. All motions in an enforcement adjudication except those made orally, shall be in writing, state the grounds therefor with particularity, set forth the relief or order sought, and be accompanied by any affidavit, certificate, other evidence, or legal memorandum relied upon.

(b) Answer to motions. Except as otherwise specified by a particular provision of this part or by the Presiding Officer, a party shall have the right to file a written answer to the motion of another party within 10 days after the filing of such motion. The answer shall be accompanied by any affidavit, certificate, other evidence, or legal memorandum relied upon. If no answer is filed within the designated period, the party may be deemed to have waived any objection to the granting of the motion. The Presiding Officer may set a shorter or longer time for an answer, or make such other orders concerning the disposition of motions as he deems appropriate.

(c) Decision. The Presiding Officer shall rule on a motion as soon as practicable after the filing of the answer. The decision of the Presiding Officer on any motion shall not be subject to administrative appeal.

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