280.210 Discovery.§ 280.210 Discovery.
(a) General. The parties are encouraged to engage in voluntary discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, which is relevant to the subject matter of the pending proceeding. The provisions of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure relating to discovery apply to the extent consistent with this part and except as otherwise provided by the administrative law judge or by waiver or agreement of the parties. The administrative law judge may make any order which justice requires to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense. These orders may include limitations on the scope, method, time and place of discovery, and provisions for protecting the confidentiality of classified or otherwise sensitive information.
(b) Interrogatories and requests for admission or production of documents. A party may serve on any party interrogatories, requests for admission, or requests for production of documents for inspection and copying, and a party concerned may apply to the administrative law judge for such enforcement or protective order as that party deems warranted with respect to such discovery. The service of a discovery request shall be made at least 20 days before the scheduled date of the hearing unless the administrative law judge specifies a shorter time period. Copies of interrogatories, requests for admission and requests for production of documents and responses thereto shall be served on all parties, and a copy of the certificate of service shall be filed with the administrative law judge. Matters of fact or law of which admission is requested shall be deemed admitted unless, within a period designated in the request (at least 10 days after service, or within such additional time as the administrative law judge may allow), the party to whom the request is directed serves upon the requesting party a sworn statement either denying specifically the matters of which admission is requested or setting forth in detail the reasons why the party to whom the request is directed cannot truthfully either admit or deny such matters.
(c) Depositions. Upon application of a party and for good cause shown, the administrative law judge may order the taking of the testimony of any person by deposition and the production of specified documents or materials by the person at the deposition. The application shall state the purpose of the deposition and set forth the facts sought to be established through the deposition.
(d) Enforcement. The administrative law judge may order a party to answer designated questions, to produce specified documents or things or to take any other action in response to a proper discovery request. If a party does not comply with such an order, the administrative law judge may make a determination or enter any order in the proceeding as the ALJ deems reasonable and appropriate. The ALJ may strike related charges or defenses in whole or in part or may take particular facts relating to the discovery request to which the party failed or refused to respond as being established for purposes of the proceeding in accordance with the contentions of the party seeking discovery. In addition, enforcement by a district court of the United States may be sought under 15 U.S.C. 5408(b)(6).[61 FR 50558, Sept. 26, 1996. Redesignated and amended at 65 FR 39802, June 28, 2000]