Title 15

SECTION 280.218

280.218 Decision of the administrative law judge.

§ 280.218 Decision of the administrative law judge.

(a) Predecisional matters. Except for default proceedings under § 280.208 of this part, the administrative law judge will give the parties reasonable opportunity to submit the following, which will be made a part of the record:

(1) Exceptions to any ruling by the judge or to the admissibility of evidence proffered at the hearing;

(2) Proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law;

(3) Supporting legal arguments for the exceptions and proposed findings and conclusions submitted; and

(4) A proposed order.

(b) Decision and order. After considering the entire record in the proceeding, the administrative law judge will issue a written initial decision. The decision will include findings of fact, conclusions of law, and findings as to whether there has been a violation of the Act, this part, or any order issued thereunder. If the administrative law judge finds that the evidence of record is insufficient to sustain a finding that a violation has occurred with respect to one or more charges, the ALJ shall order dismissal of the charges in whole or in part, as appropriate. If the administrative law judge finds that one or more violations have been committed, the ALJ may issue an order imposing administrative sanctions, as provided in this part. The decision and order shall be served on each party, and shall become effective as the final decision of the Department 30 days after service, unless an appeal is filed in accordance with § 280.222 of this part. In determining the amount of any civil penalty the ALJ shall consider the nature, circumstances and gravity of the violation and, with respect to the person found to have committed the violation, the degree of culpability, any history of prior violations, the effect on ability to continue to do business, any good faith attempt to achieve compliance, ability to pay the penalty, and such other matters as justice may require.

(c) Suspension of sanctions. Any order imposing administrative sanctions may provide for the suspension of the sanction imposed, in whole or in part and on such terms of probation or other conditions as the administrative law judge or the Under Secretary may specify. Any suspension order may be modified or revoked by the signing official upon application by the Department showing a violation of the probationary terms or other conditions, after service on the respondent of notice of the application in accordance with the service provisions of § 280.206 of this part, and with such opportunity for response as the responsible signing official in his/her discretion may allow. A copy of any order modifying or revoking the suspension shall also be served on the respondent in accordance with the provisions of § 280.607 of this part.

[61 FR 50558, Sept. 26, 1996. Redesignated and amended at 65 FR 39802, 39803, June 28, 2000]