';


Title 17 Part 171

Title 17 → Chapter I → Part 171

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 17 Part 171

e-CFR data is current as of August 22, 2019

Title 17Chapter I → Part 171


Title 17: Commodity and Securities Exchanges


PART 171—RULES RELATING TO REVIEW OF NATIONAL FUTURES ASSOCIATION DECISIONS IN DISCIPLINARY, MEMBERSHIP DENIAL, REGISTRATION AND MEMBER RESPONSIBILITY ACTIONS


Contents

Subpart E—Delegation of Functions

§171.50   Delegation to the General Counsel.

Authority: 7 U.S.C. 4a, 12a and 21, unless otherwise noted.

Source: 55 FR 41068, Oct. 9, 1990, unless otherwise noted.

return arrow Back to Top

Subpart A—General Provisions

§171.1   Scope of rules.

(a) Matters included. Unless specifically excluded by subsection (b), this part governs review by the Commission, pursuant to sections 17(h), (i) and (o) of the Commodity Exchange Act (“Act”), as amended, of any disciplinary action, membership denial action, registration action or member responsibility action taken by the National Futures Association or any registered futures association. Unless specifically indicated, references in this part to the National Futures Association shall also include any other registered futures association.

(b) Matters excluded. The Commission will not review under these rules the following decisions by the National Futures Association:

(1) A decision in a disciplinary action if the party aggrieved by the decision knowingly failed to pursue the right to appeal an adverse decision to the Appeals Committee of the National Futures Association and there are no extraordinary circumstances that otherwise warrant Commission consideration of the aggrieved party's appeal;

(2) A decision in an arbitration action brought pursuant to section 17(b)(10) of the Act or any rule of the National Futures Association;

(3) Suspension of a member based solely on that member's failure to pay National Futures Association dues;

(4) A decision to disqualify any member for service on the National Futures Association Board of Directors, Business Conduct Committees, Hearing Committee or arbitration panels pursuant to the standards for service adopted by the National Futures Association to implement Commission rule 1.63;

(5) Suspension of a member or a person associated with a member based solely on that person's failure to pay an arbitration award or a settlement agreement resulting from an arbitration action brought pursuant to section 17(b)(10) of the Act or rules and regulations of the National Futures Association, or a settlement agreement resulting from a mediation proceeding sponsored by the National Futures Association, unless there are extraordinary circumstances that involve something more than the ministerial application of a predetermined sanction, or raise a colorable claim that the National Futures Assocaition has acted arbitrarily.

(c) Appeals from excluded decisions. If the General Counsel, or any employee under the General Counsel's supervision as the General Counsel may designate, determines that a notice of appeal submitted to the Commission is from a decision that is excluded from review under this part, the notice of appeal may be stricken and ordered to be returned to the aggrieved party who submitted it.

(d) Applicability of these part 171 rules. Unless otherwise ordered, these rules will apply in their entirety to all appeals and matters relating thereto filed on or after October 31, 1990. Any part 171 proceeding commenced prior to October 31, 1990 continues to be governed by the procedures established in former subpart F of part 3 of the Commission's regulations, if applicable, or by the procedures established for that proceeding by Commission order. Parties to any proceeding pending on October 31, 1990 may, within 30 days after October 31, 1990 by written stipulation executed by all parties, and filed with the Proceedings Clerk before the Commission's final decision is rendered, elect to have the matter governed by the provisions of these part 171 rules.

[55 FR 41068, Oct. 9, 1990, as amended at 70 FR 2352, Jan. 13, 2005; 78 FR 1145, Jan. 8, 2013]

return arrow Back to Top

§171.2   Definitions.

For purposes of this part:

(a) Commission decisional employee includes any member of the Commission staff who participates in, or may be reasonably expected to participate in, the decisionmaking process in any proceeding under this part. It does not include Commissioners or members of their personal staff.

(b) Disciplinary action includes any proceeding brought by the National Futures Association to enforce its rules that may result in expulsion, suspension, censure, bar from association with a member, fine in excess of $100 or any comparable sanction being imposed on a member or a person associated with a member.

(c) Ex parte communication shall include any communication, whether written or oral, which is both (1) not preceded by reasonable notice to all parties to a proceeding, and (2) not made on the public record. It shall not include requests made to the Commission's Opinions Section or Office of Proceedings for status reports or for an interpretation of these rules.

(d) Final Decision means the decision that terminates the proceeding before the National Futures Association on the action that is the subject of the notice of appeal filed with the Commission.

(e) To mail means to place in the United States mail (or to deliver to an overnight delivery service of established reliability) a properly addressed and post-paid document. Unless otherwise provided, documents filed and served by mail must be sent by no less expeditious means than first class United States mail.

(f) Member includes any person admitted to membership by the National Futures Association.

(g) Member Responsibility Action includes any action in which, based on a finding by the National Futures Association that there is reason to believe that summary action is necessary to protect the commodity futures markets, customers or other members of the association, a member or person associated with a member may be summarily suspended from membership or association with a member, required to restrict operations or otherwise directed to take remedial action.

(h) Membership denial action includes any proceeding brought by the National Futures Association to (1) determine whether an applicant should be admitted to membership or be permitted to be associated with a member, (2) determine whether an applicant should be admitted to membership or be permitted to be associated with a member on a conditional basis, or (3) determine whether to revoke or restrict the membership or association status of any person who is a member or is associated with a member.

(i) Party includes any person who has been the subject of a disciplinary action, membership denial action, or registration action by the National Futures Association; the National Futures Association itself; any person granted permission to participate as a party pursuant to §171.27 of these rules; and any Division of the Commission that files a Notice of Appearance pursuant to §171.28 of these rules.

(j) Person associated with a member includes any person permitted to register as an associate of a member by the National Futures Association.

(k) Record of the proceeding shall include the order appealed from, the findings or report on which the order is based, the pleadings, evidence and proceedings before the National Futures Association decisonmaker and a copy of any rule of the National Futures Association that is material to the order.

(l) Registration action includes any proceeding brought by the National Futures Association, pursuant to authority delegated by the Commission, to grant, condition, deny, suspend, restrict, or revoke the registration of any person.

(m) Rule of the National Futures Association includes any article of incorporation, bylaw, rule, regulation, resolution or written interpretation of stated policy of the National Futures Association.

return arrow Back to Top

§171.3   Business address; hours.

The principal office of the Commission is located at Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street, NW., Washington, DC 20581. It is open each day, except Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays, from 8:15 a.m. until 4:45 p.m., eastern standard time or eastern daylight savings time, whichever is currently in effect in Washington, DC.

[55 FR 41068, Oct. 9, 1990, as amended at 60 FR 49336, Sept. 25, 1995]

return arrow Back to Top

§171.4   Computation of time.

(a) In general. In computing any period of time prescribed by these rules or allowed by the Commission, the day of the act, event, or default from which the designated period of time begins to run is not to be included. The last day of the period so computed is to be included unless it is a Saturday, a Sunday, or a legal holiday. In the latter circumstances, the period runs until the end of the next day which is not a Saturday, a Sunday, or a legal holiday. Intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays shall be included in the computation unless the period of time prescribed or allowed is less than seven (7) days.

(b) Date of service of orders. In computing any period of time involving the date of service of an order, the date of service shall be the date the order is mailed or hand delivered by the Proceedings Clerk, which, unless otherwise indicated, shall be the date stamped on the order by the Proceedings Clerk.

return arrow Back to Top

§171.5   Extension of time.

(a) In general. Except as otherwise provided by these rules, for good cause shown, on its own motion or the motion of a party, the Commission may at any time extend or shorten the time prescribed by the rules for filing any document. In any instance in which a specific time period is not prescribed in this part for an action to be taken concerning any matter, the Commission may establish a time for that action.

(b) Filing of motion. Absent extraordinary circumstances, when the time period that has been prescribed for an action to be taken concerning any matter exceeds seven days, requests for extension of that time period shall be filed at least five days prior to the expiration of the time period provided and shall include an explanation of the facts and circumstances that justify the extension.

return arrow Back to Top

§171.6   Ex parte communications.

(a) Prohibition of ex parte communications. (1) No party to a proceeding before the Commission under these rules and no person outside the Commission who has a direct or indirect interest (pecuniary or otherwise) in the outcome of the proceeding or might be aggrieved by the outcome of the proceeding shall make or knowingly cause to be made an ex parte communication relevant to the merits of the proceeding subject to these rules to a Commissioner, member of the personal staff of a Commissioner or Commission decisional employee.

(2) No Commissioner, member of the personal staff of a Commissioner or Commission decisional employee shall make or knowingly cause to be made to a party to a proceeding subject to these rules or to any person outside the Commission who has a direct or indirect interest (pecuniary or otherwise) in the outcome of the proceeding or might be aggrieved by the outcome of the proceeding, an ex parte communication relevant to the merits of the proceeding subject to these rules.

(b) Procedure for handling. Any Commissioner, member of a Commissioner's personal staff or Commission decisional employee who receives, or who makes or knowingly causes to be made, an ex parte communication prohibited by paragraph (a) of this section shall:

(1) Place on the public record of the proceeding:

(i) All such written communications;

(ii) Memoranda stating the substance of all such oral communications; and

(iii) All written responses, and memoranda stating the substance of all oral responses, to the materials described in paragraphs (b)(1)(i) and (b)(1)(ii) of this section; and

(2) Promptly give written notice of such communications and responses thereto to all parties to the proceedings to which the communication or responses relate.

(c) Sanctions. (1) Upon receipt of an ex parte communication knowingly made or knowingly caused to be made by a party in violation of the prohibition contained in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, the Commission may, to the extent consistent with the interests of justice and the policies of the Act, 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) Any Commissioner, member of a Commissioner's personal staff or Commission decisional employee who knowingly makes or knowingly causes to be made, or who knowingly solicits or knowingly causes the solicitation of, an ex parte communication which violates the prohibitions contained in paragraph (a)(2) of this section may be deemed to have engaged in conduct of the type proscribed by 17 CFR 140.735-3(b)(3).

(d) Applicability of prohibitions and sanctions against ex parte communications. (1)(i) The prohibitions of this section shall begin to apply at the time that a copy of a notice of appeal has been filed with the Proceedings Clerk in accordance with §171.23 or §171.44 of this part; or a petition for stay or for an emergency effective date has been filed in accordance with §171.22, §171.41 or §171.43 of this part. The prohibitions of this section shall remain in effect until a final order has been entered in the proceeding which is no longer subject to review by the Commission or to review by any court.

(ii) The Commission may, by specific order entered in a particular proceeding, determine that these prohibitions shall commence from some date prior, or shall continue until a date subsequent, to the times specified in paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section.

(2) The sanctions in paragraph (c)(1) of this section shall not apply to a person making a prohibited communication (or causing it to be made) absent evidence that the person acted with actual or constructive knowledge that the person receiving the communication was a Commissioner, member of the personal staff of a Commissioner or a Commission decisional employee.

return arrow Back to Top

§171.7   [Reserved]

§171.8   Filing with the Proceedings Clerk.

(a) How to file. Any document that is required by this part to be filed with the Proceedings Clerk shall be filed by delivering it in person or by first-class mail or a more expeditious form of United States mail, or by overnight or similar commercial delivery service to: Proceedings Clerk, Office of Proceedings, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581; or faxing the document to (202) 418-5532 or emailing it to [email protected] To be timely filed under this part, a document must be delivered or mailed to the Proceedings Clerk within the time prescribed for filing.

(b) Proof of filing. Proof of filing shall be made by attaching to the document for filing an affidavit of filing executed by any person 18 years of age or older or a proof of filing executed by an attorney-at-law qualified for practice before the Commission. The proof of filing shall certify that the attached document was delivered by hand to the Proceedings Clerk or deposited in the United States mail, with first-class postage prepaid (or delivered to an overnight delivery service of established reliability), addressed to the Proceedings Clerk, Office of Proceedings, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street, NW., Washington, DC 20581, on the date specified in the affidavit.

(c) Formalities of filing—(1) Number of copies. Unless otherwise provided, any person filing a document with the Proceedings Clerk shall provide two conformed copies in addition to the original.

(2) Title page. All documents filed with the Proceedings Clerk shall include, at the head thereof, or on a title page, the name of the Commission, the title of the proceeding, the docket number (if one has been assigned by the Proceedings Clerk), the subject of the particular document and the name of the person on whose behalf the document is being filed.

(3) Paper, spacing, type. All documents filed with the Proceedings Clerk shall be typewritten, must be on one grade of good white paper no less than 8 or more than 812 inches wide and no less than 1012 or more than 1112 inches long, and must be bound on the top only. They must be double-spaced, except for long quotations (3 or more lines) and footnotes which should be single-spaced.

(4) Signature—(i) By whom. All documents filed with the Proceedings Clerk shall be signed personally in ink:

(A) By the person or persons on whose behalf they are tendered for filing;

(B) By a general partner, officer or director of a partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity; or

(C) By an attorney-at-law having authority with respect thereto. The Proceedings Clerk may require appropriate evidence of the authority of a person subscribing a document on behalf of another person.

(ii) Effect. The signature on any document of any person acting either for himself or as attorney or agent for another constitutes certification by him that:

(A) He has read the document subscribed and knows the contents thereof;

(B) If executed in any representative capacity, it was done with full power and authority to do so;

(C) To the best of his knowledge, information, and belief, every statement contained in the document is true and not misleading; and

(D) The document is not being interposed for delay.

[55 FR 41068, Oct. 9, 1990, as amended at 60 FR 49336, Sept. 25, 1995; 78 FR 12937, Feb. 26, 2013]

return arrow Back to Top

§171.9   Service.

(a) General requirements. Unless otherwise provided, all documents filed with the Proceedings Clerk must be served upon all parties on the same day.

(b) Manner of service. Service may be made by personal delivery (effective upon receipt), mail (effective upon deposit), facsimile (effective upon receipt) or electronic mail (effective upon receipt). When service is effected by mail, the time within which the person served may respond thereto shall be increased by five days. Parties who consent to accepting service of documents by electronic means in the underlying NFA action also consent to accepting service by the same means in proceedings under this part 171.

(c) Proof of service. Proof of service shall be made by filing with the Proceedings Clerk, at the same time as the relevant document is filed, an affidavit of service executed by a person 18 years of age or older or a certificate of service executed by an attorney qualified to practice before the Commission. The proof of service shall state that service has been made and identify the person served, the date of service and the manner of service.

(d) Designation of person to receive service. The first document filed in a proceeding by or on behalf of any party must state on the first page the name, postal address and telephone number of the person authorized to receive service for the party of all documents filed in the proceeding. Thereafter, service of documents shall be made upon the person authorized unless service on a different authorized person or on the party himself is authorized by the Commission, or unless pursuant to §171.8 the person authorized is changed by the party upon due notice to all other parties. Parties shall file and serve notification of any changes in the information provided pursuant to this subparagraph as soon as practicable after the change occurs.

(e) Service of orders and decisions. A copy of all notices, rulings, opinions and orders of the Commission shall be served on each of the parties by the Proceedings Clerk. Service will be deemed complete upon deposit in the mail.

[55 FR 41068, Oct. 9, 1990, as amended at 72 FR 42277, Aug. 2, 2007]

return arrow Back to Top

§171.10   Motions.

(a) In general. An application for a form of relief not otherwise specifically provided for in this part shall be made by a written motion, filed with the Proceedings Clerk. The motion shall state the relief sought, basis for the relief and the authority relied upon.

(b) Answers to motions. Unless otherwise provided, a party may file a written response to a motion within five days after service of the motion.

(c) Motions for procedural orders. Motions for procedural orders, including motions for extensions of time, may be acted on at any time, without awaiting a response thereto. Any party adversely affected by such action may request reconsideration, vacation or modification of the action.

(d) Dilatory motions. Frivolous or repetitive motions dealing with the same subject matter shall not be permitted.

return arrow Back to Top

§171.11   Sanctions.

In the event a party fails to fulfill his obligations under these Rules, the Commission may impose appropriate sanctions including dismissal of the appeal or summary reversal of the decision under appeal. Sanctions may be imposed on the motion of a party or on the Commission's own motion.

return arrow Back to Top

§171.12   Settlement.

At any time before the Commission has reached a final determination in a proceeding, the parties may request dismissal of the appeal based on a settlement agreement. If, in its view, the settlement is consistent with the public interest, the Commission will dismiss the proceeding.

return arrow Back to Top

§171.13   Practice before the Commission.

(a) Practice—(1) By non-attorneys. An individual may appear pro se (on his own behalf); a general partner may represent the partnership; a bona fide officer of a corporation, trust or association may represent the corporation, trust or association.

(2) By attorneys. An attorney-at-law who is admitted to practice before the highest court in any State or territory, or of the District of Columbia, who has not been suspended or disbarred from appearance and practice before the Commission in accordance with the provisions of part 14 of this chapter may represent parties as an attorney in proceedings before the Commission.

(b) Debarment of counsel or representative during the course of a proceeding. Whenever, while a proceeding is pending before the Commission, the Commission finds that a person acting as counsel or representative for any party to the proceeding is guilty of contemptuous conduct, the Commission may order that such person be precluded from further acting as counsel or representative in a proceeding subject to these rules. The Commission may suspend the proceedings for a reasonable time for the purpose of enabling the party to obtain other counsel or representative.

(c) Withdrawal from representation. Withdrawal from representation of a party will be only by leave of the Commission. Such leave to withdraw may be subject to conditions including submission of an affidavit averring that the party represented has actual knowledge of the withdrawal and providing the name and address of a successor counsel (or representative) or a statement that the represented party has determined to proceed pro se. If the party proceeds pro se, the statement shall include the address where the party can thereafter be served.

return arrow Back to Top

§171.14   Waiver of rules.

To prevent undue hardship on any party or for other good cause shown, the Commission may waive any rule in this part in a particular case and may order proceedings in accordance with its direction. Such an order shall be based upon a determination that no party will be prejudiced thereby and that the ends of justice will be served. Reasonable notice will be given to all parties of any action taken pursuant to this paragraph.

return arrow Back to Top

Subpart B—Notice and Effective Date of Final Decisions in Disciplinary, Membership Denial and Registration Actions

§171.20   [Reserved]

§171.21   Notice of final decision.

(a) When required. The National Futures Association shall promptly serve all parties, as well as the Proceedings Clerk and the Secretary of the Commission, with a written notice of any final decision in a disciplinary action, membership denial action or registration action subject to these rules. The notice may be contained in the written decision issued by the National Futures Association.

(b) Content of the notice. At a minimum, the notice shall provide the following information:

(1) The names of the parties to the proceeding;

(2) The date the notice was served and the effective date of the decision;

(3) A statement informing the parties of their right to appeal the decision to the Commission pursuant to §171.28 as well as their right to seek a stay of the effective date of the decision pursuant to §171.27.

(4) For a disciplinary action:

(i) A statement setting forth the relevant acts of practices engaged in or omitted by the parties to the proceeding;

(ii) A statement setting forth the specific rule or rules of the association violated by the relevant acts or practices or omissions to act of the parties to the proceeding;

(iii) A statement setting forth the penalty imposed and the basis for its imposition.

(5) For a membership action:

(i) The specific grounds for the denial, bar, expulsion, or restriction;

(ii) The findings made concerning those grounds;

(iii) An explanation of the result reached in light of the grounds for ineligibility found and the findings made.

(6) For a registration action:

(i) The statutory disqualification at issue;

(ii) The findings made concerning the statutory disqualification;

(iii) An explanation of the result reached in light of the statutory disqualification shown and the findings made.

(c) Effect of inadequate notice. (1) If the National Futures Association issues a notice of a final decision subject to these rules that is not substantially consistent with the requirements of this section, and the record does not establish that the errors therein are harmless, the notice may be stricken. The Commission may act on its own motion or on the motion of a party.

(2) When a notice is struck, the final decision of the National Futures Association shall not be effective until a proper notice is served.

return arrow Back to Top

§171.22   Effective date of final decisions in disciplinary, membership denial and registration actions.

(a) General rule. A final decision of the National Futures Association in a disciplinary action, membership denial action or registration action shall be effective thirty days after service of the notice described in §171.21.

(b) Petitions for stay pending review or for an emergency effective date—(1) Stay pending review. Within ten days of service of the notice described in §171.21, any aggrieved party may seek from the Commission a stay pending consideration of the merits of an appeal by filing and serving an appropriate petition. The mere filing of such a petition shall not stay the effective date of the decision. The burden of persuasion shall rest with the party seeking the stay. If the Commission does not grant the petition prior to the effective date of the decision under review, it shall be deemed denied. All petitions for stay must be accompanied by a notice of appeal.

(2) Emergency effective date. Within ten days of service of the notice described in §171.21, the National Futures Association may seek from the Commission an order establishing an emergency effective date for the decision by filing and serving an appropriate petition. The mere filing of such a petition shall not alter the effective date of the decision. The burden of persuasion rests with the National Futures Association. If the Commission does not grant the petition by the date specified as the emergency effective date, it shall be deemed denied.

(3) Contents of petition for stay and petition for an emergency effective date. A petition for stay or for an emergency effective date shall be in writing. Material factual allegations shall be supported by an affidavit or other sworn statement unless the parties stipulate that the material facts are not in dispute.

(4) Response. Within five days of the service of the petition, a party may file in opposition to the petition. Material factual allegations shall be supported by an affidavit or other sworn statement unless the parties stipulate that the material facts are not in dispute.

(c) Standards for determining petitions for a stay or an emergency effective date petition. In reviewing petitions filed under this seciton, the Commission shall consider:

(1) The likelihood that a challenge to the merits of the decision will be successful; and

(2) The likelihood that the denial of the petition would result in irreparable harm to the petitioner; and

(3) The effect a grant of the petition would have on the opposing party; and

(4) The effect a grant or denial of the petition would have on the public interest.

(d) Expedited consideration. If, in its view, it is necessary to protect the petitioner's right to a meaningful determination of the issues raised in the petition, the Commission may act upon a petition for a stay or for an emergency effective date prior to its receipt of an opposing party's response. Any party aggrieved by such expedited consideration may seek reconsideration within seven days of service of the decision.

return arrow Back to Top

§171.23   Notice of appeal.

(a) Time to file. Any party aggrieved by the final decision of the National Futures Association in a disciplinary, membership denial or registration action may, within thirty days of the National Futures Association's service of the notice described in §171.21, file a notice of appeal with the Proceedings Clerk. The filing of such a notice shall not stay the effective date of the decision.

(b) Contents. The notice of appeal shall consist of a brief statement indicating that the party is requesting Commission review of an action of the National Futures Association. It should identify:

(1) The name and address of the person appealing and, if represented, the name and address of his representative;

(2) The case name and docket number of the National Futures Association proceeding; and

(3) The date of the decision.

(c) Filing fee. Each notice of appeal must be accompanied by a nonrefundable filing fee of $100. This amount may be paid by check, bank draft or money order, payable to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

(d) Defective notices of appeal. Notices of appeal that are untimely or not accompanied by the filing fee shall not be accepted by the Proceedings Clerk absent a showing, by motion, of excusable neglect.

return arrow Back to Top

§171.24   Submission of the record.

Within thirty days after service of a notice of appeal, the National Futures Association shall file with the Proceedings Clerk two copies of the record of the proceeding (as defined by §171.2(k)). The record shall be bound as a unit, chronologically indexed and tabbed, and certified as correct by a duly authorized official, agent or employee of the National Futures Asssociation. The National Futures Association shall serve on the party appealing, in lieu of the record, a copy of the index of the record and a copy of any document in the record not previously served on the party appealing. If the party appealing objects to the materials included or excluded in preparing the record, he shall file his objections with his brief on appeal. The Commission may, at any time, direct that an omission or misstatement be corrected and, if necessary, that a supplemental record be prepared and filed.

return arrow Back to Top

§171.25   Appeal brief.

(a) Time to file. Any person who has filed a notice of appeal in accordance with the provisions of §171.23, shall perfect the appeal by filing an appeal brief with the Proceedings Clerk within thirty days after service of the record by the National Futures Association. The Commission may dismiss any appeal for which an appeal brief is not timely filed.

(b) Contents. Each appeal brief submitted to the Commission pursuant to this section shall include, in the order indicated:

(1) A statement of the issues presented for review;

(2) A statement of the case. The statement shall indicate briefly the nature of the case and include a full description of the action being challenged. There shall follow a clear and concise statement of all facts relevant to the consideration of the appeal with appropriate citations to the record;

(3) An argument. The argument shall contain the contentions of the appellant with respect to the issues presented and the reasons supporting those contentions. It shall cite specifically to the relevant authorities and to those parts of the record that support appellant's contentions; and

(4) A conclusion stating the precise relief sought.

(c) Length of appeal brief. Without prior leave of the Commission, the appeal brief may not exceed thirty five pages, exclusive of any table of contents, table of cases, index and appendix containing transcripts of testimony, exhibits, rules, regulations or similar materials.

return arrow Back to Top

§171.26   Answering brief.

(a) Time for filing answering brief. Within thirty days after service of the appeal brief, the National Futures Association shall file with the Proceedings Clerk an answering brief.

(b) Contents of answering brief. The contents of the answering brief generally shall be consistent with those set forth in §171.25(b) but may omit a statement of the issues and a statement of the case if the National Futures Association does not dispute the issues or the statement of the case contained in the appeal brief.

(c) Length of the answering brief. Without prior leave of the Commission, the answering brief may not exceed thirty five pages, exclusive of any table of contents, table of cases, index and appendix containing transcripts of testimony, exhibits, statutes, rules, regulations or similar materials.

return arrow Back to Top

§171.27   Limited participation by interested persons.

(a) Upon motion of any interested person or, on its own motion, the Commission may permit, or solicit, limited participation in the proceeding by such interested person. A motion for leave to participate in the proceeding shall be filed promptly, shall identify the interest of that person and shall show why participation in the proceeding by that person would serve the public interest. If the Commission determines that participation would serve the public interest, it shall by order establish a supplementary briefing schedule for the interested person and the parties to the proceeding.

(b) For purposes of this subsection, interested person shall include parties and any other persons who might be adversely affected or aggrieved by the outcome of a proceeding; their officers, agents, employees, associates, affiliates, attorneys, accountants or other representatives; and any other person having a direct or indirect pecuniary or other interest in the outcome of a proceeding.

return arrow Back to Top

§171.28   Participation by Commission staff.

The Division of Enforcement, the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight and the Division of Clearing and Risk or the Division of Market Oversight may participate in any proceeding by filing a notice of appearance. Such a notice shall be filed and served on or before the twentieth day following the date of service of its brief by the National Futures Association. The Commission shall by order establish a supplementary briefing schedule for the Commission staff and other parties to the proceeding. If it concludes that participation of the Commission staff will not serve the public interest, the Commission shall prohibit further participation.

[55 FR 41068, Oct. 9, 1990, as amended at 67 FR 62353, Oct. 7, 2002; 78 FR 22419, Apr. 16, 2013]

return arrow Back to Top

Subpart C—Commission Review of Final Decisions in Disciplinary, Membership Denial and Registration Actions

§171.30   Scope of review.

On review, the Commission may, in its discretion and after appropriate consideration of the notice given to the parties, consider sua sponte any issues arising from the record before it and may base its determination thereon. The Commission may also limit its consideration to those issues specifically raised in the parties' briefs, treating all other issues as waived.

return arrow Back to Top

§171.31   Commission review in the absence of an appeal.

(a) Request by Commission staff. At any time prior to the effective date of a final decision of the National Futures Association in a disciplinary, membership denial or registration action, the Division of Enforcement, the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight and the Division of Clearing and Risk or the Division of Market Oversight may file and serve a memorandum requesting the Commission to institute review of the National Futures Association proceeding. The filing of such a memorandum shall stay the effective date of the decision at issue for twenty days.

(b) Response by the National Futures Association. The National Futures Association may file a response to the memorandum of the Commission staff within fifteen days of the service of the memorandum.

(c) Commission determination of staff request. To preserve the status quo while it determines whether review is apropriate, the Commission may extend the stay of the effective date of the decision at issue for an additional 30 days. If the Commission decides to take review, the effective date of the decision at issue shall be stayed pending the decision of the Commission, unless otherwise ordered. The Commission shall by order establish the procedure for submission of both the record of the proceeding and the briefs of the parties to the proceeding.

(d) Commission review on its own motion. At any time prior to the effective date of a final decision of the National Futures Association in a disciplinary, membership denial or registration action, the Commission may take review of a decision by issuing an appropriate order. If the Commission determines that it is appropriate to take review on its own motion, it shall by order establish the procedure for submission of both the record of the proceeding and the briefs of the parties.

[55 FR 41068, Oct. 9, 1990, as amended at 67 FR 62353, Oct. 7, 2002; 78 FR 22419, Apr. 16, 2013]

return arrow Back to Top

§171.32   Oral argument.

(a) On motion of Commission. On its own motion, the Commission may, in its discretion, hear oral argument in a proceeding.

(b) On request of party. Any party may file with the Proceedings Clerk a request in writing for the opportunity to present oral argument before the Commission, which the Commission may, in its discretion, grant or deny. A request under this paragraph must be filed concurrently with the party's brief.

(c) Reporting and transcription. Oral argument before the Commission will be recorded and transcribed unless the Commission directs otherwise. In the event the Commission affords the parties the opportunity to present oral argument before the Commission, the oral argument will proceed in accordance with the provisions of §10.103(b) of this chapter.

return arrow Back to Top

§171.33   Final decision by the Commission.

(a) Opinion and order. Upon review, the Commission may affirm, modify, set aside, or remand for further proceedings, in whole or in part, the decision of the National Futures Association. The Commission's decision will be contained in its opinion and order which will be based upon the record before it, including the record of the registered futures association proceeding, briefs submitted to the Commission by the parties and any oral argument made in accordance with §171.32. Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, the opinion and order will constitute the final decision of the Commission, effective upon service on the parties. In the event the Commission is equally divided as to its decision, the decision of the National Futures Association shall be affirmed without a Commission opinion.

(b) Order of summary affirmance. If the Commission finds that the result reached in the decision of the National Futures Association is substantially correct and that none of the arguments on appeal made by the appellant raise important questions of law or policy, the Commission may, by appropriate order, summarily affirm the decision without opinion. The decision of the National Futures Association shall constitute the Commission's final decision, effective upon service. Unless the Commission expressly indicates otherwise in its order, an order of summary affirmance does not reflect a Commission determination to adopt the rationale of the National Futures Association, and neither the order of summary affirmance nor the underlying order shall serve as Commission precedent in other proceedings.

return arrow Back to Top

§171.34   Standards of review.

(a) Disciplinary actions. In reviewing a final decision of the National Futures Association in a disciplinary action, the Commission shall affirm the order of the National Futures Association, unless the Commission finds that:

(1) The proceedings were not conducted in a manner consistent with fundamental fairness;

(2) The proceedings were not conducted in a manner consistent with the rules of the National Futures Association;

(3) The weight of the evidence does not support the findings of the National Futures Association concerning the relevant acts or practices engaged in or omitted;

(4) The determination that the acts or practices engaged in or omitted violated rules of the National Futures Association does not rest on a reasonable interpretation of the rules at issue;

(5) The National Futures Association's application of its rules is not consistent with the purposes of the Act;

(6) The National Futures Association's choice of sanction is excessive or oppressive in light of the violations found having due regard for the public interest.

(b) Membership denial actions. In reviewing a final decision of the National Futures Association in a membership denial action, the Commission shall affirm the order of the National Futures Association, unless the Commission finds that:

(1) The proceedings were not conducted in a manner consistent with fundamental fairness;

(2) The proceedings were not conducted in a manner consistent with the rules of the National Futures Association;

(3) The weight of the evidence does not support the findings made or adopted in the final decision;

(4) The conclusion of the National Futures Association is not consistent with the purposes of the Act.

(c) Registration actions. In reviewing a decision of the National Futures Association in a registration action, the Commission shall affirm the order of the National Futures Association unless the Commission finds that:

(1) The proceedings were not conducted in a manner consistent with fundamental fairness;

(2) The proceedings were not conducted in a manner consistent with the rules of the National Futures Association;

(3) The weight of the evidence does not support the findings made or adopted in the final decision;

(4) The conclusion of the National Futures Association is not consistent with the purposes of the Act.

return arrow Back to Top

Subpart D—Commission Review of Decisions by the National Futures Association In Member Responsibility Actions

§171.40   Notice of the commencement of a member responsibility action.

The notice of a Member Responsibility Action provided by the National Futures Association pursuant to its rules shall advise the affected parties of their right to petition the Commission pursuant to §171.41 to stay the effective date of the action pending a hearing before the National Futures Association on the factual issues relevant to the suspension, restriction or remedial action ordered.

return arrow Back to Top

§171.41   Petition for a stay of effective date of a member responsibility action pending a hearing by the National Futures Association.

(a) Time to file. Within ten days after the National Futures Association serves the notice required by §171.40, any party aggrieved by the National Futures Association's determination that the member responsibility action should be effective prior to the opportunity for a hearing on the factual issues relevant to the suspension, restriction or remedial action imposed may petition the Commission to stay its effectiveness pending completion of further proceedings by the National Futures Association. The burden of persuasion shall rest with the party seeking the stay.

(b) Content. A petition for stay shall meet the content requirements set forth in §171.22(b)(3).

(c) Response. A response may be filed by the National Futures Association in accordance with §171.22(b)(4).

(d) Standards for granting petition for stay. In reviewing petitions to stay the effectiveness of the member responsibility action pending completion of further proceedings, the Commission shall consider:

(1) Whether, in the circumstances presented, the notice and opportunity for a hearing provided by the National Futures Association are consistent with principles of fundamental fairness; and

(2) The likelihood that the denial of the petition would result in irreparable harm to petitioner; and

(3) The effect a grant of the petition would have on the interests of the National Futures Association; and

(4) The effect a grant or denial of the petition would have on the public interest.

(e) If the suspension, restriction or remedial action imposed by the National Futures Assocation in a member responsibility action is effective at the time a petition for a stay is filed with the Commission, the Commission shall not delay its decision on the petition to await the receipt of the National Futures Association's response. If the action is not effective at the time the petition is filed, the Commission will not act upon the petition prior to the receipt of a response from the National Futures Association unless, in its view, expedited action on the petition is necessary to protect petitioner's right to a meaningful determination of the right to a stay. If the Commission grants the petition prior to the receipt of the response of the National Futures Association, the association may seek reconsideration of the Commission's action within seven days of service of the decision.

(f) Proceedings following Commission disposition. If the petition for a stay is denied, the National Futures Association shall continue its action in accordance with the applicable rules of the association. If the petition for a stay is granted, the action shall be remanded to the National Futures Association for further proceedings as provided in the Commission's decision. Unless otherwise ordered by the Commission, a stay issued pursuant to this section shall not deprive the National Futures Association of the authority, after conducting a hearing under the appropriate rules of the association, to make the suspension, restriction or remedial action ordered in the member responsibility action immediately effective at the time a final decision is issued.

return arrow Back to Top

§171.42   Notice of a final decision of the National Futures Association in a member responsibility action.

(a) When required. The National Futures Association shall promptly serve all parties, as well as the Proceeding Clerk and Secretary of the Commission, with a written notice of any final decision in a member responsibility action. The notice may be contained in the written decision issued by the National Futures Association. If the National Futures Association determines that the decision shall be effective upon issuance, in addition to serving a written notice, it shall also contact the parties and the Proceedings Clerk by telephone to inform them of its determination.

(b) Contents of the written notice. At a minimum, the notice shall provide the following information:

(1) The name of the parties to the proceeding;

(2) The date the notice was served and the effective date of the decision;

(3) A statement informing the parties of their right to appeal the decision to the Commission pursuant to §171.44 as well as their right to seek a stay of the decision pending Commission consideration of their appeal pursuant to §171.43;

(4) A description of the action taken and the reasons for the action;

(5) Findings of fact and conclusions of law on all issues relevant to its decision;

(6) A determination of the appropriate relief based on the findings and conclusions.

return arrow Back to Top

§171.43   Petition for a stay of the effective date of a final decision of the National Futures Association in a member responsibility action.

(a) Filing the petition. Within ten days of the service of the notice described in §171.42, any aggrived party may seek from the Commission a stay of the effective date of the decision of the National Futures Association pending consideration of the merits of an appeal by filing and serving an appropriate petition. The mere filing of such a petition shall not stay the effective date of the decision. The burden of persuasion shall rest with the party seeking the stay.

(b) Contents. A petition for a stay shall be in writing. Material factual allegations shall be supported by an affidavit or other sworn statement unless the parties stipulate that the material facts are not in dispute.

(c) Response. Within five days of the service of the petition, the National Futures Association may file an opposition to the petition. Material factual allegations shall be supported by an affidavit or other sworn statement unless the parties stipulate that the material facts are not in dispute.

(d) Standards for determining petitions for a stay. In reviewing petitions filed under this section, the Commission shall consider:

(1) The likelihood that petitioner's challenge to the merits of the decision will be successful; and

(2) The likelihood that the denial of the petition would result in irreparable harm to the petitioner; and

(3) The effect a grant of the petition would have on the National Futures Association; and

(4) The effect a grant or denial of the petition would have on the public interest.

(e) Expedited consideration. If the suspension, restriction or remedial action imposed by the National Futures Association in a member responsibility action is effective at the time a petition for a stay is filed with the Commission, the Commission shall not delay its decision on the petition to await the receipt of the National Futures Association's response. If the decision is not effective at the time the petition is filed, the Commission will not act upon the petition prior to the receipt of a response from the National Futures Association unless, in its view, expedited action on the petition is necessary to protect petitioner's right to a meaningful determination of the right to a stay. If the Commission grants the petition prior to the receipt of the response of the National Futures Association, the association may seek reconsideration of the Commission's action within seven days of service of the decision.

return arrow Back to Top

§171.44   Notice of appeal.

(a) Time to file. Any party aggrieved by a final decision of the National Futures Association in a member responsibility action may, within thirty days of the service of the notice described in §171.42, file with the Proceedings Clerk and serve on the National Futures Association a notice of appeal. The filing of such a notice shall not stay the effective date of the decision.

(b) Contents. The notice of appeal shall meet the content requirements of §171.23(b).

(c) Filing fee. Each notice of appeal must be accompanied by a nonrefundable filing fee of $100. This amount may be paid by check, bank draft or money order, payable to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

(d) Defective notices of appeal. Notices of appeal that are untimely or not accompanied by the filing fee shall not be accepted by the Proceedings Clerk absent a showing, by motion, of excusable neglect.

return arrow Back to Top

§171.45   General procedures.

The following procedural rules applicable to review of decisions of the National Futures Association in disciplinary, membership denial and registration actions shall also apply to the review of decisions of the National Futures Association in member responsibility actions:

(a) Section 171.24 Submission of the Record.

(b) Section 171.25 Appeal Brief.

(c) Section 171.26 Answering Brief.

(d) Section 171.27 Limited Participation By Interested Persons.

(e) Section 171.28 Participation By Commission Staff.

(f) Section 171.30 Scope of Review.

(g) Section 171.31 Commission Review In the Absence of An Appeal.

(h) Section 171.32 Oral Argument.

(i) Section 171.33 Final Decision By the Commission.

return arrow Back to Top

§171.46   Standards of review.

In reviewing the decision of the National Futures Association in a member responsibility action, the Commission shall consider whether:

(a) The proceedings were conducted in a manner consistent with fundamental fairness;

(b) The proceedings were conducted in a manner consistent with the rules of the National Futures Association;

(c) The weight of the evidence supports the findings of the National Futures Association concerning the reasons for the action;

(d) The determination that summary action is necessary to protect the commodity futures markets, customers, or members of the National Futures Association rests on a reasonable interpretation of the NFA rules at issue;

(e) The National Futures Association's application of its rules is consistent with the purposes of the Act;

(f) In light of the findings of the National Futures Association concerning the reasons for the action and the public interest, the suspension, restriction or remedial action imposed by the National Futures Association is not excessive, oppressive or an abuse of discretion.

return arrow Back to Top

Subpart E—Delegation of Functions

§171.50   Delegation to the General Counsel.

(a) The Commission hereby delegates, until it orders otherwise, to the General Counsel, or any employee under the General Counsel's supervision as the General Counsel may designate, the authority:

(1) To waive or modify any of the requirements of §§171.25, 171.26, 171.27 and to waive or modify any requirement of the part 171 Rules insofar as it pertains to changes in the time permitted for filing, or the form, execution, service and filing of documents;

(2) To enter orders under §§171.10, 171.12, 171.21 and 171.31(c);

(3) To decline to accept any notice of appeal, or petition for stay pending review, of matters specified in §171.1(b) and to so notify the appellant and the registered futures association;

(4) To stay the effective date of a decision of the National Futures Association in a disciplinary, membership denial or registration action, or a decision relating to such actions issued by the Commission pursuant to these rules, for a reasonable period of time, not to exceed 10 days, when such a stay is necessary to allow the Commission to consider a petition to stay the effective date of such a decision or a motion for similar relief;

(5) To decline to accept any document which has not been filed or perfected as specified in these rules;

(6) To determine motions seeking permission to participate in a proceeding under §171.27 and to establish the related briefing schedule;

(7) To establish briefing schedules under §171.28; and

(8) To enter any order which, in his judgment, will facilitate or expedite Commission review of a decision by the National Futures Association in a disciplinary, membership denial or registration action.

(b) Within seven days after service of a ruling issued pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, a party may file with the Proceedings Clerk a petition for Commission reconsideration of the ruling. Unless the Commission orders otherwise, the filing of a petition for reconsideration will not operate to stay the effective date of such ruling.

(c) The General Counsel, or his designee, may submit to the Commission for its consideration any matter which has been delegated pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section.

(d) Nothing in this section will be deemed to prohibit the Commission, at its election, from exercising the authority delegated to the General Counsel, or his designee, under this section.

[55 FR 41068, Oct. 9, 1990, as amended at 64 FR 46271, Aug. 25, 1999; 78 FR 1145, Jan. 8, 2013]

return arrow Back to Top