Title 24

SECTION 570.913

570.913 Other remedies for noncompliance.

§ 570.913 Other remedies for noncompliance.

(a) Action to enforce compliance. When the Secretary acts to enforce the civil rights provisions of Section 109, as described in § 570.602 and 24 CFR part 6, the procedures described in 24 CFR parts 6 and 180 apply. If the Secretary finds, after reasonable notice and opportunity for hearing, that a recipient has failed to comply substantially with any other provisions of this part, the provisions of this section apply. The Secretary, until he/she is satisfied that there is no longer any such failure to comply, shall:

(1) Terminate payments to the recipient;

(2) Reduce payments to the recipient by an amount equal to the amount of such payments which were not expended in accordance with this part; or

(3) Limit the availability of payments to programs or activities not affected by such failure to comply.

Provided, however, that the Secretary may on due notice suspend payments at any time after the issuance of a notice of opportunity for hearing pursuant to paragraph (c)(1) of this section, pending such hearing and a final decision, to the extent the Secretary determines such action necessary to preclude the further expenditure of funds for activities affected by such failure to comply.

(b) In lieu of, or in addition to, any action authorized by paragraph (a) of this section, the Secretary may, if he/she has reason to believe that a recipient has failed to comply substantially with any provision of this part;

(1) Refer the matter to the Attorney General of the United States with a recommendation that an appropriate civil action be instituted; and

(2) Upon such a referral, the Attorney General may bring a civil action in any United States district court having venue thereof for such relief as may be appropriate, including an action to recover the amount of the assistance furnished under this part which was not expended in accordance with it, or for mandatory or injunctive relief;

(c) Proceedings. When the Secretary proposes to take action pursuant to this section, the respondent is the unit of general local government or State receiving assistance under this part. These procedures are to be followed prior to imposition of a sanction described in paragraph (a) of this section:

(1) Notice of opportunity for hearing: The Secretary shall notify the respondent in writing of the proposed action and of the opportunity for a hearing. The notice shall:

(i) Specify, in a manner which is adequate to allow the respondent to prepare its response, allegations with respect to a failure to comply substantially with a provision of this part;

(ii) State that the hearing procedures are governed by these rules;

(iii) State that a hearing may be requested within 10 days from receipt of the notice and the name, address and telephone number of the person to whom any request for hearing is to be addressed:

(iv) Specify the action which the Secretary proposes to take and that the authority for this action is section 111(a) of the Act;

(v) State that if the respondent fails to request a hearing within the time specified a decision by default will be rendered against the respondent; and

(vi) Be sent to the respondent by certified mail, return receipt requested.

(2) Initiation of hearing. The respondent shall be allowed at least 10 days from receipt of the notice within which to notify HUD of its request for a hearing. If no request is received within the time specified, the Secretary may proceed to make a finding on the issue of compliance with this part and to take the proposed action.

(3) Administrative Law Judge. Proceedings conducted under these rules shall be presided over by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), appointed as provided by section 11 of the Administrative Procedures Act (5 U.S.C. 3105). The case shall be referred to the ALJ by the Secretary at the time a hearing is requested. The ALJ shall promptly notify the parties of the time and place at which the hearing will be held. The ALJ shall conduct a fair and impartial hearing and take all action necessary to avoid delay in the disposition of proceedings and to maintain order. The ALJ shall have all powers necessary to those ends, including but not limited to the power to:

(i) Administer oaths and affirmations;

(ii) Issue subpoenas as authorized by law;

(iii) Rule upon offers of proof and receive relevant evidence;

(iv) Order or limit discovery prior to the hearing as the interests of justice may require;

(v) Regulate the course of the hearing and the conduct of the parties and their counsel;

(vi) Hold conferences for the settlement or simplification of the issues by consent of the parties;

(vii) Consider and rule upon all procedural and other motions appropriate in adjudicative proceedings; and

(viii) Make and file initial determinations.

(4) Ex parte communications. An ex parte communication is any communication with an ALJ, direct or indirect, oral or written, concerning the merits or procedures of any pending proceeding which is made by a party in the absence of any other party. Ex parte communications are prohibited except where the purpose and content of the communication have been disclosed in advance or simultaneously to all parties, or the communication is a request for information concerning the status of the case. Any ALJ who receives an ex parte communication which the ALJ knows or has reason to believe is unauthorized shall promptly place the communication, or its substance, in all files and shall furnish copies to all parties. Unauthorized ex parte communications shall not be taken into consideration in deciding any matter in issue.

(5) The hearing. All parties shall have the right to be represented at the hearing by counsel. The ALJ shall conduct the proceedings in an expeditious manner while allowing the parties to present all oral and written evidence which tends to support their respective positions, but the ALJ shall exclude irrelevant, immaterial or unduly repetitious evidence. The Department has the burden of proof in showing by a preponderance of the evidence that the respondent failed to comply substantially with a provision of this part. Each party shall be allowed to cross-examine adverse witnesses and to rebut and comment upon evidence presented by the other party. Hearings shall be open to the public. So far as the orderly conduct of the hearing permits, interested persons other than the parties may appear and participate in the hearing.

(6) Transcripts. Hearing shall be recorded and transcribed only by a reporter under the supervision of the ALJ. The orginal transcript shall be a part of the record and shall constitute the sole official transcript. Respondents and the public, at their own expense, may obtain copies of the transcript.

(7) The ALJ's decision. At the conclusion of the hearing, the ALJ shall give the parties a reasonable opportunity to submit proposed findings and conclusions and supporting reasons therefor. Within 25 days after the conclusion of the hearing, the ALJ shall prepare a written decision which includes a statement of findings and conclusions, and the reasons or basis therefor, on all the material issues of fact, law or discretion presented on the record and the appropriate sanction or denial thereof. The decision shall be based on consideration of the whole record or those parts thereof cited by a party and supported by and in accordance with the reliable, probative, and substantial evidence. A copy of the decision shall be furnished to the parties immediately by certified mail, return receipt requested, and shall include a notice that any requests for review by the Secretary must be made in writing to the Secretary within 30 days of the receipt of the decision.

(8) The record. The transcript of testimony and exhibits, together with the decision of the ALJ and all papers and requests filed in the proceeding, constitutes the exclusive record for decision and, on payment of its reasonable cost, shall be made available to the parties. After reaching his/her initial decision, the ALJ shall certify to the complete record and forward the record to the Secretary.

(9) Review by the Secretary. The decision by the ALJ shall constitute the final decision of the Secretary unless, within 30 days after the receipt of the decision, either the respondent or the Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development files an exception and request for review by the Secretary. The excepting party must transmit simultaneously to the Secretary and the other party the request for review and the basis of the party's exceptions to the findings of the ALJ. The other party shall be allowed 30 days from receipt of the exception to provide the Secretary and the excepting party with a written reply. The Secretary shall then review the record of the case, including the exceptions and the reply. On the basis of such review, the Secretary shall issue a written determination, including a statement of the reasons or basis therefor, affirming, modifying or revoking the decision of the ALJ. The Secretary's decision shall be made and transmitted to the parties within 80 days after the decision of the ALJ was furnished to the parties.

(10) Judicial review. The respondent may seek judicial review of the Secretary's decision pursuant to section 111(c) of the Act.

[53 FR 34466, Sept. 6, 1988, as amended at 64 FR 3802, Jan. 25, 1999]