20.204 Withdrawal or disqualification.§ 20.204 Withdrawal or disqualification.
(a) An ALJ may disqualify herself or himself at any time.
(b) Until the filing of the ALJ's decision, either party may move that the ALJ disqualify herself or himself for personal bias or other valid cause. The party shall file with the ALJ, promptly upon discovery of the facts or other reasons allegedly constituting cause, an affidavit setting forth in detail the reasons.
(1) The ALJ shall rule upon the motion, stating the grounds for the ruling. If the ALJ concludes that the motion is timely and meritorious, she or he shall disqualify herself or himself and withdraw from the proceeding. If the ALJ does not disqualify herself or himself and withdraw from the proceeding, the ALJ shall carry on with the proceeding, or, if a hearing has concluded, issue a decision.
(2) If an ALJ denies a motion to disqualify herself or himself, the moving party may, according to the procedures in subpart J of this part, appeal to the Commandant once the hearing has concluded. When that party does appeal, the ALJ shall forward the motion, the affidavit, and supporting evidence to the Commandant along with the ruling.