Title 33

SECTION 20.605

20.605 Depositions.

§ 20.605 Depositions.

(a) The ALJ may order a deposition only upon a showing of good cause and upon a finding that -

(1) The information sought is not obtainable more readily by alternative methods; or

(2) There is a substantial reason to believe that relevant and probative evidence may otherwise not be preserved for presentation at the hearing.

(b) Testimony may be taken by deposition upon approval of the ALJ of a motion made by any party.

(1) The motion must state -

(i) The purpose and scope of the deposition;

(ii) The time and place it is to be taken;

(iii) The name and address of the person before whom the deposition is to be taken;

(iv) The name and address of each witness from whom a deposition is to be taken;

(v) The documents and materials which the witness is to produce; and

(vi) Whether it is intended that the deposition be used at a hearing instead of live testimony.

(2) The motion must state if the deposition is to be by oral examination, by written interrogatories, or a combination of the two. The deposition may be taken before any disinterested person authorized to administer oaths in the place where the deposition is to be taken.

(c) Upon a showing of good cause the ALJ may enter, and serve upon the parties, an order to obtain the testimony of the witness.

(d) If the deposition of a public or private corporation, partnership, association, or governmental agency is ordered, the organization named must designate one or more officers, directors, or agents to testify on its behalf, and may set forth, for each person designated, the matters on which he or she will testify. Subject to the provisions of 49 CFR part 9 with respect to Coast Guard witnesses, the designated persons shall testify as to matters reasonably known to them.

(e) Each witness deposed shall be placed under oath or affirmation, and the other parties shall have the right to cross-examine.

(f) The witness being deposed may have counsel or another representative present during the deposition.

(g) Except as provided in paragraph (n) of this section, depositions shall be stenographically recorded and transcribed at the expense of the party requesting the deposition. Unless waived by the deponent, the transcription must be read by or read to the deponent, subscribed by the deponent, and certified by the person before whom the deposition was taken.

(h) Subject to objections to the questions and responses that were noted at the taking of the deposition and that would have been sustained if the witness had been personally present and testifying at a hearing, a deposition may be offered into evidence by the party taking it against any party who was present or represented at the taking of the deposition or who had notice of the deposition.

(i) The party requesting the deposition shall make appropriate arrangements for necessary facilities and personnel.

(j) During the taking of a deposition, a party or the witness may request suspension of the deposition on the grounds of bad faith in the conduct of the examination, oppression of the witness or party, or improper questioning or conduct. Upon request for suspension, the deposition will be adjourned. The objecting party or witness must immediately move the ALJ for a ruling on the objection(s). The ALJ may then limit the scope or manner of the taking of the deposition.

(k) When a deposition is taken in a foreign country, it may be taken before a person having power to administer oaths in that location, or before a secretary of an embassy or legation, consul general, consul, vice consul or consular agent of the United States, or before such other person or officer as may be agreed upon by the parties by written stipulation filed with the ALJ.

(l) Objection to taking a deposition because of the disqualification of the officer before whom it is to be taken is waived unless made before the taking of the deposition begins, or as soon as the disqualification becomes known or could have been discovered with reasonable diligence.

(m) A deposition may be taken by telephone conference call upon such terms, conditions, and arrangements as are prescribed in the order of the ALJ.

(n) The testimony at a deposition hearing may be recorded on videotape, upon such terms, conditions and arrangements as are prescribed in the order of the ALJ, at the expense of the party requesting the recording. The video recording may be in conjunction with an oral examination by telephone conference held pursuant to paragraph (m) of this section. After the deposition has been taken, and copies of the video recording are provided to parties requesting them, the person recording the deposition shall immediately place the videotape in a sealed envelope or a sealed videotape container, attaching to it a statement identifying the proceeding and the deponent and certifying as to the authenticity of the video recording, and return the videotape by accountable means to the ALJ. The deposition becomes a part of the record of the proceedings in the same manner as a transcribed deposition. The videotape, if admitted into evidence, will be played during the hearing and transcribed into the record by the reporter.