FMCSA to implement two-phase hearing process
Mar 21, 2006 12:36 PM
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has published a notice that it will implement in two phases a practice rule regarding respondents in certain civil penalty proceeding, according to information published in the Federal Register March 17.
FMCSA's final rule revising 49 CFR part 386, Rules of Practice for Motor Carrier, Broker, Freight Forwarder, and Hazardous Materials Proceedings, published May 18, 2005, became effective November 14, 2005.
As revised, the Rules of Practice permit a respondent in a civil penalty proceeding to request an informal hearing as an alternative to either a request for a formal hearing or a request to submit written evidence without a hearing. The Rules of Practice, however, do not prescribe specific procedures for conducting informal hearings.
This approach allows FMCSA to carefully evaluate and refine, as necessary, how the informal hearing process is conducted.
During the first phase of implementation, FMCSA will only consider requests for an informal hearing from respondents with a principal place of business within the FMCSA Midwest Service Center's geographical area that includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin.
The second phase, nationwide implementation, will begin within one year of the effective date of the Rules of Practice. FMCSA will publish a notice of its nationwide implementation in the Federal Register.
FMCSA will consider any request for an informal hearing received by FMCSA before the publication date of this notice during the first phase of implementation, regardless of the location of respondent's principal place of business.
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