In a case in which the ALJ has either scheduled an oral hearing or ordered that a decision will be upon the written record, the ALJ will order a variety of documents be filed.
- Documents to be offered as exhibits.
Documents that are intended to prove facts as alleged by a party must be offered as exhibits. Documents that are merely illustrative examples of a matter discussed in a brief, or that are being provided as a convenience (such as copies of court decisions), should not be offered as exhibits, but should be made attachments to a brief or other submission. Parties should not file as exhibits any documents that are already in the record (such as the hearing request), and should not file as an exhibit a document already filed as an exhibit by the opposing party.
- Exhibit list.
A party must file a list of its proposed exhibits that provides the exhibit number, a brief title or description of the exhibit, and the total number of pages the exhibit contains. A party’s exhibit list should identify which exhibit contains the written direct testimony of a witness, if such testimony is offered.
- Format for proposed exhibits.
Proposed exhibits must be legible in all relevant parts and comply with the following requirements:
- Docket number.
Each exhibit must be marked with the docket number of the case in which they are offered.
- Party identification.
Each exhibit must be marked with an abbreviated designation for the party offering the exhibit (followed by the abbreviation “Ex.” for exhibit). Non-federal parties should use their position in the case, not their name, for proper exhibit identification. For example, the designation “P” for Petitioner or “R” for Respondent is generally used for non-federal parties. Federal parties should use the standard acronym of the agency for proper exhibit identification. For example, “CMS” is used for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; “I.G.” is used for the Inspector General of HHS; and “SSA” is used for the Social Security Administration.
- Exhibit number.
The party designation must be followed by a whole number representing the exhibit number (one not used previously by the offering party), not a letter, not a mixture of numbers and letters, and not a number with a decimal point.
- Page numbers.
Each page of each exhibit must be numbered so that the page can be located easily when the exhibit is being discussed in a brief, at a hearing, or in the decision. The parties should number the pages of each exhibit in a separate sequence for the exhibit. An example of how these designations should look is:
Docket No. C-15-101
P. Ex. 1
Page 1 of 5
- Labeled in lower right corner.
The identifying markings stated in subparagraphs (i) through (iv) must be placed on the lower right corner of the exhibit itself. The identifying markings should not obscure any relevant part of the exhibit. If not practical to label an exhibit in the lower right corner, then the offering party should place the label in an area so that the label can be easily found and read.
- No binders or holes punched.
Proposed exhibits filed in paper copy should be attached so as to be secure, but should stand alone and should not be bound together with other exhibits. Holes should not be punched through the content of documents.
- Docket number.
- Rejection of proposed exhibits.
The ALJ may reject proposed exhibits not prepared in the manner indicated in paragraph (c) of this section and direct that the party resubmit its proposed exhibits to comply with the stated requirements. This may cause delay in preparation for the hearing. In a case which is proceeding without an oral hearing, it may delay the decision. An ALJ may sanction a party that does not comply with the requirements of this section by not admitting or not considering the noncompliant exhibits.
- Objections to proposed exhibits.
If a party objects to the admission of a proposed exhibit of the opposing party, the party must object in writing within the deadline established by the ALJ. An ALJ may admit exhibits during a prehearing conference, at an oral hearing, or in a decision if no oral hearing is held. Where a case is to be decided without an oral hearing, the ALJ will give a party the opportunity to object to the admission of documentary evidence offered as an exhibit by the opposing party. Such exhibits generally accompany a party’s brief and the opposition to the exhibit is incorporated in the opposing party’s response brief.