Comments/Notes on Appellate Process & Procedures (Optional):
-The regulations do not expressly prohibit ex parte contacts at the appeal stage; parties are only prohibited from contacting the ALJ ex parte. See 49 CFR 31.15; cf. 49 CFR 31.39. However, the appeals section does make clear that the parties have no right to appear personally before the appellate officer. See 49 CFR 31.39(f).
--Factual development to supplement the record is not technically permitted at the appellate stage. However, if a party makes a showing that material evidence not presented before the ALJ exists and that there are reasonable grounds for their failure to present it, the authority head may remand to the ALJ to consider the evidence. 49 CFR 31.39(i).