Fed. Motor Carrier Safety Admin. civil penalty enforcement proceedings
Comments/Notes on Adjudication Structure:
-This scheme focuses on the rules for 'formal' adjudications, which are the primary topic of 49 CFR Part 386. That Part states that it "govern[s] proceedings before the Assistant Administrator, who also acts as the Chief Safety Officer of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration." 49 CFR 386.1. After receiving a notice of claim from the agency, the alleged violator or "respondent" has the option of requesting in its reply (i) to submit written evidence to the Assistant Administrator without a hearing; (ii) to have an informal hearing before a Hearing Officer who submits recommended findings that the Assistant Administrator may adopt or modify; or (iii) to have a formal hearing before an ALJ from the DOT Office of Hearings. See 49 CFR 386.14, 386.16, 386.61. Therefore, the ALJ (i.e., the 'formal' adjudicator) is referred to as the primary hearing officer, with the Hearing Officer and the Assistant Administrator sharing the secondary hearing officer label for cases where 'informal' or no hearings are selected.
-The regulations delegate appellate authority to the Assistant Administrator. See 49 CFR 386.61(a), 386.62 - 386.63. In those cases where the Assistant Administrator acts as one of the initial adjudicators (see categories (i) and (ii) above, he simply issues a final decision and no administrative appeal is available. See 49 CFR 386.16(a), (b)(4)(i)(A); 49 CFR 386.61(b). Thus, the Assistant Administrator is referred to as the appellate officer, understanding that these appeal procedures only apply to the 'formal' cases previously before ALJs.
Is this a Major Adjudication: