Last Update: 9/2/05 (Transmittal I-2-64)
Circumstances may require an ALJ to adjourn a hearing in progress and continue it at a later date, conduct a supplemental hearing, or reopen the record to receive additional evidence. If testimony at a hearing leaves unanswered questions, the ALJ may supplement the hearing record with additional oral testimony, a deposition, or additional documentary evidence.
A continuance or supplemental hearing is appropriate when:
certain testimony or a document adduced at the hearing has taken the claimant by surprise, is adverse to the claimant's interest, and presents evidence that the claimant could not reasonably have anticipated and to which the claimant is not prepared to respond;
the ALJ believes additional testimony regarding a new issue is appropriate;
the ALJ discovers during the hearing that the testimony of a person, who is absent, is needed and the person may be available at a later date;
the claimant or the ALJ wishes to present evidence, but cannot present it by document, affidavit, or deposition without diminishing its probative value because of the absence of opportunity for detailed examination or cross-examination of the witness;
an order of remand directs the ALJ to hold a supplemental hearing (see I-2-1-65.A., Determining the Right to a Hearing); or
a request is made to cross-examination of the author or provider of post-hearing evidence is requested.
If the ALJ decides during the course of a hearing to continue the hearing and hold a supplemental hearing at a later date, the ALJ may set the date for the supplemental hearing at that time or state that he or she will notify the claimant later of the date of the supplemental hearing. The rules governing the conduct of the initial hearing apply to the continued or supplemental hearing. If an ALJ decides to conduct a supplemental hearing, he or she must reopen the record.
Continuance of a hearing generally delays issuance of the decision and the ALJ should fully inform the claimant and representative of this fact. The ALJ should continue a hearing only if there is a good reason to do so.