Last Update: 9/13/05 (Transmittal I-4-15)
In its remand order, a court may set a deadline for completing all or part of the remand proceedings. The most common action(s) that courts require us to complete within a specified time are: institute proceedings, schedule a hearing, hold a hearing, issue a final decision, complete the record (e.g., reconstruct the file), and/or advise the court of the processing status.
It is essential that OAO coordinate time-limited remand processing both with other OHA components and with OGC. Failure to meet a court-imposed time limit can result in sanctions being imposed by the court, including finding the Commissioner in contempt of court. The procedures outlined below are designed to ensure that time limits are met or that a request for an extension of time is made promptly when the action specified by the court cannot be completed by the due date.
After a court has set a deadline in a case, the case will continue to be treated as a time-limited remand at all levels of adjudication in OHA, even after the original time limit has been met. This ensures that any case which a court has designated as needing priority handling will continue to receive expedited treatment throughout its processing.
The general procedures for processing remand orders outlined in section I-4-3-2 also apply to time-limited remands. In addition, the support staff must:
Indicate on the LOTS and ACAPS that the remand is time-limited.
Ensure that a time-limited remand is assigned to an analyst within 24 hours of receipt in the branch.
Alert the analyst that a time limit is involved.
Stamp “Time Limit” in the upper margin of the Court Case Control and Routing Slip (see I-4-2-99).
The Operations Supervisors of each CCPRB must keep a listing of all time-limited remands the branch receives and prepare a biweekly report on them. When a support staff receives a time-limited remand order, an extra copy must be made and given to the Operations Supervisor. Details concerning preparation of the time limit report are contained in section I-4-3-41. The Operations Supervisor retains the time-limited remand report for inspection by the CCPRB Branch Chief upon request.
The analyst must review each time-limited order to determine if the deadline which the court set has already passed or if it will occur within 14 days of the date OAO releases the remand to the HO. If either of these situations exists, the analyst must request the OGC headquarters staff attorney or the Regional Counsel attorney to seek an extension of time from the court. When the analyst completes the case action on a time-limited remand order and the case is ready for release, the analyst must telephone the HO and inform the supervisory staff attorney, or the Hearing Office Director (HOD), if there is no supervisory staff attorney in that office, that a time-limited remand order is being forwarded to the HO. The analyst must complete Parts I and II of the Time-Limited Remand/Delayed Case form (see I-4-3-107) and place it outside the file. The analyst must give the case to a support staff for priority release.
The general procedures for releasing remand orders outlined in section I-4-3-35 also apply to time-limited remand orders, except that the support staff must release the case immediately. In addition, the support staff must enter the release date in Part III of the Time-Limited Remand/Delayed Case form and place the form in the appeals file. The support staff must also place a TIME LIMIT case flag (see I-4-3-108) on top of the CF or CAR. The flag must be securely stapled in a vertical position in the right margin of the CF or CAR which is being sent to the HO. If the expiration of the time limit is within 90 days, the support staff must mail the CF or CAR via the designated express mail service.