(a) General. For good cause shown, the hearing officer may order that the testimony of a witness may be taken by deposition and that the witness produce documentary evidence in connection with such testimony. Generally, an order to take the deposition of a witness is entered only if:
(1) The person whose deposition is to be taken would be unavailable at the hearing;
(2) The deposition is deemed necessary to perpetuate the testimony of the witness; or
(3) The taking of the deposition is necessary to prevent undue and excessive expense to a party and will not result in undue burden to other parties or in undue delay.
(b) Application for deposition. Any party desiring to take the deposition of a witness shall make application therefor to the hearing officer in writing, with a copy of the application served on each party. The application shall include:
(1) The name and residence of the witness;
(2) The time and place for the taking of the proposed deposition;
(3) The reasons why such deposition should be taken; and
(4) A general description of the matters concerning which the witness will be asked to testify.
(c) Order authorizing deposition. If good cause is shown, the hearing officer, in his or her discretion, issues an order authorizing the deposition and specifying the name of the witness to be deposed, the location and time of the deposition and the general scope and subject matter of the testimony to be taken.
(d) Procedures for deposition.
(1) Witnesses whose testimony is taken by deposition shall be sworn or shall affirm before any questions are put to them. Each question propounded shall be recorded and the answers of the witness transcribed verbatim.
(2) Objections to questions or evidence shall be recorded in the transcript of the deposition. The interposing of an objection shall not relieve the witness of the obligation to answer questions, except where the answer would violate a privilege.
(3) The written transcript shall be subscribed by the witness, unless the parties by stipulation waive the signing, or the witness is ill, cannot be found, or refuses to sign. The reporter shall note the reason for failure to sign.
(e) Depositions of agency employees.
(1) Depositions of Agency Employees will not be allowed except under the provisions of 49 CFR part 9.
(2) Such depositions will be allowed only with the specific written permission of the Chief Counsel or his or her designee.
[Doc. No. 27783, 61 FR 54004, Oct. 16, 1996, as amended at Amdt. 16-1, 78 FR 56147, Sept. 12, 2013]