U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Jun 09, 2023

§ 3.72 - Reopening.

(a) Before statutory review. At any time prior to the expiration of the time allowed for filing a petition for review or prior to the filing of the transcript of the record of a proceeding in a U.S. court of appeals pursuant to a petition for review, the Commission may upon its own initiative and without prior notice to the parties reopen the proceeding and enter a new decision modifying or setting aside the whole or any part of the findings as to the facts, conclusions, rule, order, or opinion issued by the Commission in such proceeding.

(b) After decision has become final. (1) Whenever the Commission is of the opinion that changed conditions of fact or law or the public interest may require that a Commission decision containing a rule or order which has become effective, or an order to cease and desist which has become final by reason of court affirmance or expiration of the statutory period for court review without a petition for review having been filed, or a Commission decision containing an order dismissing a proceeding, should be altered, modified, or set aside in whole or in part, the Commission will, except as provided in § 2.51, serve upon each person subject to such decision (in the case of proceedings instituted under § 3.13, such service may be by publication in the Federal Register) an order to show cause, stating the changes it proposes to make in the decision and the reasons they are deemed necessary. Within thirty (30) days after service of such order to show cause, any person served may file an answer thereto. Any person not responding to the order within the time allowed may be deemed to have consented to the proposed changes.

(2) Whenever an order to show cause is not opposed, or if opposed but the pleadings do not raise issues of fact to be resolved, the Commission, in its discretion, may decide the matter on the order to show cause and answer thereto, if any, or it may serve upon the parties (in the case of proceedings instituted under § 3.13, such service may be by publication in Federal Register) a notice of hearing, setting forth the date when the cause will be heard. In such a case, the hearing will be limited to the filing of briefs and may include oral argument when deemed necessary by the Commission. When the pleadings raise substantial factual issues, the Commission will direct such hearings as it deems appropriate, including hearings for the receipt of evidence by it or by an Administrative Law Judge. Unless otherwise ordered and insofar as practicable, hearings before an Administrative Law Judge to receive evidence shall be conducted in accordance with subparts B, C, D, and E of part 3 of this chapter. Upon conclusion of hearings before an Administrative Law Judge, the record and the Administrative Law Judge's recommendations shall be certified to the Commission for final disposition of the matter.

(3) Termination of existing orders—(i) Generally. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this rule, and except as provided in paragraphs (b)(3) (ii) and (iii) of this section, an order issued by the Commission before August 16, 1995, will be deemed, without further notice or proceedings, to terminate 20 years from the date on which the order was first issued, or on January 2, 1996, whichever is later.

(ii) Exception. This paragraph applies to the termination of an order issued before August 16, 1995, where a complaint alleging a violation of the order was or is filed (with or without an accompanying consent decree) in federal court by the United States or the Federal Trade Commission while the order remains in force, either on or after August 16, 1995, or within the 20 years preceding that date. If more than one complaint was or is filed while the order remains in force, the relevant complaint for purposes of this paragraph will be the latest filed complaint. An order subject to this paragraph will terminate 20 years from the date on which a court complaint described in this paragraph was or is filed, except as provided in the following sentence. If the complaint was or is dismissed, or a federal court rules or has ruled that the respondent did not violate any provision of the order, and the dismissal or ruling was or is not appealed, or was or is upheld on appeal, the order will terminate according to paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this section as though the complaint was never filed; provided, however, that the order will not terminate between the date that such complaint is filed and the later of the deadline for appealing such dismissal or ruling and the date such dismissal or ruling is upheld on appeal. The filing of a complaint described in this paragraph will not affect the duration of any order provision that has expired, or will expire, by its own terms. The filing of a complaint described in this paragraph also will not affect the duration of an order's application to any respondent that is not named in the complaint.

(iii) Stay of Termination. Any party to an order may seek to stay, in whole or part, the termination of the order as to that party pursuant to paragraph (b)(3) (i) or (ii) of this section. Petitions for such stays shall be filed in accordance with the procedures set forth in § 2.51 of these rules. Such petitions shall be filed on or before the date on which the order would be terminated pursuant to paragraph (b)(3) (i) or (ii) of this section. Pending the disposition of such a petition, the order will be deemed to remain in effect without interruption.

(iv) Orders not terminated. Nothing in § 3.72(b)(3) is intended to apply to in camera orders or other procedural or interlocutory rulings by an Administrative Law Judge or the Commission.

[32 FR 8449, June 13, 1967, as amended at 44 FR 40637, July 12, 1979; 45 FR 21623, Apr. 2, 1980; 60 FR 58515, Nov. 28, 1995]