I-4-1-12.Initial Answer Process- Court Case Preparation and Review Branch Responsibilities

Last Update: 7/3/14 (Transmittal I-4-30)

A. General

When notified of a new civil action case, the Office of Appellate Operations (OAO) Court Case Preparation and Review Branch (CCPRB) staff must be aware of the date an answer to the complaint is due in court. This is necessary even when the CCPRB staff holds the case while waiting for a claim(s) file, as explained in subsection B below.

The CCPRBs regularly monitor notifications and alerts of upcoming due dates from the Office of the General Counsel (OGC). The CCPRB staff uses the information to ensure all appropriate actions are timely and to provide status updates to OGC.

B. Obtaining Paper Files (When Applicable)

When notified of a new civil action case involving a paper claim(s) file, CCPRB staff must immediately obtain the file. CCPRB staff will determine the file location and request the claim(s) file on the same day (or no later than the following day) that the CCPRB receives notification of the civil action.

1. File at OAO Mega-site

If queries show a file is located in the Mega-site, the CCPRB staff will submit a request through the Mega-site Information Management System (MIMS).

The Mega-site staff will locate requested claim(s) files and send them to the CCPRB on a daily basis. Before the close of each business day, the Mega-site will run a report to ensure all files requested have been sent to the CCPRB or that the Mega-site has notified the CCPRB that the file was not located.

If the CCPRB staff does not receive the file within three full workdays of the request, the CCPRB branch chief will contact a Mega-site manager to resolve the issue.

2. File in OAO Branch

If a paper file is located in another OAO branch, the CCPRB staff will request the file by contacting the branch chief of the OAO branch. The OAO branch chief will ensure that the claim(s) file is retrieved or immediately advise the CCPRB if the claim(s) file cannot be located.

If the CCPRB staff does not receive the file within two workdays, the CCPRB staff will ask the CCPRB branch chief for assistance.

3. File Not In OAO

If the claim(s) file is with another component, the CCPRB staff will request the file from the appropriate location. If applicable, the CCPRB will also simultaneously request the hearing recording from the Mega-site via MIMS.

CCPRB staff will make any necessary follow-up contacts if the file is not received within five calendar days and document the follow-up. If the file has not been received within 10 days, the CCPRB branch chief will contact a manager of the component to request assistance.

C. Answer Procedures

1. Establish Whether Filing is Timely

After a court level case is established in the Appeals Review Processing System (ARPS) and the CCPRB staff has obtained the claim(s) file, he or she will verify that the complaint was timely filed using the instructions in Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-4-1-2.

If the claimant did not timely file the complaint, the CCPRB staff will prepare a declaration, as noted in HALLEX I-4-1-31.

NOTE:

If the claimant timely filed the complaint, but a declaration may be needed for another reason (see HALLEX I-4-1-32, I-4-1-33, and I-4-1-35), the CCPRB staff will assign the case to a CCPRB analyst for further review.

2. Request Transcript (If Applicable)

If a hearing was held, the CCPRB staff will request a transcript of the hearing using the procedures in HALLEX I-4-1-14.

NOTE:

If the claim(s) file is paper and the hearing recording is not with the file, the CCPRB staff will immediately request the recording via MIMS or, when available, from the hearing office. If a hearing recording is certified lost (see HALLEX I-3-0-71), the CCPRB staff will assign the case to a CCPRB analyst.

3. Assign To Court Records Assistant (CRA)

After all other actions in this provision are taken, the CCPRB staff will update ARPS and assign the case to a CRA to prepare the certified administrative record per HALLEX I-4-1-50.