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9559. Hearing Procedures for Expedited Proceedings Under the Rule 9550 Series

(a) Applicability
The hearing procedures under this Rule shall apply to a member, person associated with a member, person subject to FINRA's jurisdiction or other person who is served with a notice issued under the Rule 9550 Series and who timely requests a hearing or who is served with a petition instituting an expedited proceeding under Rule 9556(h). For purposes of this Rule, such members or persons shall be referred to as respondents.
(b) Computation of Time
Rule 9138 shall govern the computation of time in proceedings brought under the Rule 9550 Series, except that intermediate Saturdays, Sundays and Federal holidays shall be included in the computation in proceedings brought under Rules 9556 through 9558, unless otherwise specified.
(c) Stays
(1) Unless the Chief Hearing Officer or the Hearing Officer assigned to the matter orders otherwise for good cause shown, a timely request for a hearing shall stay the effectiveness of a notice issued under Rules 9551 through 9556, except that: (A) the effectiveness of a notice of a limitation or prohibition on access to services offered by FINRA or a member thereof under Rule 9555 with respect to services to which the member or person does not have access shall not be stayed by a request for a hearing; and (B) this paragraph has no applicability to a petition instituting an expedited proceeding under Rule 9556(h).
(2) A timely request for a hearing shall stay the effectiveness of a notice issued under Rule 9557 for ten business days after service of the notice or until the Office of Hearing Officers issues a written order under Rule 9559(o)(4)(A) (whichever period is less), unless FINRA's Chief Executive Officer (or such other senior officer as the Chief Executive Officer may designate) determines that a notice under Rule 9557 shall not be stayed. Where a notice under Rule 9557 is stayed by a request for a hearing, such stay shall remain in effect only for ten business days after service of the notice or until the Office of Hearing Officers issues a written order under Rule 9559(o)(4)(A) (whichever period is less) and shall not be extended.
(3) A timely request for a hearing shall not stay the effectiveness of a notice issued under Rule 9558, unless the Chief Hearing Officer or the Hearing Officer assigned to the matter orders otherwise for good cause shown.
(d) Appointment and Authority of Hearing Officer and/or Hearing Panel
(1) For proceedings initiated under Rules 9553, 9554, and 9556(h), the Chief Hearing Officer shall appoint a Hearing Officer to preside over and act as the sole adjudicator for the matter.
(2) For proceedings initiated under Rules 9551, 9552, 9555, 9556 (except Rule 9556(h)), 9557 and 9558, the Chief Hearing Officer shall appoint a Hearing Panel composed of a Hearing Officer and two Panelists. The Hearing Officer shall serve as the chair of the Hearing Panel. For proceedings initiated under Rules 9551, 9552, 9555, 9556 (except Rule 9556(h)) and 9558, the Chief Hearing Officer shall select as Panelists persons who meet the qualifications delineated in Rules 9231 and 9232. For proceedings initiated under Rule 9557, the Chief Hearing Officer shall select as Panelists current or former members of the FINRA Financial Responsibility Committee.
(3) Rules 9231(e), 9233 and 9234 shall govern disqualification, recusal or withdrawal of a Hearing Officer or, if applicable, Hearing Panelist.
(4) A Hearing Officer appointed pursuant to this provision shall have authority to do all things necessary and appropriate to discharge his or her duties as set forth under Rules 9235 and 9280.
(5) Hearings under the Rule 9550 Series shall be held by telephone conference, unless the Hearing Officer orders otherwise for good cause shown.
(6) For good cause shown, or with the consent of all of the parties to a proceeding, the Hearing Officer or, if applicable, the Hearing Panel may extend or shorten any time limits prescribed by this Rule other than those relating to Rule 9557.
(e) Consolidation or Severance of Proceedings
Rule 9214 shall govern the consolidation or severance of proceedings, except that, where one of the notices that are the subject of consolidation under this Rule requires that a hearing be held before a Hearing Panel, the hearing of the consolidated matters shall be held before a Hearing Panel. Where two consolidated matters contain different timelines under this Rule, the Chief Hearing Officer or Hearing Officer assigned to the matter has discretion to determine which timeline is appropriate under the facts and circumstances of the case. Where one of the consolidated matters includes an action brought under a Rule that does not permit a stay of the effectiveness of the notice or where FINRA's Chief Executive Officer (or such other senior officer as the Chief Executive Officer may designate), in the case of Rule 9557, or Hearing Officer, in the case of Rule 9558(d), determines that a request for a hearing shall not stay the effectiveness of the notice, the limitation, prohibition, condition, requirement, restriction, or suspension specified in the notice shall not be stayed pending resolution of the case. Where one of the consolidated matters includes an action brought under Rule 9557 that is stayed for up to ten business days, the requirement and/or restriction specified in the notice shall not be further stayed.
(f) Time of Hearing
(1) A hearing shall be held within five business days after a respondent subject to a notice issued under Rule 9557 files a written request for a hearing with the Office of Hearing Officers.
(2) A hearing shall be held within ten days after a respondent is served a petition seeking an expedited proceeding issued under Rule 9556(h).
(3) A hearing shall be held within 14 days after a respondent subject to a notice issued under Rules 9556 (except Rule 9556(h)) and 9558 files a written request for a hearing with the Office of Hearing Officers.
(4) A hearing shall be held within 30 days after a respondent subject to a notice issued under Rules 9551 through 9555 files a written request for a hearing with the Office of Hearing Officers.
(5) The timelines established by paragraphs (f)(1) through (f)(4) confer no substantive rights on the parties.
(g) Notice of Hearing
The Hearing Officer shall issue a notice stating the date, time, and place of the hearing as follows:
(1) At least two business days prior to the hearing in the case of an action brought pursuant to Rule 9557;
(2) At least six days prior to the hearing in the case of an action brought pursuant to Rule 9556(h);
(3) At least seven days prior to the hearing in the case of an action brought pursuant to Rules 9556 (except Rule 9556(h)) and 9558; and
(4) At least 21 days prior to the hearing in the case of an action brought pursuant to Rules 9551 through 9555.
(h) Transmission of Documents
(1) Not less than two business days before the hearing in an action brought under Rule 9557, not less than six days before the hearing in an action brought under Rule 9556(h), not less than seven days before the hearing in an action brought under Rules 9556 (except Rule 9556(h)) and 9558, and not less than 14 days before the hearing in an action brought under Rules 9551 through 9555, FINRA staff shall provide to the respondent who requested the hearing or the respondent who has received a petition pursuant to Rule 9556(h), by facsimile, email, overnight courier or personal delivery, all documents that were considered in issuing the notice unless a document meets the criteria of Rule 9251(b)(1)(A), (B), (C) or (b)(2). Documents served by facsimile or email shall also be served by either overnight courier or personal delivery. A document that meets the criteria in this paragraph shall not constitute part of the record, but shall be retained by FINRA until the date upon which FINRA serves a final decision or, if applicable, upon the conclusion of any review by the SEC or the federal courts.
(2) Not less than two business days before the hearing in an action brought under Rule 9557, not less than three days before the hearing in an action brought under Rules 9556 and 9558, and not less than seven days before the hearing in an action brought under Rules 9551 through 9555, the parties shall exchange proposed exhibit and witness lists. The exhibit and witness lists shall be served by facsimile, email, overnight courier or personal delivery. Documents served by facsimile or email shall also be served by either overnight courier or personal delivery.
(i) Evidence
Formal rules of evidence shall not apply to a hearing under this Rule Series. Rules 9262 and 9263 shall govern testimony and the admissibility of evidence.
(j) Additional Information
The Hearing Officer or, if applicable, the Hearing Panel may direct the Parties to submit additional information.
(k) Record of Hearing
Rule 9265 shall govern the requirements for the record of the hearing.
(l) Record of Proceeding
Rule 9267 shall govern the record of the proceeding.
(m) Failure to Appear at a Pre-Hearing Conference or Hearing or to Comply with a Hearing Officer Order Requiring the Production of Information
Failure of any respondent to appear before the Hearing Officer or, if applicable, the Hearing Panel at any status conference, pre-hearing conference or hearing, or to comply with any order of the Hearing Officer or, if applicable, Hearing Panel requiring production of information to support any defense to the notice or petition that respondent has raised, shall be considered an abandonment of the respondent's defense and waiver of any opportunity for a hearing provided by the Rule 9550 Series. In such cases:
(1) The notice issued under the Rule 9550 Series shall be deemed to be final FINRA action. The Hearing Officer or, if applicable, the Hearing Panel may permit the hearing to go forward as to those parties who appear and otherwise comply with this Rule.
(2) The Hearing Officer may issue a default decision against a respondent who is the subject of a petition filed pursuant to Rule 9556(h) and may deem the allegations against that respondent admitted. The contents of a default decision shall conform to the content requirements of Rule 9559(p). A respondent may, for good cause shown, file a motion to set aside a default. Upon a showing of good cause, the Hearing Officer that entered the original order shall decide the motion. If the Hearing Officer is not available, the Chief Hearing Officer shall appoint another Hearing Officer to decide the motion. If a default decision is not called for review pursuant to Rule 9559(q), the default decision shall become the final FINRA action.
(n) Sanctions, Costs and Remands
(1) In any action brought under the Rule 9550 Series, other than an action brought under Rule 9556(h) or Rule 9557, the Hearing Officer or, if applicable, the Hearing Panel may approve, modify or withdraw any and all sanctions, requirements, restrictions or limitations imposed by the notice and, pursuant to Rule 8310(a), may also impose any other fitting sanction.
(2) In an action brought under Rule 9556(h), the Hearing Officer may impose any fitting sanction.
(3) In an action brought under Rule 9557, the Hearing Panel shall approve or withdraw the requirements and/or restrictions imposed by the notice. If the Hearing Panel approves the requirements and/or restrictions and finds that the respondent has not complied with all of them, the Hearing Panel shall impose an immediate suspension on the respondent that shall remain in effect unless FINRA staff issues a letter of withdrawal of all requirements and/or restrictions pursuant to Rule 9557(g)(2).
(4) The Hearing Officer or, if applicable, the Hearing Panel may impose costs pursuant to Rule 8330 regarding all actions brought under the Rule 9550 Series.
(5) In any action brought under the Rule 9550 Series, other than an action brought under Rule 9556(h) or Rule 9557, the Hearing Officer or, if applicable, the Hearing Panel may remand the matter to the department or office that issued the notice for further consideration of specified matters.
(o) Timing of Decision
(1) Proceedings initiated under Rules 9553 and 9554
Within 60 days of the date of the close of the hearing, the Hearing Officer shall prepare a proposed written decision and provide it to the National Adjudicatory Council's Review Subcommittee.
(2) Proceedings initiated under Rules 9556 and 9558
Within 21 days of the date of the close of the hearing, the Hearing Officer shall prepare a proposed written decision that reflects the views of the Hearing Panel, as determined by majority vote, and provide it to the National Adjudicatory Council's Review Subcommittee.
(3) Proceedings initiated under Rules 9551, 9552 and 9555
Within 60 days of the date of the close of the hearing, the Hearing Officer shall prepare a proposed written decision that reflects the views of the Hearing Panel, as determined by majority vote, and provide it to the National Adjudicatory Council's Review Subcommittee.
(4) Proceedings initiated under Rule 9557
(A) Written Order
Within two business days of the date of the close of the hearing, the Office of Hearing Officers shall issue a written order that reflects the Hearing Panel's summary determinations, as decided by majority vote, and shall serve the Hearing Panel's written order on the Parties. The Hearing Panel's written order under Rule 9557 is effective when issued. The Hearing Panel's written order will be followed by a written decision explaining the reasons for the Hearing Panel's summary determinations, as required by paragraphs (o)(4)(B) and (p) of this Rule.
(B) Written Decision
Within seven days of the issuance of the Hearing Panel's written order, the Office of Hearing Officers shall issue a written decision that complies with the requirements of paragraph (p) of this Rule and shall serve the Hearing Panel's written decision on the Parties.
(5) If not timely called for review by the National Adjudicatory Council's Review Subcommittee pursuant to paragraph (q) of this Rule, the Hearing Officer's or, if applicable, the Hearing Panel's written decision shall constitute final FINRA action. For decisions issued under Rules 9551 through 9556 and 9558, the Office of Hearing Officers shall promptly serve the decision of the Hearing Officer or, if applicable, the Hearing Panel on the Parties and provide a copy to each FINRA member with which the respondent is associated.
(6) The timelines established by paragraphs (o)(1) through (5) confer no substantive rights on the parties.
(p) Contents of Decision
The decision, which for purposes of Rule 9557 means the written decision issued under paragraph (o)(4)(B) of this Rule, shall include:
(1) a statement describing the investigative or other origin of the notice issued under the Rule 9550 Series;
(2) the specific statutory or rule provision alleged to have been violated or providing the authority for the FINRA action;
(3) a statement setting forth the findings of fact with respect to any act or practice the respondent was alleged to have committed or omitted or any condition specified in the notice;
(4) the conclusions of the Hearing Officer or, if applicable, Hearing Panel regarding the alleged violation or condition specified in the notice;
(5) a statement of the Hearing Officer or, if applicable, Hearing Panel in support of the disposition of the principal issues raised in the proceeding; and
(6) a statement describing any sanction, requirement, restriction or limitation imposed, the reasons therefore, and the date upon which such sanction, requirement, restriction or limitation shall become effective.
(q) Call for Review by the National Adjudicatory Council
(1) For proceedings initiated under the Rule 9550 Series (other than Rule 9557), the National Adjudicatory Council's Review Subcommittee may call for review a proposed decision prepared by a Hearing Officer or, if applicable, Hearing Panel within 21 days after receipt of the decision from the Office of Hearing Officers. For proceedings initiated under Rule 9557, the National Adjudicatory Council's Review Subcommittee may call for review a written decision issued under paragraph (o)(4)(B) of this Rule by a Hearing Panel within 14 days after receipt of the written decision from the Office of Hearing Officers. Rule 9313(a) is incorporated herein by reference.
(2) If the Review Subcommittee calls the proceeding for review within the prescribed time, a Subcommittee of the National Adjudicatory Council shall meet and conduct a review not later than 40 days after the call for review. The Subcommittee shall be composed pursuant to Rule 9331(a)(1). The Subcommittee may elect to hold a hearing or decide the matter on the basis of the record made before the Hearing Officer or, if applicable, the Hearing Panel. Not later than 60 days after the call for review, the Subcommittee shall make its recommendation to the National Adjudicatory Council. Not later than 60 days after receipt of the Subcommittee's recommendation, the National Adjudicatory Council shall serve a final written decision on the parties via overnight courier or facsimile. The National Adjudicatory Council may affirm, modify or reverse the decision of the Hearing Officer or, if applicable, the Hearing Panel. The National Adjudicatory Council also may impose any other fitting sanction, pursuant to Rule 8310(a), and may impose costs, pursuant to 8330. In addition, the National Adjudicatory Council may remand the matter to the Office of Hearing Officers for further consideration of specified matters.
(3) For good cause shown, or with the consent of all of the parties to a proceeding, the Review Subcommittee, the National Adjudicatory Council Subcommittee or the National Adjudicatory Council may extend or shorten any time limits prescribed by this Rule other than those relating to Rule 9557.
(4) The National Adjudicatory Council's written decision shall constitute final FINRA action.
(5) The National Adjudicatory Council shall promptly serve the decision on the Parties and provide a copy of the decision to each FINRA member with which the respondent is associated.
(6) The timelines established by paragraphs (q)(1) through (5) confer no substantive rights on the parties.
(r) Application to SEC for Review
The right to have any action pursuant to this Rule reviewed by the SEC is governed by Section 19 of the Exchange Act. The filing of an application for review by the SEC shall not stay the effectiveness of final FINRA action, unless the SEC otherwise orders.
Amended by SR-FINRA-2015-019 eff. Nov. 2, 2015.
Amended by SR-FINRA-2013-018 eff. Dec. 16, 2013.
Amended by SR-FINRA-2011-065 eff. Dec. 2, 2011.
Amended by SR-FINRA-2009-076 eff. March 25, 2010.
Amended by SR-FINRA-2008-067 eff. Feb. 8, 2010.
Amended by SR-FINRA-2008-021 eff. Dec. 15, 2008.
Amended by SR-NASD-2006-111 eff. Sep. 25, 2006.
Adopted by SR-NASD-2003-110 eff. June 28, 2004.

Selected Notices: 04-36, 08-57, 09-71, 10-13, 13-27, 15-35.

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