What Happens After a Claimant Files a Claim with the CCB & the Case Becomes an Active Proceeding

What does it mean when a case is an “active” case?

After a respondent is served notice of a case, they have 60 days to decide whether to participate in the case. Once that 60-day window closes without an opt-out, the case then becomes “active.” That means that both parties have decided to participate and the case is moving forward.

What happens after the opt-out period has expired and the case has become active?

Once a case becomes active, the Board will issue an order to all of the parties. That order will require that, within 14 days:

(1) The claimant pay the remaining $60 filing fee (remember, the filing fee is paid in two parts: $40 when the claim is filed, and the remaining $60 once the case becomes active), and

(2) All parties register for the eCCB, which is the online filing and case management system. This is where parties will file materials related to the case and receive communications from the CCB.

After the claimant pays the additional $60 and the parties register for the eCCB, the Board will lay out the schedule for the case in what’s called the scheduling order. The scheduling order provides a roadmap for what to expect going forward in an active proceeding

Can the scheduling order be changed after it has been issued?

The Board has the ability to amend the scheduling order when necessary. For example, if a respondent brings a counterclaim and that counterclaim is approved or if there are conferences or hearings added to the schedule, the scheduling order would need to be amended to account for those changes. The Board can also amend the scheduling order if it becomes necessary in order to properly manage their docket. The parties can also request a change to the schedule.

What happens during an active proceeding?

The easiest way to think about a proceeding is in three stages: (1) pre-discovery; (2) discovery; and (3) post-discovery.


  • During the pre-discovery stage, the respondent will file a response to the claims raised by the claimant. This is the respondent’s opportunity to dispute the facts alleged by the claimant and to raise any defenses and permissible counterclaims. The CCB provides a form that the respondent would fill out to help simplify the process of drafting a response. The respondent will generally have 30 days from the day the scheduling order is issued to submit their response.  And if the respondent does choose to file a counterclaim, the claimant will have 30 days from when the counterclaim is approved to file a response disputing the facts alleged and to raise any defenses.
  • One of the CCB Officers will also hold a pre-discovery conference with the parties to discuss case management, the discovery process, and the possibility of resolving the dispute through a settlement.


Discovery is the process where each party has the opportunity to gather certain information and evidence from the other party to help support their arguments in the case.

During the discovery stage, parties will generally exchange information by responding to what are known as “interrogatories”—which are questions relevant to the claims or counterclaims in the case—and by exchanging relevant documents. Parties can also request that the Board permit additional discovery, but that request will only be granted in limited circumstances. The scheduling order will specify the specific timeline for when discovery will happen and the deadlines.


  • During the post-discovery stage, a CCB Officer will also hold a post-discovery conference with the parties. This conference is similar to the conference held during the pre-discovery stage: it will cover case management, the discovery process, and the possibility of resolving the dispute through a settlement.
  • The parties will also file their written testimony and responses during this stage. The CCB Officers will review everything and reach a final determination about how to resolve the dispute.

How does discovery at the CCB differ from discovery in federal court?

The discovery stage of the CCB differs from federal court in a few ways. For example:

  • It is much more limited than in federal court. Some forms of discovery that are allowed in federal court are not allowed at the CCB, or may only be allowed under special circumstances. For example, depositions are not allowed at the CCB, and “requests for admissions” are generally not allowed; and
  • The Board provides the parties with a standard set of interrogatories and document requests so that the parties do not have to worry about creating them on their own.

Does any part of the CCB proceeding have to be done in person?

No, everything is done remotely. There are no in-person appearances before the CCB.

Will proceedings before the CCB involve hearings?

If the Board deems it necessary, a hearing may be scheduled during a proceeding. Parties can also request a hearing, and the Board will consider the request and make a decision. Like everything else in a CCB proceeding, any hears would be held virtually.

Are witnesses allowed to participate in CCB proceedings?

Witnesses are allowed to participate in CCB proceedings. If a witness has personal knowledge about the facts of the case, a party can submit a written statement from that witness.

Expert witnesses, on the other hand—those who do not have personal knowledge about the facts of the case but may have expertise or specialized knowledge on a subject important to the case—are generally not allowed to participate in CCB proceedings. The Board will only grant a party’s request to use an expert witness in exceptional circumstances.

What happens if a claimant or respondent stops participating in an active case?

If a claimant stops participating in an active case, the CCB may dismiss their claims for failure to prosecute, and they may be required to pay the attorneys’ fees and costs of the other party.

If a respondent stops participating, the case will go on without their participation. The CCB will consider the evidence submitted by the claimant to make a determination about the case, while still leaving open the opportunity for the respondent to show back up and participate. If the CCB determines that the evidence supports a ruling in favor of the claimant, they will issue what is called a default determination in favor of the claimant. If they determine that the evidence does not support a ruling in favor of the claimant, the case will be dismissed [without prejudice].

Once the Board has all of the testimony, and conducts any hearings, how do the CCB Officers decide the case?

CCB Officers consider all of the testimony and evidence that was presented to make a determination. Determinations must be agreed upon by a majority of the CCB Officers presiding over the case. The Officers must follow existing judicial precent from federal court, meaning they are to resolve matters in the same manner that a federal court judge would resolve the matter. In the rare instance where there might be conflicting precedent—meaning courts differ on how to resolve a certain issue—the Officers must follow the law established by the court where the claim would be heard if it had been brought in federal court.