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(a) The initial burden of proof is upon the petitioner. If the petitioner establishes the facts necessary to sustain his burden of proof and after the petitioner has rested his/her case, the burden of proof shifts to the respondent. Similarly, a party that has filed a counterclaim has the initial burden of proof with respect to that counterclaim.

(b) All witnesses shall be sworn. Witnesses who give direct testimony may be cross-examined as to their testimony and rebuttal witnesses may be called to testify and be cross-examined.

(c) The Judge presiding over the matter shall determine the admissibility and use of evidence so as to ensure and promote substantial justice between the parties. Formal rules of evidence shall not apply unless determined necessary by the Judge or requested and agreed upon by the parties. If formal rules of evidence become necessary or requested, the Court shall apply the Federal Rules of Evidence but may interpret those rules with deference to the cultural and historical traditions of the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island. [Res. 2012-24; 2008 Code § 2.5.11]