Coming Soon – “Final” ALJ Decisions

December 23, 2014 | No Comments
Posted by Steven M. Dalton

The Administrative Procedures Act (“APA”) was amended in 2013 to give agencies the authority to order that Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) decisions are deemed to be final with respect to certain categories of administrative cases. For such cases, the ALJ decision will not be subject to further review by the head of the agency. I previously wrote on the topic of finality in the adjudicatory hearing process (ALJ Decision Bill) highlighting the chilling effect that agency-head review of ALJ decisions can have on individual rights in the administrative process.

The Office of Administrative Law has proposed regulations to implement this law, paving the way for agencies to take action to streamline the adjudicatory hearing appeal process. What type of cases will be exempted from further review following the decision of an ALJ remains to be seen. Will agencies take action to implement the law in a meaningful way and issue orders that are sufficiently broad and capture a wide array of cases? Stay tuned.

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