What to Know About Administrative Proceedings
Here’s what you need to know about administrative proceedings. Administrative proceedings are quasi-judicial in nature. They are similar to court proceedings where you can present evidence (such as documents, pictures, invoices, etc.) and witness testimony (your own witnesses, and in some cases, witnesses from the agency itself). However, you are presenting your case to the agency in control rather than a state court or federal court judge.
The administrative proceeding often called a hearing, is generally less formal than a trial in a state or federal court setting. Instead, administrative proceedings tend to be more cooperative in nature to work toward a solution. But the person presiding over these hearings are very document and facfact-driveno it is important to do these three things:
- Prepare: It is vital to have all of your documents and witnesses prepared well in advance of your hearing date. This means keeping excellent records to support your claim or to rebut the claim brought against you. And it could mean hiring an expert to help you prepare your claim.
- Organize: Make sure your evidence is organized so that it can be presented in the hearing in a clear and concise manner. The more clearly you present your facts and documents, the easier it will be for the person deciding the matter to follow, and the better your chances of success.
- Execute: Show up to the hearing and present your evidence in a professional manner. Dressing the part and acting in a respectful manner will show that you care about the matter.
Administrative proceedings by their nature, carry limited appeal rights. So you may or may not have the right to appeal a decision rendered by the administrative hearing and may ask pointed questions about the facts you present.
Planning for an Administrative Proceeding
It is important to note that each administrative agency is different. Each has its own set of rules (which are usually posted on the agency’s website).
Administrative Proceedings Deadlines
Although the proceedings can be less formal than in a state or federal trial court, the deadlines and timing requirements tend to be quite strict and can be very short.
For example, an employer who is cited by CAL-OSHA has 15 working days after receipt of the citation to file an appeal to the OSHA Appeal Board. An appeal that is filed late may be accepted, but only if the employer can show there were unexpected circumstances beyond its control that led to the late filing.
It is important to understand your rights and next course of action by researching the administrative agency’s website and the rules contained therein.