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What Are Administrative Hearings?

Administrative hearings are different from criminal or civil cases because it is less severe but is still similar to being in a court for trial. These legal proceedings are handled outside a formal court system. An administrative hearing involves disputes under the authority of government agencies. An administrative hearing gives each party a chance to tell his side of the facts at dispute. They may present witnesses, provide evidence and are frequently allowed to make closing statements. Naturally, an administrative law judge or ALJ and sometimes called a hearing examiner conducts the hearing. The ALJ’s role is to act as a judge and jury. He is supposed to be neutral and cannot be personally involved in the case. The ALJ may not be the final decision-maker depending on the laws governing the hearing, sometimes the final judgment still lies in the government agency.

For example, if a social services office denies a person his welfare assistance, that person has the right to appeal on the decision. This kind of appeal may then result to an administrative hearing. This is to determine if the said government agency has the correct documents or decision in denying the applicants welfare assistance. Other factors such as unemployment, child support, and public assistance may also result to an administrative hearing. These proceedings are supported by motions whether to separate issues of laws such as the tolerability of evidence, or to resolve the case without further trial on a motion to dismiss that will determine how the trial proceeds.

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