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Quasi-Judicial Functions

Quasi-judicial is defined as an action by an administrative agency which[i];

  • ascertains certain facts,
  • hold hearings,
  • weigh evidence,
  • make conclusions from the facts as a basis for their official action, and
  • exercises discretion of a judicial nature.

A quasi-judicial proceeding investigates a disputed claim, weighs evidentiary facts and reaches a binding decision[ii].  In Brustad v. Rosas, 1999 Minn. App. LEXIS 1384 (Minn. Ct. App. Dec. 28, 1999), the court held that quasi judicial decisions are binding on the disputed claim.  The proceedings of administrative agencies are quasi-judicial when; hearing is held, both parties participate, the presiding officer subpoena witnesses and the administrative body has the power to take remedial action[iii].

In Cabana v. Kenai Peninsula Borough, 21 P.3d 833 (Alaska 2001), the court held that when an entity which normally acts as a legislative body applies general policy in private capacities, it is functioning in a quasi-judicial capacity.

In Robertson v. Astrue, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64487 (W.D. Va. July 17, 2009), the court held that although there are wide differences between administrative agencies and courts, they share a relationship similar to lower and upper courts.  similarly while performing a judicial function an entity is similar to a district court[iv].  When an administrative body acts in a quasi-judicial manner, due process requires notice and an opportunity for a full and fair hearing[v].  In Toker v. Pollak, 44 N.Y.2d 211 (N.Y. 1978), the court held that there is absolute immunity to communications made in the course of quasi-judicial administrative proceedings.

[i] In re Trickett, 27 Kan. App. 2d 651, 655-656 (Kan. Ct. App. 2000)

[ii] In re Speed Limit for the Union Pac. R.R., 610 N.W.2d 677, 682 (Minn. Ct. App. 2000)

[iii] Toker v. Pollak, 44 N.Y.2d 211 (N.Y. 1978)

[iv] In re Trickett, 27 Kan. App. 2d 651, 656 (Kan. Ct. App. 2000)

[v] Kaplan v. McClurg, 271 Neb. 101, 106 (Neb. 2006)

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