Powers of Administrative Law Judges

The Federal Administrative Procedure Act (APA) provides that, subject to published rules of an agency and the powers of an agency, an employee presiding at a formal, trial-type hearing may

  • administer oaths and affirmations.
  • issue subpoenas authorized by law.
  • rule on offers of proof and receive relevant evidence.
  • take depositions or have depositions taken when the ends of justice would be served.
  • regulate the course of the hearing.
  • hold conferences for the settlement or simplification of the issues by consent of the parties or by the use of alternate means of dispute resolution.
  • inform the parties as to the availability of one or more alternative means of dispute resolution and encourage use of such methods.
  • require the attendance, at any conference for the settlement or simplification of the issues, of at least one representative of each party who has authority to negotiate concerning resolution of the issues in controversy.
  • dispose of procedural requests or similar matters.
  • make or recommend decisions.
  • take other action authorized by agency rule consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act.
     

Pursuant to 1981 Model State Administrative Act, the presiding officer may determine, whether a pre-hearing conference will be conducted.  If the conference is conducted, the presiding officer shall promptly notify the agency of the determination that a pre-hearing conference will be conducted.  The presiding officer for the pre-hearing conference shall set the time and place of the conference and give reasonable written notice to all parties and to all persons who have filed written petitions to intervene in the matter.  For the hearing, the presiding officer for the hearing shall set the time and place of the hearing and give reasonable written notice to all parties and to all persons who have filed written petitions to intervene in the matter.  The presiding officer, at appropriate stages of the proceedings, has the power to give all parties full opportunity to file pleadings, motions, objections and offers of settlement.  The presiding officer, at appropriate stages of the proceedings, gives all parties full opportunity to file briefs, proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law, and proposed initial or final orders.  The presiding office is authorized to serve upon all parties written notice of a proposed default order, including a statement of the grounds, if a party fails to attend or participate in a pre-hearing conference, hearing, or other stage of an adjudicative proceeding.  The presiding officer [at the request of any party shall, and upon the presiding officer’s own motion,] may issue subpoenas, discovery orders and protective orders, in accordance with the rules of civil procedure.  The presiding officer shall regulate the course of the proceedings in conformity with any pre-hearing order.  The presiding officer shall afford to all parties the opportunity to respond, present evidence and argument, conduct cross-examination, and submit rebuttal evidence, except as restricted by a limited grant of intervention or by the pre-hearing order.  The presiding officer may give nonparties an opportunity to present oral or written statements.


Inside Powers of Administrative Law Judges