Necessity of Hearing

Under the Federal Administrative Procedure Act, an agency must be given an opportunity to interested persons to participate in the rule making process by providing their comments.  However, according to the Administrative Procedure Act, it is not mandatory to provide an evidentiary hearing or oral presentation as part of the comment requirement by a federal agency.

It is highly impractical to provide everyone a chance of hearing in rulemaking.  In agency rulemaking, a trial form of hearing is not required.[i] However, any person interested must be given an opportunity to comment on facts and ideas that are considered by the agency.

There is no constitutional right to a hearing.[ii] In Chip Steak Co. v. Hardin, 332 F. Supp. 1084 (N.D. Cal. 1971), it was observed that parties are not entitled to public oral hearing.

If the parties are given notice and an opportunity to participate in the rulemaking by filing written data and statements of views and arguments, then it is not an abuse of discretion to deny oral presentation.[iii]

A court has no power to order that an agency adopt procedures that is not required by the Federal Administrative Procedure Act, the Constitution, and other relevant statutes.

[i] Sima Products Corp. v. McLucas, 460 F. Supp. 128 (N.D. Ill. 1978)

[ii] Alaska S.S. Co. v. Federal Maritime Com., 356 F.2d 59 (9th Cir. 1966)

[iii] Tidewater Express Lines, Inc. v. United States, 281 F. Supp. 995 (D. Md. 1968)


Inside Necessity of Hearing