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Administrative Procedure Act – Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Administrative Procedure Act (“Act”) is found in Title 2, Chapter 1, 5 and 7 of the Pennsylvania Annotated Statutes.  According to the Act an agency will have power to promulgate, amend and repeal reasonable regulations implementing the provisions of the Act.

The Act provides that any party can be represented before a commonwealth and local agency.  Adjudication of a commonwealth agency and local agency against a party will not be valid if s/he has not been given reasonable notice of hearing, an opportunity of being heard and opportunity to submit briefs.  Further commonwealth and local agencies are not be bound by technical rules of evidence at agency hearings.  They can receive all relevant evidence of reasonably probative value and reasonable examination and cross-examination is permitted.  All adjudications of a Commonwealth and local agency must be in writing, must contain findings and the reasons for the adjudication, and must be served upon all parties or their counsel personally, or by mail.  Before giving notice of the adjudication, the commonwealth agency must submit the matter to its representative in the Department of Justice, who will decide as to the legality of the proposed action.

Any interested person aggrieved by an adjudication of a commonwealth or local agency has the right to appeal to the court having jurisdiction of such appeals.  A party who approached a Commonwealth agency under the provisions of a specific statute is not precluded from questioning the validity of the statute in the appeal.  But such party cannot bring in appeal any other question which is not raised before the agency.  This remedy at law will not in any manner prejudice the right of the party to equitable relief.

Also a party who proceeded before a local agency under the provisions of a particular statute, home rule charter, or local ordinance or resolution is not precluded from questioning the validity of the statute, home rule charter or local ordinance or resolution in the appeal.  But if a full and complete record of the proceedings before the agency was made, the party cannot raise upon appeal any other question not raised before the agency.

Inside Administrative Procedure Act – Pennsylvania