Administrative Procedure Act – Utah

The Utah Administrative Procedure Act is found in Title 63G, Chapter 4 of Code of Utah.  According to Utah Code Ann. § 63G-4-102, the provisions of Administrative Procedure Act applies to state agency action that determines the legal rights, duties, privileges, immunities, or other legal interests of an identifiable person.  The provisions of Administrative Procedure Act also includes agency action to grant, deny, revoke, suspend, modify, annul, withdraw, or amend an authority, right, or license.  The Administrative Procedure Act governs the judicial review of an administrative action.  However, the Act does not govern the procedure for making agency rules, or judicial review of the procedure or rules

According to Utah Code Ann. § 63G-4-104, an agency may not recommend or rule on the custody, placement, or other disposition alternative for a minor, or the termination of parental rights based on the fact that, a parent of minor legally possess or use a firearm, or espouses particular religious belief, or schools the minor outside public education system.  However, an agency may recommend or rule based on the compatibility of a minor with a particular custody, placement, or other disposition.

As per Utah Code Ann. § 63G-4-201, all adjudicative proceedings is to be commenced by;

  • a notice of agency action, if proceedings are commenced by the agency; or
  • a request for agency action, if proceedings are commenced by persons other than the agency.

A notice of agency action should be in writing and signed by a presiding officer.  When adjudicative proceedings are commenced by the agency, the agency should mail the notice to each party, publish the notice and mail the notice of agency action to any other person who has a right to notice under statute or rule.

When adjudicative proceedings are commenced by persons other than the agency, request for agency action should be in writing and signed by the person invoking the jurisdiction of the agency.  The person requesting agency action should file the request with the agency and should mail a copy to each person known to have a direct interest in the requested agency action.

Utah Code Ann. § 63G-4-202 states that an agency may make rules regarding adjudicative proceedings to be conducted informally according to the procedures set forth in rules enacted under the authority of Administrative Procedure Act.  All agency adjudicative proceedings not specifically designated as informal proceedings by the agency’s rules should be conducted formally.  Also before a final order is issued in any adjudicative proceeding, the presiding officer may convert a formal adjudicative proceeding to an informal adjudicative proceeding, or an informal adjudicative proceeding to a formal adjudicative proceeding if conversion of the proceeding is in the public interest and conversion does not unfairly prejudice the rights of any party.

According to Utah Code Ann. § 63G-4-203, an agency should prescribe procedures for informal adjudicative proceedings.  In informal adjudicative proceedings answer to the allegations contained in the notice of agency action or the request for agency action need not be filed.  However, agency should hold a hearing after timely notice, if a hearing is required by statute or rule.  In hearing, the parties named in the notice of agency action or in the request for agency action are permitted to testify, present evidence, and comment on the issues.  Discovery is prohibited in informal adjudicative proceedings.  After the close of an informal adjudicative proceeding, the presiding officer will issue a signed order in writing stating the decision and the reason for the decision.  Also, copy of the presiding officer’s order is mailed to all the parties.

Utah Code Ann. § 63G-4-204 provides procedure for formal adjudicative proceedings.  In a formal adjudicative proceeding the respondent should file and serve a written response signed by the respondent within 30 days of the mailing date or last date of publication of the notice of agency action.  Also the respondent should send a copy of the response to all party.  The presiding officer may permit pleadings in addition to the notice of agency action and the response.  All documents permitted or required to be filed should be filed with the agency and one copy should be send to each party.  As per Utah Code Ann. § 63G-4-205, under formal adjudicative proceedings an agency may prescribe rules for adequate means of discovery to permit the parties to obtain all relevant information necessary to support their claims or defenses.

According to Utah Code Ann. § 63G-4-206, in all formal adjudicative proceedings, a hearing should be conducted.  The presiding officer should regulate the hearing to obtain full disclosure of relevant facts and to afford all the parties reasonable opportunity to present their positions.  All testimony presented at the hearing in a formal adjudicative proceedings should be given under oath.  As per Utah Code Ann. § 63G-4-207, any person who is not a party to a proceeding may file a signed written petition to the presiding officer to intervene in a formal adjudicative proceeding with the agency. Utah Code Ann. § 63G-4-208 states that after the hearing the presiding officer will sign and issue an order that includes findings, conclusions and reasons for the presiding officer’s decision.  The order also includes a statement of any relief ordered by the agency.

As per Utah Code Ann. § 63G-4-209, the presiding officer may enter an order of default against a party if a party in an informal adjudicative proceeding fails to participate in the adjudicative proceeding or if a party to a formal adjudicative proceeding fails to attend or participate in a properly scheduled hearing after receiving proper notice or if a respondent in a formal adjudicative proceeding fails to file a response

According to Utah Code Ann. § 63G-4-301, aggrieved party to any adjudicative proceeding may seek review of an order by the agency or by a superior agency.  The aggrieved party may file a written request for review within 30 days after the issuance of the order with the person or entity designated for that purpose by the statute or rule.  Within a reasonable time after the filing of any response, other filings, or oral argument, or within the time required by statute or applicable rules, the agency or superior agency should issue a written order on review.

As per Utah Code Ann. § 63G-4-401, a party aggrieved may obtain judicial review of final agency action.  However in actions where judicial review is expressly prohibited by statute, the aggrieved party may not obtain judicial review.  Also, a party may seek judicial review only after exhausting all administrative remedies available.  A party should file a petition for judicial review of final agency action within 30 days after the date that the order constituting the final agency action is issued.

According to Utah Code Ann. § 63G-4-402, the district courts have jurisdiction to review all final agency actions resulting from informal adjudicative proceedings.  The district court determines all questions of fact and law and any constitutional issue presented in the pleadings.  As per Utah Code Ann. § 63G-4-403, the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals has jurisdiction to review all final agency action resulting from formal adjudicative proceedings.  To seek judicial review of final agency action resulting from formal adjudicative proceedings, the petitioner should file a petition for review of agency action with the appropriate appellate court in the form required by the appellate rules of the appropriate appellate court.

Utah Code Ann. § 63G-4-404 states that in the review of informal adjudicative proceedings by the district court or in the review of formal adjudicative proceedings by an appellate court, the court may award damages or compensation only to the extent expressly authorized by statute.  Also, the decisions on petitions for judicial review of final agency action are reviewable by a higher court.  According to Utah Code Ann. § 63G-4-405, the agency may grant a stay of its order or other temporary remedy during the pendency of judicial review, according to the agency’s rules.


Inside Administrative Procedure Act – Utah