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Hobbs Act Standing to Seek Review in Court of Appeals

According to the Hobbs Act, any party aggrieved by a final agency order can file a petition to review that order in the court of appeals within 60 days after its entry.[i]  The action must be against the U.S and the petition must contain a concise statement of:

  • The nature of the proceedings to which review is sought;
  • The facts on which venue is based;
  • The grounds on which relief is sought;
  • The relief prayed.

However, non participants cannot seek judicial review in the courts of appeal under the Hobbs Act.  If the parties fail to file comments to the administrative action, it will automatically exclude a finding that parties who subsequently seek judicial review of the administrative action are parties aggrieved.  Under the Hobbs Act, a federal agency can be regarded as an aggrieved party.  Therefore, a federal agency has standing to seek judicial review of the order of another agency.

In United States v. Federal Maritime Com., 655 F.2d 247, 252 (D.C. Cir. 1980), the court observed that the language or history in the Hobbs Act not indicate that Congress meant to preclude the review despite its possession of the essential attributes of a party aggrieved.  Moreover, the Hobbes Act neither requires the attorney general to defend agency orders nor precludes an independent agency defense.

An intervenor must show that it is an aggrieved party and not a person in order to substitute for a petitioner for review of an agency order.  However, an individual can appeal an agency action, even if not a party, if the agency action exceeds the power of the agency’s commission.  It is to be noted that if an order is promulgated without proper notice or comment, it can result in granting the power to remove regulations from direct review by agencies.

[i] 28 USCS § 2344

Inside Hobbs Act Standing to Seek Review in Court of Appeals