Practice and Procedure on Review

Generally, courts determine to what extent they must review an administrative action which possess quasi-judicial powers but which perform duties outside of the scope of the judicial branch.  Rate-making is an example.  Courts will determine whether the agency:[i]

  • Acted impartially;
  • Performed faithfully the duties delineated in the legislative acts which conferred jurisdiction upon it;
  • Stayed within its jurisdiction;
  • Committed no error of law;
  • Exercised discretion judiciously and not capriciously; and
  • Arrived at no conclusion which was clearly wrong.

Some statutes, including the Model State Administrative Procedure Act, provide that the procedure on review will be the same as in other civil cases.  This is considered as a general rule although the statute does not expressly state the same.  However, if the rules of civil procedure conflicts with any relevant provisions of a state administrative procedure act, then the rules of civil procedure cannot be made applicable to judicial review of agency actions.[ii]

Normally, a court will have no authority to order discovery as it lacks authority to hear additional evidence.  Therefore, an order regarding discovery is reviewed for the correction of errors at law.[iii]

[i] Richardson v. Neuner, 183 Ore. 558 (Or. 1948)

[ii] S.E. Iowa Coop. Elec. Ass’n v. Iowa Utils. Bd., 633 N.W.2d 814 (Iowa 2001)

[iii] Kholeif v. Board of Medical Examiners, 497 N.W.2d 804 (Iowa 1993)


Inside Practice and Procedure on Review