By Michelle Allen, Indiana Offie of Administrative Law Proceedings
The Office of Administrative Law Proceedings (OALP) was created by the Indiana General Assembly to provide efficient, effective and impartial administrative hearings for Indiana’s citizens and state agencies. This legislation called for OALP to begin oversight of the administrative proceedings involving many executive branch state agencies on July 1, 2020.
Prior to July 1, each of the state agencies subject to OALP jurisdiction utilized their own employee or contract Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to preside over proceedings involving their own agency. Now, with the creation of OALP as an independent department, ALJs employed with or contracted by OALP will be assigned to preside over these proceedings. This adds a layer of independent review of disputed agency actions that ensures impartiality. Additionally, OALP ALJs are subject to the Code of Judicial Conduct for Administrative Law Judges ensuring impartiality, ethical decision-making and competence.
Having a centralized agency will also benefit Indiana by allowing for more uniform processes and procedures among ALJs. Additionally, ALJs will have more robust training and collaboration opportunities.
Although OALP ALJs will preside over administrative proceedings, state agencies retain the ultimate authority to affirm, modify, or reverse the ALJ’s recommended order, or remand the matter for additional proceedings.
To learn more about how OALP will operate effective July 1, 2020, please see the below FAQs:
Which state agencies will be subject to OALP jurisdiction?
State agencies utilizing ALJs from OALP are: Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Criminal Justice Institute, Department of Child Services, Department of Administration, Department of Financial Institutions, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Insurance, Department of Labor, Department of Toxicology, Department of Veteran’s Affairs, Family and Social Services Administration (excluding Social Security), Horse Racing Commission, Indiana Civil Rights Commission, Indiana Department of Transportation, Indiana Gaming Commission, Indiana Grain Buyers and Warehouse Licensing Agency, Indiana Law Enforcement Training Board, Indiana State Department of Health, Indiana State Police, Office of Community and Rural Affairs, Secretary of State, Treasurer of State.
How does OALP receive an appeal?
Petitions for review of an agency action may be submitted online via web form found here. This form has four parts: 1) contact information for the citizen/entity affected; 2) contact information for attorney or representative; 3) information about the order being reviewed; 4) the desired outcome of the proceeding. Review requests (State Form 56961) may also be dropped off or mailed to the Office of Administrative Law Proceedings, 402 W. Washington Street, Rm. W-161, Indianapolis, IN 46204.
Select state agencies will internally review petitions for review and then submit a request to OALP for assignment of an ALJ. Please refer to the agency’s action to know how to pursue a petition for review.
How are cases tracked?
The Indiana Supreme Court’s Office of Technology partnered with OALP to create a case management system to track administrative cases. This system is hosted by INcite, the Indiana Court Information Technology Extranet. Each case is assigned a unique administrative cause number and OALP employees will be able to input minute entries and documents into the system where they will be recorded on the cases’ chronological case summary.
What information will OALP need from attorneys?
Attorney information is linked to the Indiana Roll of Attorneys. If you represent an individual or entity during an administrative proceeding, OALP will perfect service to you at the email or mailing address listed on the Indiana Roll of Attorneys.
What notices will be given to attorneys?
When OALP initiates an administrative case in its INcite case management system, OALP will also enter any attorney of record. The OALP INcite case management system will automatically send an email to that attorney giving notice that the attorney has been added as party to the case. This notice will include the administrative cause number assigned to the proceeding.
Where will hearings be conducted?
Unless prohibited by specific law or regulation, OALP favors scheduling hearings virtually. However, any party, or the administrative law judge, may request an in-person hearing. Such requests should be granted absent extraordinary circumstances. OALP ALJs may utilize conference lines as well as video conferencing for hearings. Any in-person hearing locations will vary based on the type of case and any requirements for such hearing.
Must ALJs adhere to any new standards?
Yes. OALP has initiated the rule making process to establish a Code of Judicial Conduct for Administrative Law Judges. This code covers ethical considerations for judges and mirrors or expands upon requirements listed in the Administrative Orders and Procedures Act (AOPA) as well as the State Ethics Code. Allegations of violations of this code may be sent to the director of OALP.
Who may I contact with questions?
Send e-mail inquiries to OALP@oalp.IN.gov or go online to check out resources here.
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