If you have received a Final Order in your case and you disagree with a judge’s decision, you have two appeal options:
- You can ask the OAH judge to allow a new hearing or change the final order, or
- You can ask another court to hear the case and change the final order.
You cannot do both at the same time. If you file an appeal with another court, then OAH no longer has authority over the case.
How do I ask the OAH judge to change a final order?
Since this option is an OAH process, the OAH rules apply. For more information, click the red button below for the type of request you would like to make.
How do I request an appeal with another court?
Pay close attention to instructions in the Final Order. Different types of cases need to be filed in different courts, commissions, or boards (generally called “tribunals”), so your Final Order will explain where you need to file an appeal for your case type.
Most case are appealed to the D.C. Court of Appeals, but there are some exceptions. For example, an OAH Final Order in a rental housing case must be appealed to the Rental Housing Commission. Similarly, other types of cases may need to be appealed to a specific commission or board.
Each tribunal has its own requirements and rules of procedure. For cases filed with the D.C. Court of Appeals, you may learn more about the process by visiting the D.C. Court of Appeals “How to Appeal a Decision or Order” webpage. For cases filed with the Rental Housing Commission, you can learn more by visiting the Commission’s “How to File an Appeal” webpage. If your case must be appealed to a different tribunal, contact that tribunal directly or visit the website for more information about that tribunal’s rules for appealing an OAH Final Order.
Do I still have to follow a Final Order if I file an appeal?
Yes, a Final Order takes effect when it is issued, and filing an appeal does not automatically postpone or otherwise affect the requirement to do what the Final Order says you must do.
However, you can request that the OAH judge “stay” (or delay) the effective date of the Final Order. If the judge grants a stay, you do not need to do what the Final Order says until after the appeal is over, and only if the Final Order is upheld on appeal.
In determining whether to grant a stay, the OAH judge may consider the following factors:
- whether the party filing the motion is likely to succeed on the merits,
- whether denial of the stay will cause irreparable injury,
- whether and to what degree granting the stay will harm other parties, and
- whether the public interest favors granting a stay.
If you are appealing a Final Order that requires you to pay money, you must either request and be granted a stay pending the appeal, or pay the money as ordered. If you do neither, you may be subject to additional penalties. If you pay the money as ordered, but then the Final Order is changed to require you to pay a smaller amount, you will be refunded any overpayment.
OAH Rule 2830 has more information about appeals and stays. You can find the OAH Rules on the Rules & Laws page.
If you have questions about your appeal options or the appeals process, you may contact the OAH Resource Center by calling (202) 442-9094 and pressing “4” from the main menu or by emailing [email protected].