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oah

Office of Administrative Hearings

Click this link to access OAH's eFiling Portal:https://oah.dc.gov/page/oah-efiling-portal.

Guide to Filing a "Request for a New Hearing"

This information guide is meant to help you understand the process after you receive Final Order but didn’t attend a hearing, either because you missed it or because you received a default Final Order for not having filed a required document. If you attended a hearing and then received a Final Order that you disagree with, see the Guide to filing a “Request to Change a Final Order”.

Also, this guide does not cover every detail or requirement, and it does not give legal advice. You are ultimately responsible for knowing and following all OAH Rules that apply to your case and for making decisions about your case. If you have questions, contact the OAH Resource Center by phone at (202) 442-9094 (press ‘4’ from the main menu) or by email at [email protected].

How do I make a request for a new hearing?

You can make your request by completing and filing the Request for a New Hearing form. You also need to send a copy of the form to the other party and complete the "Certificate of Service" page, letting OAH know when and how you sent a copy to the other party.

Is there a deadline to file a request for a new hearing?

Yes. There are two deadlines to know about:

  • Filing within 10 days
  • Filing after 10 days, but within 120 days

Both deadlines start from the date OAH served (i.e., mailed and/or emailed) the Final Order. You can find this date on the “Certificate of Service” at the end of the order.

If you received the Final Order only by regular mail, you get an extra five days, meaning you can file within 15 days, or after 15 days but within 125 days.

Also, the deadlines are measured in calendar days, meaning weekends and holidays are included.

If I have 120 days, why does it matter if I file within the first 10 days?

The benefit of filing your request within 10 days is that you preserve the full period to eventually file an appeal to a higher court, in case the judge denies your request.

All OAH Final Orders can be appealed to a higher court, but there is a strict deadline from the date of the Final Order to do so. But if you first want to ask the OAH judge to schedule a new hearing (and you file your request to OAH within 10 days), the time to appeal to a higher court does not start to run until after the judge decides your request. So, if the judge denies your request, you will then have the full time to appeal the Final Order to a higher court. If the judge grants the request, you will have a new hearing, and the judge will issue a new Final Order.

If you miss the 10-day deadline, you still have 120 days to ask the judge for a new hearing. But the deadline to appeal to a higher court continues to run from the date of the Final Order. So, if the judge denies your request, and the appeal deadline is expired, you have no other appeal right.

What do I need to include in my request?

For a judge to grant a request for a new hearing, you need to explain two things in writing, depending on the reason for requesting a new hearing.

If you want a new hearing because you missed your hearing, you need to:

  • Give a good reason for missing the hearing

and

  • Explain an adequate claim or defense regarding the disputed issue is the case

If you want a hearing because you received a default Final Order against you for not having filed a required document, you need to:

  • Give a good reason for not having filed the required document

and

  • Explain an adequate claim or defense regarding the disputed issue is the case

Both scenarios require you to explain an adequate claim or defense regarding the issue in the case. This is because the judge needs to know that there is still a valid legal dispute that needs a hearing to resolve.

However, the existence of a valid dispute does not guarantee that the judge will grant the request. You must still give a good reason for either missing the hearing or not filing the required document. Simply forgetting that you had a hearing or were required to file something may not be a good reason, in which case the judge may deny your request.

Can the other party respond to my request?

Yes. The other party normally isn’t required to respond, unless the judge orders a response. But before a judge can grant a request, the judge must give the other party an opportunity to respond.

Also, if the opposing party is a D.C. agency, the agency can ask that a Final Order issued in its favor be set aside, if there is a good reason.

Can I request a new hearing at OAH and appeal to a higher court at the same time?

No. You cannot do both at the same time. If you appeal the Final Order to a higher court, then OAH no longer has authority over the case and cannot schedule a new hearing.

Do I have to obey the Final Order if I request a new hearing or 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. You may use the Request for a Stay form for this purpose. The judge must issue an order in writing to grant the request.

OAH Rule Pointers

NOTE: It is your responsibility to know and follow all OAH Rules that apply to your case. Failure to follow the rules could result in the rejection of your request. You can find the OAH Rules on the Rules & Laws page.

Other Rules may apply, but important rules to know include:

Rule 2828 -This rule covers all the requirements for a requesting a new hearing, including deadlines and reasons why a judge may grant a new hearing.

Rule 2813 - This rule generally covers “motions” procedure. A motion is a request for the judge to do something in a case, such as grant a new hearing. Rule 2828 covers motions for a new hearing specifically, but this rule has additional requirements that apply to all types of motions.

Rule 2809 - This rule covers filing requirements, including information about when a paper is considered filed.

Rule 2811 - This rule covers “service” requirements. Every request you file with OAH must be served (or sent) to the other party in the case. This rule explains when and how you must do so.

Rule 2812 - This rule explains how to calculate deadlines. For example, the rule explains that if the last day of a deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline is extended to the end of the next day on which OAH is open.

Rule 2830 - This rule covers appeals and explains stay requests, including factors a judge may consider when deciding whether to grant a stay.

If you still have questions, contact the OAH Resource Center by phone at (202) 442-9094 (press ‘4’ from the main menu) or by email at [email protected].