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Office of Administrative Hearings
 

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OAH is conducting certain prioritized hearings right now and these will be by telephone only. The agency will be closed to the public until further notice. Read More >>
Phase Two of Reopening Began on June 22

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Rules and Laws

The Council of the District of Columbia created the Office of Administrative Hearings as an independent agency which formally began operations in 2004. The operations of the Office of Administrative Hearings are governed both by its statutes and by rules it has promulgated.

OAH has adopted Emergency Rules in order to modify OAH operations in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and in accordance with the Mayor’s Declarations of public emergency and public health emergency. The document containing the emergency rules can be found here: OAH Notice of Fourth Emergency Rulemaking.

OAH Rules

The first portion of the rules (contained in Chapter 28 of Title 1 of the Distrtict of Columbia Municipal Regulations) governs general procedures in all cases.  For some particular cases, there are additional rules (contained in Chapter 29) providing special procedures. Those cases are: public benefits cases, rental housing cases, unemployment insurance cases, public sector workers' compensation cases, and District of Columbia Public Schools cases.

The rules govern various steps in the process of a case from filing at the Office of Administrative Hearings through hearings to the completion of the case. These rules and updates can also be accessed through the District of Columbia Office of Documents.

Former Rules

Rules that apply to the selection of Administrative Law Judges

Code of Ethics for OAH Administrative Law Judges

OAH Laws

There are two laws that are important for the Office of Administrative Hearings.

The Council of the District of Columbia created the Office of Administrative Hearings as an independent agency which formally began operations in 2004, after a multi-year pilot project. The Act creating the agency [PDF] is included in the District of Columbia Official Code at  D.C. Official Code § 2-1831.01 et seq.

Other laws also affect the agency’s operations. Chief among them is the District of Columbia Administrative Procedure Act which establishes procedures to use in “contested cases”  D.C. Official Code § 2-509.