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 Third Emergency Rulemaking, February 18, 2021.
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.
- OAH Consolidated Rules, February 2016
- OAH Consolidated Rules, November 2014
- Former Rules of Practice and Procedure (June 2012)
- Former Rules of Practice and Procedure - Trial (May 2007)
- Former Rules Applicable in Specific Classes of Cases
Rules that apply to the selection of Administrative Law Judges
- Rules of the Commission on Selection and Tenure govern the selection of Administrative Law Judges by the Commission on Selection and Tenure (6 DCMR B3700).
Code of Ethics for OAH Administrative Law Judges
- Code of Ethics for OAH Administrative Law Judges [PDF] applies to all Administrative Law Judges of the Office of Administrative Hearings.
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.