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Oregon Administrative Law: How Administrative Hearings Work
“No man can be the judge in his own cause”

Editor's note: This is the first of a multi-part series on Administrative Law in Oregon

The concept of Administrative Hearings goes all the way back to the 1600s when Dr. Thomas Bonham, an English Physician was ordered by the Royal College of Physicians to cease practicing medicine and when he refused, was imprisoned. He appealed, but his appeal was heard by the very same Royal College of Physicians who had imprisoned him in the first place.

Chief Justice of the Common Pleas Sir Edward Coke at that time decided that the College was too invested in the outcome, commenting "No man can be the judge in his own cause." The effect can be the same, when an agency makes a decision that impacts a citizen and then is the judge of its own case. How could any citizen win?

Because of this, the Office of Administrative Hearings was created by HB 2525 in 1999 to provide an independent and impartial forum for citizens and businesses to dispute state agency actions. A Chief Administrative Law Judge is appointed by the governor and has independent statutory authority to manage the office. Fifty-nine professional administrative law judges hold more than 24,000 hearings a year for approximately 70 state agencies.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

By statute, all administrative law judges are required to be “impartial in the performance of [their] duties and shall remain fair in all hearings.” Oregon is one of 22 states with an independent central panel of administrative law judges. The current Chief Administrative Law Judge is John Mann. There are several Administrative Law Regional Offices around the state.

If you've had a decision that impacts you made by a state agency, such as the Employment Department, the Department of Revenue or any other agency, you can request a hearingg. You can represent yourself at an administrative hearing.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-07-25 11:12:28Last Update: 2021-07-25 12:11:25



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