Ohio Administrative Law Attorney – Agency Hearings
Local, state, and federal agencies enjoy broad power to handle or decide cases under their own administrative authority before court action. For any such case pending through a state or local agency, it is important to have the help of a knowledgeable Ohio administrative law attorney before a case reaches the court process.
At Graff & McGovern, our team offers extensive experience guiding individuals, business, and organizations through the bureaucracy of administrative and local agencies, advocating for clients at agency hearings. Our lawyers understand the specific rules and regulations for the agency handling cases. Three of our attorneys are Ohio State Bar Association Certified Specialists in Administrative Agency Law, of only eight in the state.
We can help obtain the access needed to state and local agencies, to guard a client through the administrative law process. Contact Graff & McGovern today at 614-228-5800, or use our online contact form, to schedule an appointment to discuss government affairs representation today.
Ohio Administrative Procedure Act
In Ohio, the Administrative Procedure Act provides that all state agency hearings follow an identical process. The Ohio Attorney General publishes the Ohio Administrative Law Handbook, available online, which describes this process.
Local governments also must follow a uniform administrative hearing procedure that is defined in a separate statute in the Ohio Revised Code. Local Government rulings also may be appealed to court under separate legal provisions.
In addition to procedures for adjudication hearings, the same law also regulates promulgation of state administrative rulemaking. An administrative rule has the same effect as a statute, as long as the rule is consistent with the authorizing statute.
Administrative Agency Hearings Process
A person, business, or organization may need a lawyer to represent them at an administrative hearing when the agency proposes some kind of action against them, such as suspending or revoking a license.
The first step in the process is for the agency to send a notice of the proposed action and the reason why the action is proposed. For example, an agency may be proposing to suspend a professional license based on alleged professional misconduct by the license holder.
A few important things to know about administrative hearings:
- The subject of an administrative action has the right to a hearing.
- The person must request an adjudication hearing before the agency within 30 days of the date the notice is mailed.
- The agency must schedule the hearing promptly.
- Both the person and the agency may offer sworn testimony and evidence in support of each position.
Typically, the agency hearing is before a lawyer serving as Hearing Examiner, who considers the evidence and writes a recommendation to the agency. Once the recommendation is issued, a person may file objections. The agency then sends notice of its decision either confirming or revising the recommendation.
Appealing an Administrative Decision
Once an agency issues its decision, the person then has only 15 days after the mailing of the notice of the agency’s order to appeal the decision to the Court of Common Pleas in the county where the person lives or conducts business, or otherwise Franklin County, Ohio. Any appeal is filed both with the agency and court. Such appeal must contain the basis for appeal, specifically alleging that the Agency’s order is not supported by reliable, probative, and substantial evidence and is not in accordance with law.
Local Government rulings also may be appealed to court under separate legal provisions.
The Ohio and U.S. Constitutions require due process in addressing any personal or property interest, including a professional license that may be affected by professional misconduct charges. At a minimum, the person has a right to a hearing before the government official making any decision. The person has a right to examine the evidence and to provide other evidence contrary to the government’s proposed action. However, statute sets out legal procedures to follow to protect those rights.
If a person appeals an administrative decision, and a court finds that an agency initiated an action without substantial justification, the court may award compensation of the person’s attorney fees for the cost of the agency’s improper action.
Why You Need a Skilled Ohio Administrative Law Attorney
Many of the legal procedures necessary for a person to protect rights in addressing government action require citation to law, legal precedent, and presentation of evidence. An Ohio administrative law attorney who knows the specific and unique laws and regulations that apply to agencies and their process offers experience to advise and help navigate what can be a complex process. Certainly any appeal to a court should involve the counsel of a trusted lawyer.
It is also possible that an administrative case can be resolved by negotiating a settlement with the agency. Negotiation with a government agency requires an understanding of the agency’s mission and approach to enforcement. An experienced attorney can guide a person through these options and advocate on behalf of the client through negotiations.
Contact Graff & McGovern Today
Our team at Graff & McGovern offers significant experience handling cases involving all types of administrative agencies. We offer attorneys on staff who are OSBA-certified with considerable knowledge in Administrative Agency Law, which is unique and can be significantly different from other fields of legal practice.
Let us put our experience to work for you. Contact an Ohio administrative law attorney at Graff & McGovern today at 614-228-5800, or using our online form, to learn your legal options.