Week 2- Adjudication Process
By Michelle N. Vega
Instructor- Eugene “Butch” Hunyadi
May 26, 2014
In the American government there are many laws, regulations, and procedures that protect the rights of Americans and the government agencies running the country. The adjudication process is a form of mediation trying that has a goal to resolve disputes. The adjudication process can be formal or informal. There are approximately three typical types of disputes that can be settled through the adjudication process. The adjudication process has strict guidelines that require notices to proper parties in a timely manner, a proper demonstration of all facts and evidence, and intervention. Just like civil cases and criminal case the defending party has a right to discovery,
What it is the adjudication process? This can be a very complex question to answer in its entirety. There is a formal adjudication process and an informal adjudication process. The difference is “agency adjudications that are conducted outside the APA framework are commonly called informal” (Pg. 248). Informal adjudication hearings are usually not subject to an appeal and there is no second guessing as to the judge’s decision in the matter being discussed. Once a decision is made in a formal adjudication; an objects can be heard in a higher court of appeals. In general, the adjudication process is a procedure that is used for resolving disputes within an agency in hopes of preventing a lengthy and expensive court procedure. Adjudication cases involve “proceedings conducted by an administrative law judge (AJL) in a manner that resembles the trial phase of civil litigation, followed by an appeal to the agency head or another reviewing authority” (Pg. 246). There are three types of disputes that can be resolved through the adjudication process.
These are approximately three types of disputes resolved through adjudication: “disputes between private parties, such as individuals or corporations; disputes between private parties and public officials; and disputes between public officials or public bodies” (Free Dictionary, 2013). Overall, adjudication of a controversy involves the performance of several tasks. The trier must establish the facts in controversy, and define and interpret the applicable law, or, if no relevant law exists, fashion a new law to apply to the situation.
There is a systematic approach to the entire adjudication process. In any procedure involving due process; all parties involved are entitled to a notice prior to the hearing. If prior notice is not given to all parties involved; there could be an unjust outcome because of an simple error. “Without proper prior notice to those who may be affected by a government decision, all other procedural rights may be nullified” (Pg.224). However, keep in mind there are time limits when issuing a notice of adjudication. The United States Code section 554 (b) states that “persons entitled to notice of an agency hearing shall be timely informed of: (1) the time, place, and nature of the hearing; (2) the legal authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing is to be held; and (3) the matters of fact and law asserted” (U.S. Code, 2013). This rule/regulation allows all parties involved the right to discover and a chance to question the accusations.
Upon giving notices; a prehearing takes place to brief all parties involved on the issue at hand. The next step is an evidentiary hearing that is conducted before the case is actually presented in court. “Usually the agency’s authorizing statute directs the agency to hold an evidentiary hearing and decide the case on the basis of the record that results from that hearing” (Pg. 247). Collecting and presenting evidence can be difficult because of admissibility and the evaluation process.
Under the United States Code section 556 (d) it states “any oral or documentary evidence may be received, but the…