The General Jurisdiction Division is comprised of various case types.  Additional resources for your case type can be found here.

Case Type Resources

The following resources are available:

General FAQs

How do I set an APA case for hearing at OAH?

APA cases are set for hearing at OAH by filing the following documents with the calendar clerk at the regional office of OAH: (1) a completed State Agency Request to Set form (OAH 13); (2) a copy of the accusation/statement of issues/citation/pleadings; and, (3) a copy of the notice of defense/appeal/request for hearing. Agency counsel are encouraged to confer with respondents' counsel regarding available hearing dates prior to filing the request to set with OAH. You will be notified of the scheduled hearing date by e-mail or mail. 

How do I set a Local Agency case for hearing at OAH?

You must have a contract for services with the Office of Administrative Hearings in order to reserve hearing dates. For information on contracting with OAH please contact Tim Dean, Associate Governmental Program Analyst, at (916) 263-0791. Once a contract is in place, you may reserve hearing dates by filing the following documents with the calendar clerk at the regional office of OAH: (1) a completed Local Agency Request to Set form (OAH 14); (2) a copy of the accusation/statement of issues/citation/pleadings; and, (3) a copy of the notice of defense/appeal/request for hearing. Local Agency counsel are encouraged to confer with respondents' counsel regarding available hearing dates prior to filing the request to set with OAH. You will be notified of the scheduled hearing date by mail. And, you will be notified if any additional information is needed by OAH regarding the hearing.

How do I set a School District case for hearing at OAH?

School District cases are set for hearing by filing the following documents with the calendar clerk at the regional office of OAH: (1) a completed School District Request to Set form (OAH 15); (2) a copy of the accusation/statement of issues/citation/pleadings; (3) a copy of the notice of defense/appeal/request for hearing. School District counsel are encouraged to confer with respondents' counsel regarding available hearing dates prior to filing the request to set with OAH. You will be notified of the scheduled hearing date by mail. And, you will be notified if any additional information is needed by OAH regarding the hearing. 

How do I set a Teacher Reduction in Force hearing at OAH?

Teacher Reduction in Force hearings are set by filing a completed Teacher Reduction in Force Request to Set form (OAH 18) with the regional office of the OAH. School District counsel are encouraged to confer with respondents' counsel regarding available hearing dates prior to filing the request to set with OAH. You will be notified of the scheduled hearing date by mail. And, you will be notified if any additional information is needed by OAH regarding the hearing. 

When is an Agency Required to File with OAH the Notice of Hearing?

The Notice of Hearing should be filed with the OAH calendar clerk within five calendar days of when the agency receives notice of the case setting by OAH. 

How do I take a Case Off Calendar at OAH?

Promptly notify the calendar clerk by telephone and follow-up with a written request to remove the matter from
hearing accompanied by a copy of the "settlement, stipulation, agency order or any other paper terminating a matter before OAH, or the first page and signatures pages thereof, at the agency's discretion." (See California Code of Regulations., title 1, § 1028, subdivision. (r)) (Outside Link) 

What is OAH?

See About OAH for more information. 

What do I do if I want to represent myself?

See Representing Yourself for more information.

How do I get records/subpoena forms?

See Subpoena Resources for more information.
NOTE: OAH Supoenas CANNOT be used in CSLB Arbitrations. 

Where can I find transcript information?

See Transcripts for more information. 

Where do I find a form?

See General Jurisdiction Forms for more information.

How can I arrange for OAH to perform hearing services (including mediation or arbitration) for my governmental entity?

See Retaining OAH for more information. Also, see the Department of General Services' Price Book for OAH rates. 

What is mediation?

See Mediation for more information.

How would I request security in a hearing?

All security requests should be directed to the Presiding Judge of the regional OAH office and should be made as soon as possible.

Where can I find out about other Central Panel States?

For offices similar to OAH in other states, select Central Panel States for more information.

 

Other Helpful Resources

To access Subpoena/Subpoena Duces Tecum information

To access the Administrative Procedure Act (Outside Link)

To access the Bid Protest Regulations (Outside Link)

To access the Bid Protest Statutes under the Public Contract Code section 12125-12129 (Outside Link)

The following resources are available:

The below answers to some frequently asked questions may be helpful.

What You Need to Know about State Hearings before the California Department of Child Support Services 

What is a state hearing?  

If you are not satisfied with the Local Child Support Agency’s (LCSA’s) response to your written complaint filed through the Complaint Resolution Program, you have a right to have your issue(s) heard at a state hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) of the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). OAH conducts state hearings for the California Department of Child Support Services (DCSS). The ALJ who hears your issue is not an employee of the LCSA or DCSS, but an impartial judge employed by OAH. A state hearing is a fact-finding process to resolve administrative issues about how the LCSA has handled your child support case. The hearing gives you the opportunity to present testimony and documents (i.e. evidence) about your complaint against the LCSA. The LCSA also has the opportunity to present evidence and to submit a Position Statement, summarizing the issue(s) you have raised, and noting the applicable law which is the basis for its actions. 

How will I find out when and where my state hearing will be held?                        

Your state hearing will be scheduled within 45 days of the date DCSS sends a Request to Set State Hearing and other documents to OAH. You will receive a Notice of Hearing (Notice) by U.S. Mail, Secure e-File, or both from OAH at least ten (10) days before the hearing date. The Notice will indicate the date and time of your hearing, and the location where you are to participate. If you are unable to participate at the telephone number and location indicated on the Notice, contact OAH by phone at (916) 263-0550 or Secure e-File at https://www.applications.dgs.ca.gov/oah/oahsftweb, as soon as possible. On the date of the hearing, the ALJ will call you at the time and phone number indicated on the Notice.

What is a telephone hearing and how does it work?        

State hearings are held by telephone. OAH will schedule the hearing at the LCSA office. You must go to the LCSA office on the hearing date, and will be contacted on the LCSA’s phone. (If this will not work for you, you may request a different arrangement.)  The ALJ will contact you at the phone number listed for you on the Notice and will conduct the hearing by phone from another location. Hearings usually last one to two hours, depending on the issue(s) involved.IMPORTANT:  Be prepared to tell the ALJ what you believe the LCSA should do to correct the problem that prompted your complaint and Request for State Hearing. At the beginning of the hearing, the ALJ will explain what will happen and will answer your questions. The ALJ will then clarify the issue(s) for hearing, and allow each side to present their evidence and ask questions, as necessary.  If you have a witness or witnesses, you are encouraged to have them in the same location and at the same phone number with you.  If this is not possible, be sure to provide a phone number on the witness list that you submit, indicating where the witness can be reached. 

What if I need an interpreter or special accommodations?              

Contact OAH at least one week before the hearing if you or a witness will need an interpreter.  OAH will provide a court certified interpreter free of charge.  Usually the interpreter will be located in the office with the ALJ who conducts the telephone hearing.  If you or a witness need other special help, such as a certified sign language interpreter or materials in Braille or other format, please contact OAH by phone at (916) 263-0550, mail, or Secure e-File at https://www.applications.dgs.ca.gov/oah/oahsftweb.

Where do I submit my documents?        

Once you receive the Notice, all communications and documents must go to OAH.  Submit all documents you want the ALJ to review for the hearing by mail or Secure e-File at https://www.applications.dgs.ca.gov/oah/oahsftweb.  Each document submitted to OAH must include a Declaration of Service (or “proof of service”) to show that the document was sent to the other side.  This is a paper indicating when, where and how a document was “served” or provided to the other party.   All documents filed with OAH must include proof of service to show that the document or documents were served on OAH and all other parties involved in the matter.  When filing documents with the General Jurisdiction Division, parties must comply with California Code of Regulations, title 1, section 1008.  Many people use the CA Judicial Council Forms, which are accepted at OAH.

How do I prepare for the hearing and what must I send to OAH?        

No later than five (5) business days before the hearing, you and the LCSA must submit all documents to be offered in evidence and a list of witnesses (including phone numbers for each witness), if any, to OAH and each other.   The LCSA must submit its Position Statement to OAH and to you at least five (5) business days before the hearing.   Each party must attach a Declaration of Service to show that documents were served properly.  Any exhibit that is longer than three (3) pages in length must have page numbers. If either party fails to exchange documents or a witness list in a timely manner, the ALJ may exclude the document(s) and witness(es).  Handling of any late documents brought to the hearing will be within the ALJ’s discretion. Contact your LCSA for information about your local Ombudsperson, who can help you prepare for a state hearing.  Information can also be found on the DCSS website at: www.childsup.ca.gov (Outside Link).

Do I need a lawyer?        

Most individuals (complainants) represent themselves in the hearing process.  However, you may choose to be represented by an “authorized representative,” such as an advocate, attorney or other person, at your own expense.

Can I ask for a different date or time for my hearing?        

Rescheduling or postponing a state hearing may be allowed by the ALJ.  However, keeping the originally scheduled hearing date is recommended. If you are unable to attend the hearing on the scheduled date and time, contact OAH by phone at (916) 263-0550 or Secure e-File at https://www.applications.dgs.ca.gov/oah/oahsftweb, as soon as possible, but no later than five (5) days before the hearing.  If granted, a postponement may not exceed thirty (30) days.

What if I wish to withdraw my Request for State Hearing?        

You have the right to withdraw your Request for State Hearing at any time before the Director of DCSS signs the final Decision.  If you wish to withdraw, please contact OAH by phone at (916) 263-0550 or Secure e-File at https://www.applications.dgs.ca.gov/oah/oahsftweb.

What is the written decision and when will I receive it?        

After the hearing record closes, the ALJ will decide the issue(s) based on the evidence presented by you and the LCSA, and based on the relevant law and regulations.  The ALJ’s Proposed Decision will be in writing and will be reviewed by DCSS before it is sent to you.  The final Decision by DCSS will be mailed to you approximately 55 days after the hearing record closes.  If you disagree with the Decision, the cover page will describe how to challenge it. 

What kind of action can be taken by DCSS as a result of the state hearing?        

If your issue(s) is/are granted, the Director of DCSS can order the LCSA to take some type of corrective action, and require the LCSA to submit a compliance report to DCSS that shows it did what was ordered by the ALJ.  An ALJ cannot punish, fine or grant money damages against the LCSA, if the ALJ finds in your favor.

If the LCSA has already taken the appropriate corrective action on my complaint, can I still go ahead with the hearing?        

If the LCSA has already taken appropriate corrective action, and nothing further can or should be done, the law requires the ALJ to stop the state hearing and write a Proposed Decision that dismisses your issue(s) as “moot.”  At the beginning of the state hearing, the ALJ may ask you to describe to corrective action that is still needed, so that he/she can determine if your issue(s) is/are moot.  Send all documents for state hearing to OAH by mail or by Secure e-File at https://www.applications.dgs.ca.gov/oah/oahsftweb.

For additional information, you can visit the Department of Child Support Services' (Outside Link) website

 

The following resources are available:

Other Penal Code 2602 Cases of Interest

  • CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS, Defendant and Respondent; DONALD ANTHONY, Real Party in Interest and Appellant. No., B101761, COURT OF APPEAL OF CALIFORNIA, SECOND APPELLATE DISTRICT, DIVISION SIX, 1997 Cal. App. LEXIS 202 (March 20, 1997, Filed). 53 Cal.App.4th 780, 61 Cal.Rptr.2d 903.
  • DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS, Defendant and Respondent, CHESTER HOLMES, Real Party In Interest and Respondent. No. A080697 (Solano County Super. Ct. No. L008986), COURT OF APPEAL OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, FIRST APPELLATE DISTRICT, DIVISION FOUR (September 23, 1998, Filed). 66 Cal.App.4th 1100; 78 Cal.Rptr.2d 473.   
  • KEYHEA INJUNCTION , Keyhea v Rushen, 178 Cal.App.3d 526, 223 Cal.Rptr. 746 (March 1986, review denied July 1986), (order granting plaintiffs' motion for clarification and modification of injunction and permanent injunction, filed Oct. 31, 1986, In the matter of Keyhea v. Rushen, Superior Court of Solano County, No. 67432, William E. Jensen, Judge). 

Penal Code 2602 (Outside Link)

Penal Code 2604 (Outside Link)

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's website (Outside Link).

The following resources are available:

Calendaring Department of Developmental Services Hearing at OAH

All appeals/due process hearing requests arising out of the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 4700 et seq.) and the California Early Intervention Services Act (Gov. Code, § 95000 et seq.), should be filed initially with the local regional OAH office.

Regional Centers filing Lanterman Act Fair Hearing/Mediation Requests should use:

All Residential Care Facility appeals (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 17, § 56061 et seq.) and Formal Audit appeals (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 17, § 50700 et seq.) should be filed initially with the local regional OAH office.

The Department of Developmental Services filing of Residential Facility Appeals and Audit Appeals should use:

 Mediation information for Lanterman Act and Early Start cases

What is Mediation

Mediation is a voluntary and confidential meeting that takes place prior to the formal fair hearing. The two parties agree to work with a mediator to try to resolve the case without going to hearing. Because it is a voluntary process, both parties must agree to participate in mediation before mediation will be scheduled. If one side refuses to participate in mediation it will not be scheduled.

Who will be at the Mediation

There are usually two representatives from the regional center, one or more for the claimant/petitioner, and the mediator.

Who will be the Mediator

The mediation will be conducted by an administrative law judge of the Office of Administrative Hearings trained and experienced in conducting mediations. To protect the confidentiality of the process and to encourage free discussion, the mediator will not serve as the ALJ who hears the cases should it proceed to a fair hearing.

Do I need an Attorney

An attorney is not required but you may bring one should you choose to do so. Some regional centers send an attorney to the mediation as a matter of course, others do not.You may also have an authorized representative of your choice. For further information about assistance with the mediation and/or hearing, please contact your local OAH office for phone numbers of agencies who may assist you such as Office of Clients Rights Advocacy and Area Boards.

What if I need a Translator

A translator will be provided for you. You must request a translator through the DDS Case manager at your local OAH Office. You should make your request as soon as you can as it takes time to arrange for interpreters.

How Are Mediations Scheduled

The OAH Calendar Clerk chooses the date for the mediation. You may request a continuance if you are not available on the scheduled date. A continuance form is available on the OAH Website, www.oah.dgs.ca.gov. You may be asked to sign a waiver of time so the continued mediation date may take place beyond the statutory time limits.

What Should I Do Before The Mediation

Prepare. Prepare. Prepare. Jot down notes on your facts and on your issues. Be prepared to explain to the mediator and the other party the reasons you believe your position is correct. Be clear in your own mind about what you are seeking to accomplish in mediation.

What Should I Bring With Me

All relevant information you have in connection with your case.An open mind. You may learn things in mediation that might cause you to change your position.  Be open to considering other options to resolve the dispute.Someone with authority to settle the case. If you do not have authority to enter into a mediated agreement, make sure you have the ability to be in telephone contact at all times with someone who does.Bring paper and a pen. Bring water and a snack.

How Will The Mediation Proceed

After introductions, the mediator will review grounds rules, discuss confidentiality, and ask the parties to sign a confidentiality agreement. Each side will be asked to summarize their position.  The mediator may ask questions to clarify the issues.The group may remain in joint session to discuss issues, or break into caucuses. In a caucus, the mediator meets with each side separately. The mediator will keep information learned in caucus confidential unless given permission to disclose it.Be prepared to wait while the mediator is in caucus with the other side. The mediator may give you a task to complete while in caucus with the other party. Be patient – mediations, and in particular this part of the process, takes time.If an agreement is reached, the mediator will prepare a written document that incorporates the terms of the agreement. The parties are given the opportunity to make suggested changes before it is prepared in final form. The parties will be given a copy of the agreement for their records. A copy of the agreement will be provided to the Department of Developmental Services.

What Happens If We Run Out Of Time

If the parties agree, a further mediation date will be set. You may be asked to sign a waiver of time so the additional mediation date can be set beyond the statutory time limits.If the parties do not agree, the matter will go forward to hearing.

What Happens To The Hearing Date

If the mediation leads to an agreement, the hearing date is taken off calendar.If the mediation does not lead to an agreement, the hearing date remains as set on calendar.  Discuss any concerns you have about the hearing date with the mediator.

DDS Hearing Process

Preparing For Hearing

The hearing is conducted by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The ALJ is an impartial person who is not an employee of the Regional Center or the Department of Developmental Services. Although most families represent themselves in the hearing process, you may choose to be represented by an advocate from Protection and Advocacy, Inc., by someone from the Area Board, by a lay advocate or by an attorney at your own expense. The Regional Center (or your Service Agency) can give you information about advocacy assistance.  You and your representative have the right to look at the service agency's file relating to your case prior to the hearing.

Hearing Dates/Locations

The fair hearing will be held within 50 days of the date your hearing request form was postmarked or received by the Regional Center, whichever is earlier. At least one full day will be scheduled for the hearing at a time and place reasonably convenient to you and your authorized representative. Hearings are usually held at the Regional Center. If that location is not convenient for you, you and the Regional Center may agree on a different location.

Accessibility of the Hearing Location

Hearing locations must be accessible to persons with disabilities. You should check with OAH in advance to assure accessibility. If persons you expect to attend the hearing have special needs that require reasonable accommodation, please contact OAH as soon as possible so arrangements can be made. 

Continuances

Either you or the Regional Center may ask for the hearing date to be changed. This is called a continuance of the hearing. If you need to continue the hearing date, you must contact OAH as soon as you know of the problem. Continuance requests should be in writing and a copy should be sent to the other party. You must show good cause to continue the hearing date. You may mail or e-file the continuance request to OAH.  All documents filed with OAH must include proof of service to show that the document or documents were served on OAH and all other parties involved in the matter.  When filing documents with the General Jurisdiction Division, parties must comply with California Code of Regulations, title 1, section 1008.  Many people use the CA Judicial Council Forms, which are accepted at OAH.

In asking for a continuance of the hearing you may have to agree to waive the statutory timelines contained in Welfare and Institutions Code sections 4712 and 4712.5. These timelines include, but are not limited to, the time for scheduling the hearing in the case and the time for rendering a final or proposed decision by the ALJ. OAH will decide whether or not to grant a continuance. 

Witnesses

You may call witnesses to testify. You may ask the witness to come to the hearing voluntarily or you may subpoena records or people to require them to come to the hearing. Contact OAH well before the hearing date to get the subpoena forms. Certain witnesses, such as expert witnesses like doctors, may demand a fee for their time at the hearing. These fees are paid by the party calling the witness. Each witness should have special or direct knowledge about the matters they will discuss at the hearing. Prepare a list of questions to ask each witness to help you present the background information on the issue and to help focus on the witness' knowledge and opinions. Although letters or written statements may be presented to the ALJ, it is generally better to bring witnesses who can help present your information and answer any questions. The ALJ will not speak to witnesses except at the hearing. If you present written reports or evaluations without the author present to testify, be prepared to explain to the ALJ why the documents are relevant and support your position. 

Interpreters

If you or a witness needs a sign or language interpreter, immediately contact the Regional Center advocate or OAH so that a certified interpreter can be provided at no cost to you. 

Prehearing Conference

You and the Regional Center may participate in a telephone prehearing conference with an ALJ if either you or the Regional Center feel it is necessary to define or clarify the issues for hearing, to change hearing dates or to discuss any matter that affects the efficient and convenient conduct of the hearing. A request for a prehearing conference can be made in writing or by telephone call to the appropriate regional OAH office.

Exchanging Documents

At least 5 days before the hearing, you and the Regional Center must exchange copies of any documents and reports that you each intend to use at the hearing. You must also exchange a list of witnesses you intend to call and what you expect them to talk about. At the hearing, the ALJ can decide whether to allow a witness who was not on the list or a document that was not given to the other party before the hearing. Before the hearing, make copies of the documents you want to present to the ALJ. You should bring to the hearing the original document, if it is available, and two copies.

The Hearing

At the beginning of the hearing the ALJ will explain how the hearing will proceed. Feel free to ask any questions about what you are expected to do. The entire hearing will be recorded by audio tape recorder.

Each party may give a short opening statement to tell the ALJ what the claimant wants and what the issues are in the case. After opening statements, both you and the regional center will present your evidence. For example, if you are requesting a service, you must show the ALJ, by testimony or other evidence, why you are eligible for that service.

After the testimony and other evidence have been submitted to the ALJ, each party may make a closing argument but it is not required. If you make a closing argument, you should summarize the case and discuss what the evidence has shown. 

Evidence

Evidence is information that a party presents to the ALJ to explain and prove his or her case. Evidence can be in the form of documents, reports, or witness testimony under oath. The evidence must be relevant to the matters in dispute. This means it must tend to prove or disprove an important fact. You should be prepared to explain to the ALJ why the evidence is important to your case. Although the formal rules of evidence used in court will not be applied in these hearings, the ALJ may need to decide or make rulings on the reliability or believability of the evidence. If the evidence is not relevant to an issue in the case or is not trustworthy, the ALJ may decide that the evidence can not be used.

The Decision

A written decision will be mailed to you, usually within 10 days of the date the hearing is concluded. Any decision that is not in your favor will be effective 10 days after you and your authorized representative receive the decision by certified mail. If you or your authorized representative cannot understand English, the written decision will be provided in English and in the language you or your authorized representative understands. 

Governing Laws and Regulations

This pamphlet applies to fair hearings held under the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act (Welfare and Institutions Code, Division 4.5, Chapter 7, sections 4700-4731 and Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations, Public Health Division 2, Chapter 1, Subchapter 9). These laws and regulations can be found at a law library or on the internet (http://www.leginfo.ca.gov (Outside Link) and https://oal.ca.gov/ (Outside Link), respectively). 

Informal Meeting / Mediation

Cases often settle without going to hearing, even after the date for a State-level fair hearing has been set. You may settle at an Informal Meeting with the Regional Center. You may also request mediation. Both of these are voluntary on your part. If you are not able to resolve the case at an Informal Meeting or Mediation, you still have the right to go to a Fair Hearing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is OAH? 

See About OAH for more information. 

How can I arrange for an interpreter at the hearing or for special accommodations for someone who is disabled?

Immediately contact the regional center or OAH to request a sign or language interpreter at the hearing for you or for a witness. If persons you expect to attend the hearing have special needs that require reasonable accommodation, please contact OAH as soon as possible so arrangements can be made.

May I try to settle my disagreement with the regional center or agency in a less formal meeting than a hearing?

Yes. Cases often settle without going to a hearing, even after the date for a hearing has been set. You may settle at an informal meeting with the regional center or agency. You may also request mediation. Both of these options are voluntary on your part. If you are not able to resolve the case at an informal meeting or mediation, you still have the right to participate in a fair hearing.

Is it possible to change the fair hearing date after it has been scheduled?

Yes. Either you or the regional center may ask for the hearing date to be changed. This is called a continuance of the hearing. Only OAH may authorize a continuance and will only do so for good cause. Put your request in writing as soon as you learn of the need for a continuance, and state all the reasons why you need a continuance. Mail or e-file your request to OAH. All documents filed with OAH must include proof of service to show that the document or documents were served on OAH and all other parties involved in the matter.  When filing documents with the General Jurisdiction Division, parties must comply with California Code of Regulations, title 1, section 1008.  Many people use the CA Judicial Council Forms, which are accepted at OAH.

To obtain a continuance, you may have to waive in writing the statutory timelines contained in Welfare and Institutions Code sections 4712 and 4712.5. These timelines include, but are not limited to, the time for scheduling the hearing in the case and the time for rendering a final or proposed decision by the All.

Where can I get more information about fair hearings related to the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act?

More information on the Act and related regulations is available at a law library and on the internet. The hearing procedures of the Act are codified in the California Welfare and Institutions Code, Division 4.5, Chapter 7, sections 4700-4731, and may be accessed at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov (Outside Link). Related regulations are published under Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations, Public Health Division 2, Chapter 1, Subchapter 9, and may be accessed at https://oal.ca.gov/ (Outside Link).

What do I do if I want to represent myself in a Lanterman Act Fair Hearing? 

For general information on representing yourself at your hearing visit the Representing Yourself page for more information. 

How do I get a Subpoena Form? 

If you need a Subpoena/Subpoena Duces Tecum form, visit Subpoena Resources page for more information.

How do I get a Transcript? 

If you would like to order a transcript of your hearing, visit the Request OAH Transcripts or Administrative Records page for more information.

Is there a Link to the Department of Developmental Services?

Yes, for more information and additional resources you may visit the Department of Developmental Service' (Outside Link) website.

 

Laws and Regulations

DDS Hearings Decisions Search

Regarding Fair Hearings.  What is a DDS Decision?  OAH issues final decisions for the Department of Developmental Services regarding consumer appeals from Regional or Developmental Centers.  These appeals often focus on issues of eligibility for services, or the level or type of service to be given a consumer having developmental disabilities.

OAH does not post the result of confidential mediations, arbitrations, or proposed decisions (such as cases heard under the Administrative Procedure Act).  For the final results on these matters, contact the agency itself (such as the Medical Board, Contractors State License Board, etc.).

To search a Department of Developmental Services decision visit the DDS Decision Search page.

Other helpful Resources

For forms related to Department of Developmental Service case type visit DDS Forms.

If you participated in a Department of Developmental Service mediation and/or hearing through OAH, you may provide feedback as to your experience, visit  Access and Complete a Department-of-Developmental-Services-Mediation-or-Hearing-Survey.


The following resources are available:

Mediation Information

Mediation is an option for resolving disputes with the DOR. Mediation is a voluntary problem-solving process, assisted by qualified, impartial mediators from the Office of Administrative Hearings. The goals of mediation are to fully describe both sides of the conflict, explore options for resolving the problem and reach mutually satisfactory solutions. Mediation services are free to applicants, eligible individuals and consumers. You are welcome to bring a representative for support during mediation. For additional information about mediation, visit the Department of Rehabilitation Mediation Information page (Outside Link).

Fair Hearing Information

You can request a hearing within one year of the DOR action or decision, or within thirty days from your receipt of a written Administrative Review decision. You may concurrently seek an informal Administrative Review by contacting the District Administrator. Impartial hearing officers conduct fair hearings throughout California and render decisions on whether the DOR actions or decisions are in accordance with the law. The hearing will be held within 60 days from the date of your request unless you agree to a later date. At the hearing, you may appear in person and may be accompanied by a Client Assistance Program (CAP) representative or other representative of your choice. For additional information about fair hearing, visit the Department of Rehabilitation Fair Hearing Information page (Outside Link).

Client Assistance Program (CAP)

If you need assistance with the mediation and/or fair hearing process, please contact the Client Assistance Program (CAP) to request advocacy services. A CAP advocate can provide you with information, advice and representation, including assistance in pursuing legal, administrative or other appropriate remedies to ensure the protection of your rights and to facilitate access to appropriate services. 

Client Assistant Program State-wide referrals

  • 1 (800) 776-5746 (Voice)
  • 1 (866) 719-5798 (TTY)

DOR Hearing Procedures

 

Before the Hearing

Pre-Hearing Conferences

The ALJ assigned to the case may schedule a conference call with the parties to discuss matters in advance of the hearing.  Topics of discussion may include:

  1. The date, time, length, and place of the hearing
  2. Discovery: this is the exchange of evidence between the parties.
  3. Exhibits
  4. Witnesses and support persons
  5. Stipulations or matters both sides agree on
  6. Confidentiality of names, medical, personal, or psychological matters

Continuances (Postponements)

If you cannot attend your hearing or mediation on the date set and have good cause for why it needs to be changed, you need to inform DOR and the local OAH office handling your case as soon as possible.  Your request must be filed at least five (5) days before the hearing.  The ALJ will assess the reason why you want the continuance, whether the other party opposes your request, and make a decision to grant or deny your request.  (9 Cal. Code Regs., tit 9, § 7357.)

If your request is denied, you are expected to appear on the original hearing date.

If your request is granted, the hearing will be re-set on a date that is good for both parties.

A continuance (postponement) request can be found on the OAH website at Department of Rehabilitation Forms

At the Hearing

You, the Appellant and/or your authorized representative and the DOR representatives shall have an opportunity to present evidence, information, and witnesses to the ALJ, be represented by counsel or other appropriate advocate, and examine all witnesses and other relevant sources of information and evidence.  All persons testifying shall be placed under oath or affirmation.  (9 Cal. Code Regs., tit 9, § 7355(c) & (d) .)

The ALJ will:

  1. Call the case
  2. Go over the hearing procedure
  3. Mark exhibits
  4. Confirm issue(s)
  5. Have Appellant present case – The DOR and ALJ may ask questions of Appellant and his/her witnesses
  6. Have DOR present case – The Appellant and ALJ may ask questions of DOR witnesses.
  7. The ALJ will weigh the credibility of the parties testifying.
  8. Ask for closing arguments/statements
  9. Close the record (unless additional evidence is being submitted)

Tips for Appellant at Hearing

  1. Arrive at the hearing 30 minutes early if you can, but do not be late.
  2. Identify the issues you want resolved
  3. Bring your outline of issues and questions
  4. Bring paper or device for note taking
  5. Bring witnesses who will support your position
  6. Bring documents that support your position
  7. Bring the original and three (3) copies of all documents (One copy for the ALJ, the DOR representative, and any witness)
  8. Present an honest recollection of events
  9. Review the relevant laws and regulations before the hearing.
  10. Be courteous and respectful to everyone at hearing.

You may waive the right to appear at the hearing and instead have the matter decided on the written record.  If you wish to do so, file a request in writing, with OAH at least seven (7) days prior to the scheduled hearing. 

Degree of Proof

1.       For appeals requested by Appellants, the Appellant has the burden of proof.  The standard is preponderance of the evidence. (Evid. Code §§ 500, 115.)

2.       For eligibility determinations where the DOR believes Appellant is incapable of benefitting from vocational rehabilitation services, clear and convincing evidence is required of the DOR.  (9 Cal. Code Regs., tit 9, § 7004.6, 7014.)

Default Hearing

If you fail to appear within 30 minutes of the scheduled start time of your hearing, the ALJ will end or cancel the hearing. The ALJ will send you a letter and an Order explaining to you that the case is closed.  If, however, you have “good cause” for not attending you must send a written explanation to the ALJ within 14 days of the hearing. (9 Cal. Code Regs., tit 9, § 7356(c), 7355(e).) If the ALJ determines you in fact had “good cause” to fail to appear, the ALJ may re-schedule your hearing.  If you do not send a written explanation within 14 days or the ALJ determines you did not have good cause, the case will be dismissed. 

Good cause includes illness, an accident, death, or other unexpected emergency. (9 Cal. Code Regs., tit 9, § 735(a)(8).)

After Hearing

After the record is closed to new evidence, within 30 days, the ALJ will issue a written decision setting forth the issues, factual findings, reason for the decision, applicable laws/regulations, and the final decision. (9 Cal. Code Regs., tit 9, § 7358(a),)

If you disagree with the ALJ’s decision, you may appeal to the Superior Court of California.  You can request assistance with your appeal through the Client Assistance Program (CAP).  Instructions on how to contact CAP will be enclosed with the written decision.  (9 Cal. Code Regs., tit 9, § 7358(b), Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 19709(a).)

The following resources are available:

Penal Code 1370 (Outside Link)

You may visit the Department of State Hospitals' (Outside Link) website for more information and resources.

The following resources are available:

The specialized hearings at OAH are governed as follows


To look up other California Regulations, see the Office of Administrative Law's CCR page (Outside Link).

For other California Statutes, see the Official California Legislative Information page (Outside Link).

The following resources are available:

School districts filing a Teacher Dismissal requests should use:

Need to Confirm if a School District has a Local Agency Agreement?

If your school district is anticipating filing for a teacher dismissal proceeding and are not sure if you have a current contract with OAH to conduct hearings, you may contact Tim Dean, Associate Program Analyst to confirm or if you need further information or have additional questions at (916) 263-0550. 

For forms relating to Teacher Dismissal case type, click on Teacher Dismissal Forms.

Education codes relating to Teacher Dismissal case types:

Education Code 44934  (Outside Link)

Education Code 44939 (Outside Link)

Education Code 44944 (Outside Link)

The following resources are available:

School districts filing a Teacher Reduction in Force requests for hearing should use:

Need to Confirm if a School District has a Local Agency Agreement?

If your school district is anticipating filing for a teacher reduction in force proceeding and are not sure if you have a current contract with OAH to conduct hearings, you may contact Tim Dean, Associate Governmental Program Analyst to confirm or if you need further information or have additional questions at (916) 263-0550. 

 

OAH Regional Office Coverage by Agency

Not sure which OAH office to file your teacher reduction in force proceeding at?  File your request to set and all other documents related to the case with the OAH office that covers the county in which the school district is located.  

To see  OAH Offices by County click here

Planning for Teacher Reduction in Force Proceedings

OAH has developed these procedures to make the process more efficient and easier for all parties.

Each year, the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) conducts teacher reduction in force proceedings for school districts during a six-week period beginning in late March. OAH anticipates a large number of reduction in force proceedings this year, and has developed these procedures to make the process more efficient and easier for all parties  
  1. Pre-Calendaring Considerations
    A. School District Contracts with OAH
    B. How OAH Calendars Hearings 
  2. Requesting Hearing Dates 
  3. Logistics before the Hearing Commences
  4. Email Filing with OAH
  5. Pre-hearing Legal Processes
    A. Continuance Requests
    B. Pre-hearing Conferences
    C. Filing "Trial" Briefs
    D. Evidence Counsel Needs to Bring to the Hearing
  6. The Hearing
    A. The Judge's Opening Remarks
    B. Limits on the Number of Witnesses & Evidence—Generally
    C. Stipulations
    D. Evidence Counsel Needs to Bring to the Hearing
    E. Visual Presentation Aids at Hearings
  7. Post Hearing Processes
    A.  Transmitting the Proposed Decision

1. Pre-Calendaring Considerations

A . School District Contracts with OAH 

Prior to requesting services from OAH, school districts must have a current contract for services in place with OAH. Check the School District with Local Agencies Agreements list to see which school districts have current contracts with OAH. Please also see the Retain Administrative Law Judge Services page for the expected fees and costs and a description of the services OAH provides to school districts and local agencies.

School districts without a current contract for OAH’s services can contact Tim Dean, Associate Governmental Program Analyst, at (916) 263-0550 to initiate the contract process, for further information, or if you have additional questions.

Once the contract has been executed by our office, school districts can then request a hearing be set. 
 
B . How OAH Calendars Hearings 

OAH has always made an effort to calendar hearings on dates when the requesting party, or better yet, both parties, want the hearing. In previous years, the combination of accommodating OAH calendar clerks and anxious district counsel resulted in a calendar that was booked far in advance, but then changed almost hourly, leading to hard-feelings and confusion all around.

To avoid the past confusion with the calendar and to permit administrative law judges sufficient time to prepare their proposed decisions, OAH has reserved its calendar from April 2 to April 27 for layoff hearings. Hearings will not be scheduled after April 27 so that one week is reserved to complete all decisions. When requesting to set hearing dates, counsel will need to know these calendar parameters, as well the following information: 

  • The number of teachers being noticed and a realistic estimate of the number of hearing dates needed. For example, two days may be too much for a 30-teacher layoff hearing but may be appropriate if 50 to 100 teachers are receiving notices.
  • The dates of the district's spring break and whether spring break can or cannot be utilized for a hearing.
  • The address of an appropriate hearing room which has been reserved for the requested hearing dates. The dates the district is conducting testing, and whether teachers must be present for that testing or can be in attendance at a hearing instead.
  • The availability of witnesses and clients for all dates from April 2 through April 27, not just the dates you intend to request.
  • Most importantly, you will need to know the identity and availability of the attorney(s) or representative(s) for the teachers receiving notices.

 

2 . Requesting Hearing Dates

To facilitate the hearing request process, OAH has developed a Teacher Reduction in Force Request to Set form (OAH18) for these hearings. The form is available on the OAH web site. Complete the request to set form on-line, print it, and file it by mail or Secure e-File with the appropriate OAH regional office. The appropriate OAH regional office is the office that covers the county in which the school district is located, as listed in OAH Regional Office Coverage by Agency. School districts should complete the form by including all requested information. Submitting an incomplete request to set form may result in a delay in setting your case for hearing. Please note these specific points about the request to set form: 

  • One form per district: One Request to Set form must be completed for each school distinct layoff hearing. Request to Set forms that seek to schedule hearings for more than one school district will be rejected by OAH.
  • Contact Information: Provide complete contact information for the district superintendent including a fax number. This information is essential in order to transmit the proposed decision to the proper person.
  • Respondent count: Provide the number of respondents as known on the day of filing. OAH realizes the number will probably decrease, but must have the number at the outset to facilitate setting aside the right amount of time for hearing.
  • Hearing location: Identify the hearing location as specifically as possible, including, street address, room number, city name, and zip code. For considerations in selecting a hearing room, see the Hearing Room Considerations below.
  • Conflict dates: Provide the dates for the district's spring break and standardized testing as well as any known "unacceptable" dates. Although OAH makes an effort to schedule hearings on the dates the parties request, given the significant number of teacher layoff hearings scheduled in a short time frame, OAH cannot guarantee that parties will receive their requested dates.
  • Most importantly, provide the identity and contact information for the teachers' attorney/representative and indicate whether the district's attorney has been in contact with the teachers' attorney/representative to discuss available and unavailable dates. Please indicate the basis for any disagreement as to acceptable hearing dates. A copy of the completed request to set form should be served on the teachers' attorney/representative.
  • Request for pre-hearing conference: The form also asks whether you are requesting a pre-hearing conference and for any specific issues you believe should be addressed at the conference, such as discovery needs or special credentialing information. A pre-hearing conference will generally be scheduled for any hearings that are four days or longer, or involve 100 or more respondents.

After the completed request to set form is filed, the OAH calendar clerk in the regional office in which the case is filed will set hearing dates. Once set, the school district will be notified of the hearing dates with instructions to send the formal notice of hearing promptly to all teachers who requested a hearing.

If you are aware of other districts in the same general location that are likely to be requesting hearings, note the names of those districts on a cover sheet to your request to set form or in a phone call to the calendar clerk. Hearings at adjacent locations will probably be handled by one judge on the same or sequential dates.

3 . Logistics before the Hearing Commences

After OAH has scheduled hearing dates, but before the hearing commences, notify OAH of the following changes:

  • Continuously update the calendar clerks on changes in the number of respondents. You may do so by phone call, but please do not wait until you have a "firm" number. As the number decreases, advise OAH.
  • No later than 10 days before the hearing, the school district is asked to provide OAH with the following;
    • A sample accusation with attachments;
    • A copy of the notice of hearing the school has served on its teacher respondents;
    • An electronic copy, in Word format, of:
      • a list of all respondents - meaning teachers served with accusations - in alphabetical order; and
      • the FTE reduction chart and governing board resolution(s).
      • Seniority list.
  • Notify OAH of the exact address of the hearing room if you did not provide it previously.
  • Choose an appropriate hearing room based on the considerations below.
  • The school district shall retain a qualified court reporter to make a record of the proceedings....
  • All school districts shall provide security at the proceedings in order to maintain the orderly conduct of the proceedings and ensure the safety and security of all that are attending the proceedings. Questions about security should be addressed to the OAH office assigned to the case.  

 

4 . E-Filing with OAH

Parties may use the Secure e-File system to file documents, including requests to set, the accusation and attachments, notices of hearing, a list of respondents (teachers) served with the accusation, the FTE reduction chart, governing board resolutions and tie breaker criteria, and post-hearing briefs.

 

5 . Pre-hearing Legal Processes

A . Continuance Requests
If the request to set form includes all requested information, the necessity of filing continuance motions should be minimized. Requests for continuance, even when both parties stipulate to the continuance, may be denied or may result in a hearing date that must be re-set in June or July. Since OAH clears its calendar for six weeks to accommodate teacher reduction in force hearings, other administrative proceedings are delayed, becoming more urgent and taking priority over the reduction in force hearings after May 7th.

If a party must ask for a continuance, the motion must comply with
the OAH regulation regarding continuance motions in California Code of Regulations, title 1, section 1020. OAH's regulations are also available on Laws and Regulations Resources page. Among other requirements for a motion for continuance, you will be asked to:

  • Include all facts supporting the motion;
  • Indicate whether other parties or their counsel, including respondents who are not represented by counsel, have been contacted regarding the request, and whether those parties oppose or support the request;
  • Propose new hearing dates to which all parties have agreed as well as any dates that any party is unavailable;
  • State whether the continuance is likely to result in a decrease in the number of teachers subject to layoff and to what extent; and
  • State whether the continuance is likely to result in a decrease in the necessary hearing time, and to what extent.

Serve a copy of your motion on all parties, and file the motion as soon as the reason for the motion is known.

It is more likely that your motion will be given favorable consideration if it is a motion to which all parties stipulate, and if it will mean that the case will settle or the continuance will result in a decrease in the time needed for hearing.

Pursuant to Education Code section 44949, subdivision (e), if a continuance is granted, the time deadline for submitting the proposed decision to the Governing Board and respondents is extended accordingly.


B . Pre-hearing Conferences 

In the past, OAH found that scheduling and holding pre-hearing conferences in larger layoff cases, of about 100 or more, was effective in expediting the hearings. OAH plans to schedule pre-hearing conferences this year as well, and may do so for any hearing, regardless of the anticipated number of respondents.

At the pre-hearing conference, you may be asked to discuss: time estimates for the hearing; the most recently determined number of respondents; possible stipulations to uncontested or foundational facts; whether security is needed at the hearing; whether the hearing venue is appropriate; marking and exchanging exhibits; and any legal issues that are expected to arise.

In light of the anticipated number of reduction in force hearings, the attorneys or representatives may be involved in a large number of hearings that make it difficult for them to be readily available for in-person pre-hearing conferences. OAH is willing to schedule telephonic pre-hearing conferences. OAH will cooperate with the attorneys in attempting to schedule in-person or telephonic pre-hearing conferences at any time before the hearing.

If OAH does not schedule a pre-hearing conference on its own motion, any party may file a written request asking OAH to schedule an in-person or telephonic pre-hearing conference for any of the purposes mentioned above, or for any reason that a party believes is likely to result in more efficient use of hearing time. Although OAH has the discretion to deny the request, the request will usually be granted. When requesting a pre-hearing conference, the requesting party should submit several mutually agreeable pre-hearing conference dates and times after conferring with the other parties in the case regarding their availability. 
 

C . Filing "Trial" Briefs

If you believe there are unique or significant legal issues raised by the facts of your case, consider preparing a trial brief to be presented to the administrative law judge (ALJ) prior to the hearing. The more the ALJ knows about the issues before the hearing begins the better for the ALJ and the process. These briefs should be succinct and focus on the legal issues and expected evidence. Argument is probably less important than simply identifying the issues and applicable authorities.

Although it is preferable to have the ALJ receive the brief before the hearing commences, the likelihood of it actually reaching the judge diminishes as the hearing approaches, because the judge may be out of the office traveling to other hearings. As a result, you should file the brief with OAH before the hearing, but please bring a copy to the hearing for the ALJ.

Any trial brief must be served on all parties, represented and self-represented as well.

D.  Notifying OAH of Settlements/Resolutions before Hearing

The school district must notify OAH in writing of any settlement or resolution that dispenses with the need for the hearing. A copy of the written notice must be served on all other parties. The written notice of settlement or resolution must confirm that all steps necessary to resolving the case have been taken, e.g., parties have withdrawn their request for hearing or the school district has withdrawn its March 15th notice. (See California Code of Regulations, title 1, sections 1014, subdivision (d) and 1028, subdivision (j)).

 

6 . The Hearing

A . The Judge's Opening Remarks

Most judges will open with a statement regarding the issues in the hearing, and what items are not at issue. As the proceedings commence, OAH anticipates that most ALJs will explain that the process arises from budget considerations, and as a matter of law, the merits of the particular teachers affected are not at issue.

B . Limits on the Number of Witnesses & Evidence--Generally 

While counsel for respondents will be asked to identify everyone they represent, and other respondents will also be asked to make an appearance on the record, it is probable that not every teacher affected will testify. To the extent counsel can warn respondents of the possibility that the ALJ will limit cumulative, narrative, or legally irrelevant testimony, the hearings will proceed more efficiently.

C . Stipulations

ALJs will accept, and encourage, stipulations to all non-contested facts. Stipulations should be written to the extent possible. The goal is to focus on contested issues and streamline or avoid presentations on all others by stipulation. ALJs will seek stipulations on issues such as the following:

  • The layoff notices, requests for hearing, accusations and notices of defense were all timely and properly filed, or if not, any defect is waived.
  • Correctness of the seniority list.

D . Evidence Counsel Needs to Bring to the Hearing

  • District counsel:
    • DVD or flash drive containing updated list of names of all respondents in alpha order and in Word format;
    • Updated Governing Board resolutions containing "skipping" criteria and rules, and "tie-breaker" resolution.
    • Up-to-date seniority list and list of those selected for layoff. 
  • Teachers' counsel: DVD or flash drive containing list of persons represented, preferably in alpha order and in Word format. 
  • All counsel: Please bring one copy of every document to be introduced in evidence, copies for each representative and self-represented party, plus one copy for the witnesses. In hearings involving 100 or more respondents, it is often helpful to have multiple copies of exhibit binders available at the back of the hearing room for respondents to review.

E.  Visual Presentation Aids at Hearing
In larger cases, OAH ALJs have found it helpful for the parties to use projectors to display the hearing documents. OAH encourages the use of these aids at hearings. District counsel shall ensure the appropriate equipment and personnel are in place to allow the visual presentation aids to run smoothly and not interfere with the orderly conduct of the hearing.

 

7 . Post Hearing Processes

A . Transmitting the Proposed Decision
OAH may mail, overnight, e-file the proposed decision to the district office. Because proposed decisions are not "public" until the decision-maker (the Board) adopts the decision as its own, OAH does not serve the parties with the proposed decision. The district office is responsible for serving the proposed decision on respondents pursuant to statute. The school district's office staff is also responsible for serving final decisions on the parties.

Hearing exhibits are returned to the school district office by mail when the proposed decision is sent or shortly thereafter.

Hearing Room Consideration

Hearing Room Considerations for Teacher Reduction in Force Proceedings

1.Room Standards: Select a well-ventilated, quiet, and accessible room large enough to accommodate all parties and witnesses seated comfortably. 

2. For the ALJ: a large table and chair situated close to the witness chair and court reporter. 

3. For the court reporter: table and chair without arms situated close to witness chair and the ALJ. 

4. For each set of attorneys: a table and three chairs facing judge. 

5. For self-represented respondents: a table with enough chairs for all self-represented respondents. 

6. For the witness: a chair near the court reporter and the ALJ; witness generally sits at one end of ALJ's table. 

7. For the audience: enough chairs to accommodate all named respondents. 

8. Convenient and sufficient parking for respondents, counsel, witnesses, ALJ and court reporter. 

Considerations For The Larger Lay-Off Hearing (100+ Respondents)

1. Room Size: Large enough to accommodate all parties and witnesses, seated comfortably. Large auditoriums or gymnasiums are acceptable. If necessary, have an overflow room with closed circuit television to hearing room. It is often possible to move hearing to smaller room the second day if audience size drops.

  • ALJ, witnesses, counsel and reporter on an elevated platform if possible.
  • At least two counsel tables for district and for teacher representatives with at least 6 chairs per side.
  • One table for ALJ and one table for the court reporter. Microphones needed for all tables so audience can hear.
  • When arranging tables, consider the arrangement most likely to permit the audience to hear. Some venues have judge and counsel tables facing the audience.
  • Visual presentation aids such as projectors are encouraged. District representatives must provide equipment and staff to ensure visual presentation aids do not interfere with the hearing process.

2. Audience: Provide sufficient chairs for all named respondents. Reserve seating for self-represented respondents in the front rows. Have one podium with microphone stationed in front of audience for self-represented respondents. 

3. Signage for front doors of auditorium/hearing room: QUIET, HEARING IN PROGRESS. 

4. Designate a nearby room for respondents to meet privately with their attorneys. 

5. Convenient and sufficient parking for all respondents, counsel, witnesses, ALJ and Court Reporter. Reserve a parking space for the ALJ close to the entry to the hearing room.

SECURITY AND COURT REPORTER SERVICES: School districts are expected to provide for a court reporter and security. Please contact the OAH Presiding Judge at least five days before hearing if there are any concerns about court reporters or security. 

Other Helpful Resources

Education Code section 44955 (Outside Link)

 

For questions about your specific case, contact your local OAH office at:

Sacramento Office  (916) 263-0550

Los Angeles (213) 576-7200

Oakland (510) 622-2722

San Diego (619) 525-4475

 

Secure e-File Transfer (SFT) system

Access Secure e-File Transfer (SFT) system