State and local agencies throughout California are able to retain Administrative Law Judge services through the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). The services include administrative hearings, mediations, arbitrations, and other dispute resolution processes conducted by experienced Administrative Law Judges. OAH has five regional offices with hearing rooms. Cases may also be heard in other venues.

OAH Services for...

State agencies interested in retaining OAH's services must contact Melissa McKinney, Staff Services Manager I, at Melissa.McKinney@dgs.ca.gov, prior to filing a case with OAH. For most state agencies an interagency agreement is not required and the Department of General Services will direct-bill the state agency using the state agency's bill code. For state agencies where it is determined an interagency agreement is required, the interagency agreement must be executed before a case may be filed with OAH.

Once a state agency has been established, or an interagency agreement has been executed by both parties, state agencies can then schedule a hearing, mediation, or other proceeding by using the "State Agency Request to Set" form OAH 13 and filing it with the appropriate OAH Office.

OAH hearing and mediation services are available by contract to any county or local public entity (local agencies) pursuant to Government Code section 27727 (Outside Link). OAH currently conducts a variety of proceedings for local agencies, including, but not limited to, personnel and disciplinary hearings, labor arbitration, and public permit citation and revocation appeals.

Prior to requesting services from OAH, local agencies must have a current contract for services in place with OAH. Local agencies who are not sure if they have a current contract with OAH to conduct hearings, may contact Tim Dean, Associate Program Analyst to confirm, for further information, or have additional questions at (916) 263-0550.  

If your local agency does not have a current contract for services in place, please download the template Standard Agreement for Local Agencies, have it executed by the appropriate official, and send the original to: Tim Dean, Associate Governmental Program Analyst, Office of Administrative Hearings, 2349 Gateway Oaks Drive, Suite 200, Sacramento, CA 95833.

Once the contract has been executed by our office, local agencies can then schedule a hearing, mediation, or other proceeding using the Local Agency “Request to Set” forms available at General Jurisdiction Forms and filing it with the appropriate OAH Office.

If you are scheduling a teacher reduction in force proceeding, please use form OAH 18. For all other local agency hearings, please use form OAH 14. If you have any questions regarding local agency agreements, please contact Tim Dean, Associate Governmental Program Analyst, at (916) 263-0550.

Government Code section 11370.4 requires that all OAH costs be recovered from the agencies served. Fees typically include a filing fee for each case filed, an hourly rate for Administrative Law Judge services, and costs for requested interpreters, court reporters or electronic recordings. Fees for OAH services are pursuant to the current fiscal year's Price Book (outside link, new window) of the Department of General Services. If a hearing is cancelled you must notify OAH as quickly as possible. If notice is received in time to reassign the Administrative Law Judge, the time reserved for hearing will not be billed to the agency. If the Administrative Law Judge cannot be reassigned, you will be billed for the scheduled hearing time.

Court reporting firms contract with OAH as a result of a competitive bidding process, and the fees charged for court reporter services vary by geographical region. Agencies that utilize contracted court reporting firms for their hearings will be billed directly by the court reporter firm. For a full listing of current court reporting firm contracts and rates, see Court Reporter Services. Note: In the event a hearing is canceled or continued, and court reporter services are not canceled by the close of business (5:00 p.m. PST) the business day prior to the hearing, you will incur an appearance fee of one-half day.

Forms and Resources

State Agencies, Contact

Melissa McKinney, Staff Services Manager

Office of Administrative Hearings

2349 Gateway Oaks Drive
Suite 200
Sacramento, CA 95833
Phone: (916) 263-0550

County or Local Public Entities, Contact

Tim Dean, Associate Governmental Program Analyst

Office of Administrative Hearings

2349 Gateway Oaks Drive
Suite 200
Sacramento, CA 95833
Phone: (916) 263-0550