How administrative hearings work
Administrative hearings are handled by the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH), which oversees disputes between professional license holders, regulatory agencies, and other parties regulated by licensing boards/agencies.
Once your licensing board/agency receives a complaint, they will determine the legitimacy of the allegations. If they have reason to believe you have violated board/agency rules, or state and state law, they will launch a formal investigation. Such an investigation is not to be taken lightly, as ignoring the notice of allegations can have serious consequences.
After you receive notification of alleged violations, you must respond to the allegations. Additionally, you have the right to appeal any disciplinary actions by your licensing board to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) at SOAH, where you will have the opportunity to present crucial evidence and call on witnesses to testify on your behalf.
The process of a SOAH hearing usually includes the following:
- An opening statement from both your attorney and the attorney representing the licensing board.
- Presentation of evidence from each party to either prove their case or establish a defense.
- Witness testimony, expert or otherwise, on behalf of each party.
- Legal objections by any party to questions, statements, or evidence, which can be sustained or overruled by the ALJ.
- Closing arguments made by each party before the ALJ to summarize their case or defense.