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Office of Administrative Law Judges

DMS Search Help Page

Search Option 1 is a full-text search application. This help page, however, is about Search Option 2 ("DMS Search"), which is a database search using fields from the Office of Administrative Law Judges' Document Management System (DMS).

DMS search enables searches based on the OALJ Case Number, the name of the Employer or Respondent, the name of the Claimant or Complainant, or the date of the ALJ's decision.

Hints

OALJ Case Number Field:

The OALJ case number has three components: (1) the Fiscal Year in which the case was docketed, (2) a three letter acronym that indicates the type of case, and (3) the sequential number of the filing. For example, 2005-BLA-00011 would be the eleventh black lung case filed in Fiscal Year 2005.

In the search fields:

  • Use the full year for the Fiscal Year field (i.e., 2005 instead of 05). Note that Fiscal Years for the federal government begin on October 1, rather than January 1 as in a calendar year.
  • For the Case Type Acronym field, select a case type either using the pull-down box or by typing the first character of the case type until the correct acronym appears. For example, typing s four times will place SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley) cases in this field. Only the first letter is recognized. Thus, typing s o x will not work.
  • Use zeros in front of the sequential number of the case (i.e., 00011 instead of 11). To get a list of all cases for a Fiscal Year for a particular case type, use the first two fields (Fiscal Year and Case Type Acronym), but leave the sequential number field blank, and then hit enter or click on the go button.

Employer/Respondent Field:

In this field you may use any part of the name -- first, last or full name. Because of the way information is entered into the DMS docket card, you may need to try both the Claimant/Complainant and Employer/Respondent fields.

Claimant/Complainant Field:

In this field you may use any part of the name -- first, last or full name. Do not separate names by commas. For example, use Smith John rather than Smith, John. Because of the way information is entered into the DMS docket card, you may need to try both the Claimant/Complainant and Employer/Respondent fields. For alien labor certification cases, use the Claimant/Complainant field to search by name of the alien.

Date Field:

In this field you must enter the search date exactly in this format: mm/dd/yyyy. For example, to search for cases decided on November 1, 2000, enter 11/01/2000.

Search Results Page:

DMS search returns a page showing search results. Users can re-sort the results by the categories shown at the top of each column. If the Decision Date field is blank, the case is still pending. If the "DMS File" column says "NO" that means that there is no electronic document available in DMS for that case. This is usually because the case was decided prior to OALJ's DMS implementation, or because the document is under a protective order or otherwise FOIA exempt. You might be able to find older decisions by browsing the caselists in the law library part of the web site or by using a full-text search.

FAQs

What does DMS cover? DMS was introduced into OALJ operations during 2000-2001. It only includes ALJ decisions. It does not include BRB or ARB decisions. Thus, researchers may need to use a full-text search or browse the caselists of reported decisions to find older decisions. ARB decisions may be located using a full-text search, alphabetical case list, monthly case list, or subject matter case list. BRB decisions may be located on the BRB web site.

How soon after issuance are ALJ decisions available on DMS Search? ALJ decisions are posted to the OALJ web site one business day after issuance, except that decisions issued under the LHWCA and its extensions are transmitted to the OALJ web site five business days after issuance. Links to LHC, LHK, DCW and LDA posted decisions often first become available on the sixth business day after issuance.

How do I cite to a decision? You may cite DMS decisions as a slip opinion. The PDF and HTML versions have identical content, but the PDF version is considered the official version by OALJ.

Why is there a capital "A" on the signature line? Prior to mid-2013, when an ALJ signed a decision a font with his or her digitized signature was placed in the document. When the web site version of the decision was created, the judge's signature font was not present so the conversion tool substituted an "A". The system was designed this way in order to prevent widespread dissemination of the judge's signature. Currently, ALJ decisions are signed with a digital self-certificate.

Why doesn't DMS work on my computer? You probably need to upgrade to a newer version of your web browser (e.g., IE 5.x or higher).

Why does only the first page of the PDF file load into my web browser? The PDF files can be very large. You can also work around the problem by downloading the PDF file to your hard drive and then opening it in a PDF reader outside the web browser. You might also try downloading a newer version of the PDF reader. Finally, most users are able to load the HTML version of the decision even if the PDF fails. For more information, see Help With Using PDF Files.

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Option 1: Full Text by Topic

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Option 2: ALJ Decisions by Case Number, Name or Date





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Acronym Definitions

ACA

Affordable Care Act Whistleblower

AIR

Aviation Investment & Reform Act (AIR21) Whistleblower

ARN

Nonimmigrant Nurses (H-1A and H-1C visas)

BCA

Board of Contract Appeals

BLA

Black Lung Benefits Act

BLO

Black Lung Benefits Act

BMO

Black Lung Benefits Act

BTD

Black Lung Benefits Act

CAA

Clean Air Act Whistleblower

CBV

"Collective Bargaining Variance" under the Service Contract Act

CCP

Decertification proceedings under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act or the National Apprenticeship Act of 1937

CER

CERCLA Whistleblower

CET

CETA

CLA

Child Labor Provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act

CPS

Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act

DBA

Davis Bacon Act

DCA

Debt Collection Act

DCW

District of Columbia Workers' Compensation

EPP

Employee Polygraph Protection Act

ERA

Energy Reorganization Act Whistleblower

FLS

Fair Labor Standards Act

INA

Pre-PERM permanent alien labor certification

JSA

Job Service Complaint System

JSW

Job Service Complaint System Prevailing Wage LCA Appeal

JTP

Job Training Partnership Act

LCA

Labor Condition Applications (H-1B visas)

LCA (§ 655.731(d) case)

Labor Condition Applications; Prevailing Wage Appeals [redesignated as JSW]

LDA

Defense Base Act and Related Acts

LHC

Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act

MSA

Petition for modification of mine safety standard under the Federal Mine Safety & Health Act

MSP

Migrant and Seasonal Occupational Worker Act

OAA

Older Americans

OFC

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs

OSH

OSHA Rulemaking

PCA

Walsh-Healy Public Contracts Act

PED

PERM permanent alien labor certification debarment cases

PER

PERM permanent alien labor certification and immigration related prevailing wage appeals

PSI

Pipeline Safety Improvement Act whistleblower

PWD

Prevailing Wage Determination (H-1B, H-2B, PERM)

RIS

Employee Retirement Income Security Act

SCA

Service Contract Act

SDW

Safe Drinking Water Disposal Act whistleblower

SOC

"Standards of Conduct" in federal labor unions under the LMRDA

SOX

Sarbanes-Oxley Act whistleblower

SPA

Seaman's Protection Act whistleblower

STA

Surface Transportation Assistance Act whistleblower

SWD

Solid Waste Disposal Act whistleblower

TAE

"Temporary alien employment" (H-2A visas - Wage & Hour enforcement)

TLC

"Temporary labor certification" (H-2A cases - ETA certfications)

TLN

"Temporary labor certification" (H-2B cases - ETA certfications)

TNE

"Temporary labor certification" (H-2B cases - Wage & Hour enforcement)

TSC

Toxic Substances Control Act whistleblower

UIA

Federal State Extended Unemployment Tax Act

WIA

Workforce Investment Act

WPA

Wagner-Peyser Act (Job Service Complaint System)

WPC

Federal Water Pollution Control Act whistleblower

WTW

"Welfare to Work" cases under the Social Security Act