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Office of Administrative Law Judges

Laws Regarding Ex Parte Communications


STATUTE

Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C.

§ 557. Initial decisions; conclusiveness; review by agency; submissions by parties; contents of decisions; record

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(d)(1) In any agency proceeding which is subject to subsection (a) of this section, except to the extent required for the disposition of ex parte matters as authorized by law -

  • (A) no interested person outside the agency shall make or knowingly cause to be made to any member of the body comprising the agency, administrative law judge, or other employee who is or may reasonably be expected to be involved in the decisional process of the proceeding, an ex parte communication relevant to the merits of the proceeding;

  • (B) no member of the body comprising the agency, administrative law judge, or other employee who is or may reasonably be expected to be involved in the decisional process of the proceeding, shall make or knowingly cause to be made to any interested person outside the agency an ex parte communication relevant to the merits of the proceeding;

  • (C) a member of the body comprising the agency, administrative law judge, or other employee who is or may reasonably be expected to be involved in the decisional process of such proceeding who receives, or who makes or knowingly causes to be made, a communication prohibited by this subsection shall place on the public record of the proceeding:

  • (i) all such written communications;

  • (ii) memoranda stating the substance of all such oral communications; and

  • (iii) all written responses, and memoranda stating the substance of all oral responses, to the materials described in clauses (i) and (ii) of this subparagraph;
  • (D) upon receipt of a communication knowingly made or knowingly caused to be made by a party in violation of this subsection, the agency, administrative law judge, or other employee presiding at the hearing may, to the extent consistent with the interests of justice and the policy of the underlying statutes, require the party to show cause why his claim or interest in the proceeding should not be dismissed, denied, disregarded, or otherwise adversely affected on account of such violation; and

  • (E) the prohibitions of this subsection shall apply beginning at such time as the agency may designate, but in no case shall they begin to apply later than the time at which a proceeding is noticed for hearing unless the person responsible for the communication has knowledge that it will be noticed, in which case the prohibitions shall apply beginning at the time of his acquisition of such knowledge.
  • (2) This subsection does not constitute authority to withhold information from Congress.

  • RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

    TITLE 29--LABOR
    SUBTITLE A--OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF LABOR
    PART 18--RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS BEFORE THE OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGES

    § 18.38 Ex parte communications.

    (a) The administrative law judge shall not consult any person, or party, on any fact in issue unless upon notice and opportunity for all parties to participate. Communications by the Office of Administrative Law Judges, the assigned judge, or any party for the sole purpose of scheduling hearings or requesting extensions of time are not considered ex-parte communications, except that all other parties shall be notified of such request by the requesting party and be given an opportunity to respond thereto.

    (b) Sanctions. A party or participant who makes a prohibited ex parte communication, or who encourages or solicits another to make any such communication, may be subject to any appropriate sanction or sanctions, including, but not limited to, exclusion from the proceedings and adverse ruling on the issue which is the subject of the prohibited communication.