Presenting the Case

Revised October 28, 2015

Clarifying Information:

  1. See WAC 388-02-0215  through WAC 388-02-0245 for the responsibilities of the Administrative Law Judge.
  2. The case is presented to the ALJ and generally consists of the following sections:

          a) Opening statement

          b) Presentation of the evidence

          c) Closing statement

    3. The ALJ's decision can only consider documents that have been formally entered into the record of the hearing.

    4. Either the client or the department may object to the admission of any document into the record. The ALJ will usually rule immediately regarding an objection.

   5. An objection should be raised if a document:

      a) Has been altered, or

      b) Is not what it is purported to be, or

      c) Is not relevant to the issue for hearing e.g. a medical report, which is not current.

Administrative Hearing Coordinator (AHC) Responsibilities: 

  1. Prepare the opening statement:

         a) Identify the action or department decision being contested;

         b) Explain the circumstances which led to the action or  department decision;

         c) Cite the specific regulation or statute which was applied in the department decision; and

        d) Explain how the documents and the witnesses if any will provide evidence to support the departments' position.

    2. Present the evidence:

       a) Introduce documentary evidence; explain how it relates to the facts of the case.

       b) Introduce and question witnesses. Ask questions that allow the witness to explain what he or she knows about the case.

      c) Present material in an orderly, logical manner. Consider if it is best to present the case in chronological sequence.

     d) Explain how the department came to know the facts of the case.

     e) Explain the reasons for the department decision and the regulations and/or statutes which support the decision.

     f) Show the steps taken to comply with regulations and notice requirements.

    g) Explain the actions taken by the department after the administrative hearing was requested, including whether or not a pre-hearing meeting was held. If a pre-hearing meeting was not held, be prepared to tell and document to the ALJ the number times the department attempted to contact the client before the administrative hearing.

     3. Closing statement:

        a) Briefly summarize the department's view of the case and review the regulations/statutes which support the department actions

      b) Explain why the ALJ should rule in favor of the department.

Note: If new information is raised by the client during the administrative hearing, it is appropriate for the AHC to respond to the new information. In addition, the AHC may ask that the department be allowed additional time to respond to the new evidence if it is extensive or it raises issues which were not presented in the original client hearing request.