State Office of Administrative Hearings
State Office of Administrative Hearings

Frequently Asked Questions

After the Hearing

After the Hearing Questions

Will the ALJ ask for additional information after the hearing?

It is possible that the ALJ will ask the parties to brief a particular issue, or she may hold the record open for the filing of additional evidence if she, in her discretion, deems it necessary.  It depends on the case.  It is always the best practice to be completely prepared at the hearing; you should not rely on the ALJ to hold the record open after the hearing.

May I provide the ALJ with additional information after the hearing?

No, not unless it is requested by the ALJ.  When writing the PFD or the Decision and Order, the ALJ may not consider any evidence that is not in the hearing record.  You should be careful to present any evidence that you want the ALJ to consider at the hearing or to give your attorney all relevant information.  As noted in the preceding FAQ, the ALJ has the discretion to ask for posthearing briefing or for the submission of additional evidence, but parties may not submit additional information or evidence absent the ALJ’s request.

Will I receive a copy of the ALJ’s PFD or Decision and Order?

Yes.  The ALJ will send a copy of the PFD or Decision and Order to the referring agency and all parties.  The PFD or Decision and Order will be sent to the mailing address that appears in the filings in the case.  It is your responsibility to inform the ALJ and the other parties if you change your mailing address at any time during the course of the case.

When will the ALJ issue the PFD or Decision and Order?

In most cases, you should receive a copy of the PFD or Decision and Order not later than 60 days after the close of the hearing record.  However, in certain cases, the deadline may be shorter or longer.

May I challenge or object to the ALJ’s PFD or Decision and Order?

Each party may object to the PFD by filing written exceptions with SOAH and with the referring agency.  The deadline for filing exceptions and any replies to exceptions is set out in
1 Tex. Admin. Code § 155.59(c) external web site.

Different procedures apply to a Decision and Order.  You should consult the specific statute of the referring agency and the Administrative Procedure Act, Tex. Gov’t Code Ann. § 2001.145 external web site, to determine the appropriate course of action.

For agencies in which a PFD is issued, will I have an opportunity to appear and speak to the final decision-makers?

It depends on the referring agency.  You should direct your inquiry or request to appear to the agency.

Is there an appeal from the agency's final decision?

Yes.  In most cases, you have the right to appeal the final order of an agency to the Travis County District Court.  However, you should check the specific law governing the contested cases handled by the referring agency to determine your appellate rights.