The ALJ conducts the hearing. The ALJ works for OAH.
If your hearing is in-person, it will take place at the DSHS office.
These hearings have fewer rules (are less formal) than court proceedings. The ALJ records it and takes notes.
At the start of the hearing, the ALJ will explain that the ALJ does not work for DSHS, has never seen your file, and knows nothing about you or the case except what your hearing request said.
The ALJ explains that in deciding your case, they consider only:
- documents you and DSHS submit
- sworn testimony
* The ALJ will swear in everyone who will testify.
Usually, the FHC talks next. They tell the ALJ why DSHS believes it is right, and explain DSHS' documents it has given the ALJ to prove its case (its exhibits). When the FHC finishes, you can ask them about what they said. If the FHC has witnesses, you can question them when they finish testifying. The ALJ may have questions for the FHC and/or witnesses, to clarify the facts.
Now you tell your side of the story. Remember: All the ALJ knows about you or the case is what your hearing request said. You must tell the ALJ everything you want them to know. Look at your notes. Tell the ALJ exactly what happened from your perspective. When you finish, the FHC and the ALJ may question you. Then any witnesses you have can testify. The FHC and ALJ may question your witnesses.