The ALJ conducts the hearing. The ALJ works for OAH.
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 the agency give (submit) to the ALJ.
- Sworn testimony.
The ALJ will swear in everyone who will testify.
Usually, the agency representative talks next. They tell the ALJ why the agency believes it is right, and explain the agency's documents it has given the ALJ to prove its case (its exhibits). When the agency representative finishes, you can ask them about what they said. If the agency representative has witnesses, you can question them when they finish testifying. The ALJ may ask the agency representative and/or witnesses questions to clarify what they have said
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 agency representative and the ALJ may question you. Then any witnesses you have can testify. The agency representative and ALJ may question your witnesses.