Pre-Hearing Conference With An Administrative Law Judge

Created on: 
Sep 16 2015


A Pre-Hearing Conference is a formal proceeding conducted on the record by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to prepare for an administrative hearing.

Clarifying Information: 

1.      The pre-hearing conference (PHC) may be required by an ALJ or requested by any party.  It is an essential step in the administrative hearing process.  See WAC 388-02-0200 – What Happens During a Pre-Hearing Conference.

2.      Attendance at the pre-hearing conference is mandatory for the parties.  If clients do not attend the pre-hearing conference, the ALJ may dismiss the hearing request or enter a default order against the client.

3.      An ALJ may conduct the pre-hearing conference in person, by telephone conference call, or in any other manner acceptable to the parties.

Note:  Mandatory Pre-Hearing Conferences do not apply to Basic Food cases.  See 7 CFR 273.15(d).  

Administrative Hearings Coordinator Responsibilities:

Notify all staff who are scheduled to participate in the pre-hearing conference of the date and time of the PHC.

Administrative Hearings Coordinator Procedures:

When participating in a pre-hearing conference: 

1.    Explain the facts on which the decision is based.

2.    Discuss the rules, which the department relied on when making the decision the client is appealing. Make copies of the cited rules available on request.

3.   Review the evidence that the department relied on and how it relates to the client's situation. 


Post Pre-Hearing Conference:

The Administrative Law Judge enters a written pre-hearing conference order describes actions taken, changes to documents, any agreements reached, and any ruling of ALJ.  The pre-hearing order determines if and how the administrative hearing is conducted, whether it will be in person, by telephone conference, or other means.