The Hearing

The hearing is open to the public except in limited instances.

At the hearing, each party has the right to testify on his or her own behalf. Each party may also offer documents in evidence; have witnesses testify; question an opposing party's witnesses; and explain or rebut evidence. Additional courtroom facilities are available for cases which are held in Raleigh (see Raleigh Courtrooms).

In advance of the hearing you must prepare at least two copies of each exhibit which you intend to offer into evidence. Those exhibits admitted into evidence will be retained in the Official Record.

The hearing is recorded by either a hearing assistant using an electronic recorder (there is no appearance fee for a hearing assistant) or a court reporter, but the party requesting a court reporter must pay the reporter's appearance fees.

At the end of the hearing, the Judge may ask one or more parties to submit a proposed decision and give a deadline for its submission.  A proposed decision contains the findings of fact and conclusions of law about your case that you would like to be included in the Administrative Law Judge's Decision.  The Judge may use some, all, or none of the proposed decision(s) when drafting the Judge's Decision, because the Judge is not obligated to use any portion of your proposed decision, even if he/she rules in your favor.  You may find examples of Administrative Law Judge Decisions in other OAH cases on the ALJ Decisions page.

You can use the H-25C Transcript Request Form to order your transcript. If your hearing is recorded by a court reporter, requests and payment for copies of the transcript must be made directly with the court reporter.  Depending on the length of the hearing, some transcripts may be expensive, but transcripts become part of the OAH Official Record on appeal. You may also purchase copies of the CDs or DVDs from which the transcripts are made using the H-25B Hearing CD/DVD Request Form.  Audio recordings of your hearing on CD/DVD are usually less costly than a copy of the hearing transcript, but these recording copies are not considered part of the Official Record.