Administrative Hearings FAQs

Below are answers to frequently asked questions. Can't find what you need? Contact Administrative Hearings at (615) 741-7008 or

What is an Administrative Judge?

The Administrative Judge is a judge employed by the Administrative Procedures Division who has the job of providing a fair and impartial hearing. The Administrative Judge is not employed by the regulating agency. View a biography of the assigned Judge.

What is an Administrative Hearing?

An administrative hearing is conducted in basically the same way as a trial at the courthouse with both parties presenting evidence to the Judge. The hearing is conducted independently of the agency that requested the hearing and the agency is not allowed to influence the Judge’s decision in any way.

Who will decide my case?

In some hearings the Judge alone will hear your case. The Judge’s decision will be made in a written Initial Order which will be mailed to both parties. In some hearings your case will be heard by a Board or Commission that is sitting with the Judge. In this type of hearing, the Board, and not the Judge, will make the decision in your case.

Do I need an attorney, or may I represent myself?

You may represent yourself. You are not required to have an attorney and you are not entitled to have an attorney appointed for you. You may, however, hire an attorney to represent you at your own expense.

What may I expect at the hearing?

At the beginning of the hearing, the Judge will generally give an introduction of the procedure that will be followed in the hearing. Each party will be allowed to present an opening statement and then witnesses will be called. Each party has the right to question his or her own witness. The opposing party then has the right to conduct cross-examination of that witness. Documents may be presented through witnesses. The Judge will rule on the admissibility of evidence. After each party has presented witnesses, the party who bears the burden of proof may have the right to present rebuttal evidence. At the end of the hearing, each party may be permitted to present a closing argument.

What is the “burden of proof”?

The “burden of proof” is the responsibility to prove a disputed charge or allegation. Typically the party bearing the burden of proof presents his or her case first. If the party bearing the burden of proof fails to carry that burden, that party may lose his or her case. The Judge will establish who bears the burden of proof at the beginning of the hearing.

When will a decision be issued?

The law which is applicable to each case type specifies the time within which a decision will be issued. Typically the Judge will inform you of the time applicable to your case at the end of the hearing.

May I call the Judge to discuss my case?

No. The Administrative Procedures Act does not allow communication about the case between the Judge and any party outside the hearing or other proceeding, such as a pre-hearing conference, without the presence of all the parties to the case. Your questions may be answered in the What if I Represent Myself brochure (English brochure | Spanish brochure).

What may I do if I disagree with the Judge’s decision?

The law which is applicable to each case type specifies the method of appeal of the Judge’s decision. An explanation of the appeal process applicable to your case is included in the decision.

What if I can’t be at the hearing on the scheduled day?

You need to contact the agency that sent you the Notice of Hearing and request a continuance. The agency will arrange a pre-hearing conference to ask the Judge to continue your hearing to a different date.