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About The Office of
Administrative Hearings

History and Purpose

The Maryland Legislature created the independent Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) in 1990 to provide the public with a corps of Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) to decide appeals of administrative agency decisions. The creation of OAH increased the fairness of administrative hearings by ensuring that the presiding decision-maker was not an employee of the same State agency that made the decision under appeal. Creating the OAH also saved the State of Maryland the substantial cost of each State agency maintaining an administrative hearing unit.

OAH employs approximately fifty-five ALJs, each of whom was an experienced attorney prior to being appointed as an ALJ. ALJs preside over thousands of hearings a year and pride themselves on issuing decisions in each case within ninety days or less after the close of the record for the hearing.

Maryland is one of twenty-seven States to establish a centralized panel of ALJs for the purpose of reviewing decisions of State agencies. Maryland’s OAH handles cases arising from a larger variety of State agencies than any other centralized administrative hearing panel in the country and is one of the largest central panel agencies in the United States. Based on OAH’s lengthy history, size, and expertise in administrative law, other jurisdictions frequently contact the Maryland OAH for advice on how to create a similar system.

Mission Statement

The Office of Administrative Hearings provides prompt, accessible and efficient due process for any person or business affected by the action or proposed action of a Maryland State or government agency.

Value Statement

At the Office of Administrative Hearings, we are committed to upholding the highest standards of justice, fairness, and impartiality. Our goal is to provide a transparent and efficient platform for resolving administrative disputes, ensuring that all parties are heard and treated with respect. We strive to foster a culture of integrity and excellence, guided by the principles of due process and the rule of law.

Our Core Values:

Integrity: We are dedicated to act in a manner that merits the trust of Maryland citizens, stakeholders, and fellow employees.
Fairness: We are committed to providing fair and unbiased hearings.
Access to Justice: We are dedicated to providing accessible and timely resolution of cases.
Efficiency: We strive to enhance the efficiency of the administrative hearing process, without compromising the quality of justice.
Accountability: We hold ourselves accountable to the highest ethical standards, ensuring that our actions and decisions are transparent and legally sound.
Diversity and Inclusion: We celebrate and value diversity in all its forms. We recognize that a diverse and inclusive environment strengthens our ability to understand and address the unique needs of the communities we serve.