Other Fields
Agency Scheme: 
Hearing Level: Basic Structure
Name of Hearing Office (local name): 
Office of Administrative Law Judges
Name of Hearing Office (global name): 
Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission: Office of Administrative Law Judges
Hearing Officer #1 (Title): 
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
Hearing Officer #2 (Title): 
Are administrative appeals permitted from final decisions at the hearing-level stage?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
Comments/Notes on Adjudication Structure: 

Formal adjudication scheme of legal disputes arising under the Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act), including: contests of citations and orders issued by the Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA); contests of MSHA proposed penalty assessments; complaints for compensation; complaints of discharge, discrimination or interference; applications for temporary relief from any modification or order (29 CFR Part 2700). Simplified proceedings are available for certain less complex matters meeting specified regulatory criteria. Simplified proceedings do not require answers, generally do not permit discovery beyond mandatory party disclosures, and require issuance of the presiding ALJ's decision within a specified period of time after the hearing. (29 CFR pt. 2700, subpt. J).

PROCESS & PROCEDURE - General Information
Are private parties permitted to have representation at hearings?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
Who may serve as a private party representative?: 
About what percentage of private parties were represented at hearings (FY2013)?: 
Is the agency permitted to have representation at hearings?: 
N/A (e.g., Agency Not Party to Hearing)
Regulations/rules of practice for hearings (please include CFR citations): 
29 CFR pt. 2700, subpts. A-G, I & J
Other published guidance for hearings (if any): 
"Guide to Commission Proceedings" & "How a Case Proceeds Before the Commission" (see FMSHRC website)
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Pre-Hearing Procedure
Is discovery permitted by either party at the hearing-level stage?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
Briefly describe the scope and type(s) of discovery available (e.g., depositions, interrogatories, etc.): 
*For All Matters Except Simplified Proceedings: Parties may obtain discovery of any relevant, non-privileged matter that is admissible evidence or appears to lead to discovery of admissible evidence (29 CFR 2700.56(b)).Methods of discovery include: depositions, interrogatories, requests for admissions, production of documents, and requests for permission to enter property for inspecting, copying, photographing, and gathering information. (29 CFR 2700.56(a)) * Simplified Proceedings (29 CFR 2700 Subpart J): Mandatory disclosure and exchange of information by parties within 45 days of designation of simplified proceeding. Disclosures cover any information in parties' possession, custody or control that may be used to support claim or defense. Disclosing party must provide privilege log for non-disclosed documents withheld on basis of privilege. Aside from mandatory disclosures, no additional discovery permitted in simplified proceedings except as ordered by presiding ALJ.
Does the hearing officer have subpoena authority?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
Are ex parte contacts prohibited?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
Are parties provided notice of hearing?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
How far in advance of the hearing date is notice typically provided?: 
20 Days
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Hearing Procedure
What types of hearings are permitted at the hearing-level stage?: 
Please provide the approximate percentage of each type of hearing relative to the total number of hearings (FY2013)
How is the type of hearing selected: 
Required by Rule
How many hearing officers preside at each hearing?: 
Is witness testimony permitted at hearings?: 
Can parties cross-examine witnesses?: 
Can third-parties submit amicus briefs and/or evidence?: 
Adjudication Officer Discretion
Are hearings recorded and/or transcribed?: 
Are hearings open to the public?: 
Presumed Open (But May Be Closed Under Certain Conditions)
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Post-Hearing Procedure
Who typically drafts the decision at the hearing-level stage?: 
Adjudication Officer
Staff Attorney
Who has authority to issue final decisions?: 
Adjudication Officer
Do agency regulations or guidance provide time limits for issuance of final decisions?: 
Yes (Some Types of Cases)
If "Yes," please specify these time limit(s): 
In simplified proceedings, the presiding ALJ is required to issue his/her written decision within 60 calendar days after the hearing. (29 CFR 2700.108(f)). No timing specified by regulation for issuance of written decisions in other matters. In temporary reinstatement proceedings, a judge shall issue a written order granting or denying the application within seven calendar days following a hearing on the application.
About how long does it take on average—as of FY2013—to adjudicate claims/cases at the hearinglevel stage (i.e., from case filing: 
463 Days
Is judicial review available after issuance of a final decision?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Case Management
How are claims/cases processed at the hearing-level stage?: 
Please briefly describe your case management practice(s) at the hearing level stage: 
Certain types of cases are prioritized and expedited by statute (ex. applications for temporary reinstatement, Equal Access to Justice Act, and Emergency Response Plan Proceedings--28 USC section 2412; 29 CFR 2700.45 and 2700.24)
Does the agency permit web-based electronic filing of hearing-related briefs or other documents?: 
Are final decisions published and/or posted on the agency website?: 
Yes (All Decisions)
Do agency regulations/rules of practice specify the contents of the administrative record at the hearing-level stage?: 
Do agency regulations/rules of practice provide for closure of the record at the hearing-level stage (subject to applicable exce: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
If "Yes," please provide citation(s): 
29 CFR 2700.69
Comments/Notes on Hearing-Level Process & Procedures (Optional): 
Intervention in individual cases is permitted as of right for affected miners and their representatives, and by discretion of the presiding ALJ by other persons. (29 CFR 2700.4). Summary dispositions are also permitted (in matters other than those assigned to the simplified proceedings track) when there are no disputed issues of material fact and moving party entitled to judgment as matter of law. (29 CFR 2700.67) Hearings are typically conducted at sites located at or near the mine at issue in order to afford mine operators, miners, and their representatives a full opportunity to participate in the hearing process.
Total # of Hearing Officers: 
ADR: General Information
Is ADR available at one or more points during the hearing process?: 
If "Yes," when is ADR available?: 
Before Claim/Case Filed
Is ADR a mandatory or voluntary process?: 
What type(s) of ADR are available?: 
Settlement Conference
Who conducts the ADR?: 
Agency Counsel
Non-Presiding Adjudicator
Regulations/rules of practice governing ADR process (please include CFR citations): 
29 CFR 2700.31 (penalty settlement);
CASELOAD STATISTICS - Summary Statistics
Total # Cases Filed/Opened (FY2013): 
6 898
Total # Cases Decided/Closed (FY2013): 
12 262
Total # Cases Pending (End of FY2013): 
7 612
CASELOAD STATISTICS - Supplementary Statistics
Does your agency maintain annual caseload statistics for this hearing office by case type (e.g., discrimination complaint, licen: 
If "Yes," please indicate preferred format below.: 
By providing case type statistics on this form
Do you have any additional comments about your agency's responses on this form? If so, please provide comments below.: 
The Commission disposed of 12,262 cases in FY2013. According to FMSHRC's "Justification of Appropriation Estimates for Congressional Appropriations - FY2015," this number of dispositions was larger than expected due to the hiring of temporary law clerks and legal assistants using a one-time budgetary resource.
Are there distinctive or innovative features of the hearing-level adjudication program covered on this form that you wish to hig: 
While the Commission's Office of Administrative Law Judges follows the standard enforcement scheme, our hearings are highly adversarial and follow the Federal Rules of Evidence, with a few exceptions. Specifically, under the APA, hearsay evidence and non-jury trials are allowed in our proceedings. In addition, although our judges' orders are final adjudications, the five-member Commission provides appellate review of the judges' decisions. Review of an ALJ decision by the Commission requires the affirmative vote of two Commissioners. Most of the cases accepted for review are generated from petitions filed by parties adversely affected by an ALJ decision; however, cases can also be accepted for review based on the Commission's own direction. An ALJ decision not accepted for review becomes a final, non-precedential order of the Commission. Appeals from the Commission's decisions are to the US courts of appeals.
Setting aside budgetary or legislative constraints (if any), does your agency have a "wish list" of processes or procedures (e.g: 
We would like contempt power. While we have the ability to issue subpoenas, we cannot hold a party that refuses to comply in contempt, Instead, we must appeal to the district court to hold the party in contempt.
Verified by Agency: