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 Trade Commission: Office of Administrative Law Judges
Hearing Officer #1 (Title): 
Administrative Law Judge
Hearing Officer #2 (Title): 
Commission member can be designated to sit as an ALJ
Are administrative appeals permitted from final decisions at the hearing-level stage?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
Comments/Notes on Adjudication Structure: 

The FTC has a formal adjudication scheme in which ALJs (or, alternatively, one, several, or all Commission members) serve as presiding officers. Matters heard include: (a) administrative enforcement actions under various federal trade laws within the Commission's jurisdiction; and (b) adjudicative hearings on issues arising in rulemaking proceedings under the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act.

A formal proceeding commences when the Commission affirmatively votes to issue a complaint. Adjudication proceedings are quite formal, with rules of practice and procedure akin to those in federal district courts.

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?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
Who may serve as an agency representative?: 
Regulations/rules of practice for hearings (please include CFR citations): 
16 CFR parts 3, 4.
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.): 
Discovery process and types similar to federal district court actions: mandatory initial disclosures; depositions (oral or written); interrogatories; requests for admission; document requests; expert disclosures and discovery; subpoenas duces tecum, ad testificandum, and for inspection. Motion practice (e.g., motions to compel, motions for protective order) permitted by parties and heard by ALJ. (16 CFR 3.31 - 3.40).
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?: 
195 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)
Written (Document-Only) Hearing: 
How is the type of hearing selected: 
Required by Rule
How many hearing officers preside at each hearing?: 
If "Varies by Case," please describe: 
Typically, one ALJ presides over the 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
Who has authority to issue final decisions?: 
If "Other," please specify: 
The ALJ issues an Initial Decision. The Final Decision is issued by the Commission.
Do agency regulations or guidance provide time limits for issuance of final decisions?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
If "Yes," please specify these time limit(s): 
Timing requirement dependent on type of disposition and last-filed pleading. Timeframes for issuance of Initial Decision by the ALJ are: (a) within 14 days of summary decision; (b) within 70 days of last-filed proposed findings of fact and conclusions by parties; or (c) within 85 days of hearing if parties waive filing of proposed findings of fact and law. ALJ may extend deadlines by 30 days for good cause. Commission may also extend for good cause. (16 CFR 3.51)
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?: 
Differentiated Case Management
Please briefly describe your case management practice(s) at the hearing level stage: 
If the Commission sought or is seeking preliminary injunctive relief in a parallel federal court proceeding, the case proceeds on an accelerated timeframe: the hearing must start no later than 5 months from the date of the filing of the administrative complaint. In all other cases, the hearing must start no later than 8 months from the date of the filing of the complaint.
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?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
If "Yes," please provide citation(s): 
16 C.F.R. 3.44.
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): 
ALJ required to issue an order closing the record upon completion of hearing, but parties afforded 3 business days "to determine if the record is complete or needs to be supplemented." ALJ retains discretion to permit or order correction of the transcript as needed. (16 CFR 3.44(c)). ALJ also has authority, between closure of record and filing of Initial Decision, to reopen record and take additional evidence. (16 CFR 3.51(e)).
Comments/Notes on Hearing-Level Process & Procedures (Optional): 
Non-discovery motions practice permitted via motions to amend pleadings, motions to dismiss, motions to strike, motions for summary decision, and motions for interlocutory review by the Commission. Motions to amend pleadings are ruled on by the ALJ; the other motions are ruled on by the Commission. Parties are provided notice of hearing 150 or 240 days in advance (depending on the case). The rules governing timeframes were amended in 2009, so there's no baseline for computing the average time it takes to adjudicate a claim. After the ALJ's Initial Decision, the parties can appeal to the Commission. Judicial review is available after issuance of the Commission's decision. For total # cases decided/closed, we have included cases where the ALJ issued an Initial Decision or where there was a settlement in FY 2013.
Total # of Hearing Officers: 
Comments/Notes on Hearing-Level Adjudicators (Optional): 
Presiding officer(s) for formal hearings can be either an ALJ, or one or more Commission members sitting as ALJs. (16 CFR 3.42(a)). Commissioners are Executive Service, Level IV per 5 USC 5315
ADR: General Information
Is ADR available at one or more points during the hearing process?: 
CASELOAD STATISTICS - Summary Statistics
Total # Cases Filed/Opened (FY2013): 
Total # Cases Decided/Closed (FY2013): 
Total # Cases Pending (End of FY2013): 
CASELOAD STATISTICS - Supplementary Statistics
Does your agency maintain annual caseload statistics for this hearing office by case type (e.g., discrimination complaint, licen: 
Verified by Agency: