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): 
National Transportation Safety Board: Office of Administrative Law Judges
Hearing Officer #1 (Title): 
Administrative Law Judge
Are administrative appeals permitted from final decisions at the hearing-level stage?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
Comments/Notes on Adjudication Structure: 

Since 1967 the NTSB has served as the "court of appeal" for airmen, aircraft mechanics, and other individuals and entities whenever the FAA takes a certificate action. The Boards Administrative Law Judges hear, consider and issue initial decision on appeals filed with the Board. Included are appeals of:

Orders issued by the FAA's Administrator amending, modifying, suspending or revoking, in whole or in part certificates of airmen, air agencies and air carriers for alleged violations of the Federal Aviation Regulation or for lack of qualification;

FAA actions denying applications for the issuance or renewal of airmen certificates including medical certificates;

Appeals of certain FAA civil penalty orders issued by the FAA against pilots, flight engineers, mechanics or repairmen where the amount in dispute is less than $50,000.

The NTSB Administrative Law Judges also adjudicate claims for fees and expenses stemming from FAA certificate and civil penalty actions under the Equal Access to Justice Act.

Cases are handled on an emergency or non-emergency, or routine basis as designated by the FAA. If a case is designated an emergency, statutory time deadlines are invoked and the FAA certificate action is effective immediately. Emergency hearings on the merits of the case must be held by the Administrative Law Judge assigned the case within 30 days of the receipt of the filing of the appeal. Board members have 30 days from the Administrative Law Judge oral initial decision to render a final decision.

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): 
49 CFR 821, 826
Other published guidance for hearings (if any): 
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.): 
Depositions, interrogatories, and other forms of discovery are allowed. Per 49 CFR 821.5 Procedural Rules, for situations not covered by the Boards Rules of Practice the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are applicable to the extent practicable.
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?: 
30 Days
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Hearing Procedure
What types of hearings are permitted at the hearing-level stage?: 
Written (Document-Only) Hearing
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: 
By Agency
By Private Party
Required by Rule
How many hearing officers preside at each hearing?: 
Is witness testimony permitted at hearings?: 
Varies by Case
If "Varies by Case," please describe: 
Witness testimony is permitted in oral hearings, but N/A in document-only hearings.
Can parties cross-examine witnesses?: 
Varies by Case
If "Varies by Case," please describe: 
Cross examination is permitted in oral hearings, but N/A in document-only hearings.
Can third-parties submit amicus briefs and/or evidence?: 
Are hearings recorded and/or transcribed?: 
N/A (Document-Only Hearings)
Are hearings open to the public?: 
Varies by Case
If "Varies by Case," please describe: 
Hearings are always open in oral hearings, but N/A in document-only hearings.
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Post-Hearing Procedure
Who typically drafts the decision at the hearing-level stage?: 
Adjudication Officer
Who has authority to issue final decisions?: 
Adjudication Officer
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): 
As previously noted in cases designated as emergency cases a hearing on the merits of the case and an oral initial decision must be issued within 30 days of the filing of the appeal. In EAJA cases, the ALJ shall issue a decision within 60 days of the end of the proceedings (see 49 CFR 826.37).
About how long does it take on average—as of FY2013—to adjudicate claims/cases at the hearinglevel stage (i.e., from case filing: 
180 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: 
Emergency cases are the priority due to the strict time frame required for hearing and decision.
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): 
49 CFR 821.40
Do agency regulations/rules of practice provide for closure of the record at the hearing-level stage (subject to applicable exce: 
Comments/Notes on Hearing-Level Process & Procedures (Optional): 
The Administrative Law Judge issues an oral initial decision at the conclusion of the hearing in approximately 98% of those cases which proceed to hearing. Written decisions are also issued in more complex cases which involve a voluminous trial record. The Administrative Law Judges issue oral initial decisions which may be appealed to the full Board of the National Transportation Safety Board. The Board decision serves as the final administrative decision. If the oral initial decision is not appealed then the Administrative Law Judge's decision becomes the final NTSB administrative decision.
Total # of Hearing Officers: 
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: 
Are there distinctive or innovative features of the hearing-level adjudication program covered on this form that you wish to hig: 
The most distinctive feature of the NTSB hearing process is that oral initial decisions are issued in the vast majority of the cases at the conclusion of trial. This process eliminates a backlog of cases awaiting decision by the Administrative Law judge and provides the parties with a timely decision on their cases. The use of pre-hearing Orders by all of the NTSB administrative law judges assists in narrowing issues for trial, assists in discovery and full disclosure of evidence and reduces the number of exhibits to those which are relevant for trial.
Verified by Agency: