ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES ACT
To keep agencies from wielding unbridled power, the
Administrative Procedure Act of 1946 (APA) (5 U.S.C.A. § 551 )
sets standards for the activities and rule making of all federal
regulatory agencies. The APA provides federal courts with a
framework for reviewing the rules made and procedures used
by administrative agencies. Individual states have similar
statutes to guide their own courts.
5 U.S.C. §551 (6)
‘‘order’’ means the whole or a part of a
final disposition, whether affirmative, negative,
injunctive, or declaratory in form, of an
agency in a matter other than rule making
but including licensing;
5 U.S.C. §551 (7) ADJUDICATION
Given the specialized knowledge within
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW judges (ALJs),
who hear agency claims and disputes, are loath to
overturn the legal conclusions reached by administrative boards.
WHO IS ADMINISTRATIVE BOARD?
HAVE THEY MADE ANY LEGAL CONCLUSIONS?
THEY ARE LOATH TO ACKNOWLEDGE AGENCY
CLAIMS OR DISPUTES EXIST AT ALL, BECAUSE THEY
ARE ACTING IN THE CAPACITY OF ADMINISTRATIVE AGENTS
AND NOT JUDIICAL OFFICERS
A department or other instrumentality of the executive branch of the federal
government, including a government corporation and the Government Printing Office.
• The Administrative Procedure Act defines the term agency negatively as being any U.S. governmental
authority that does not include Congress, the courts, the government of the District of Columbia,
the government of any territory or possession, courts-martial, or military authority. 5 USCA § 551.
The caselaw on this definition focuses on authority: generally, an entity is an agency if it has
authority to take binding action.
Other federal statutes define agency to include any executive department, government corporation,
government-controlled corporation, or other establishment in the executive branch, or federal
regulatory board. [Cases: Administrative Law and Procedure
101; United States 30. C.J.S. Public Administrative Law and Procedure § 8; United States § 49.]
independent agency.A federal agency, commission, or board that is not under the direction of
the executive, such as the Federal Trade Commission or the National Labor Relations Board. —
Also termed independent regulatory agency; independent regulatory commission. [Cases: United
States 29. C.J.S. United States §§ 52, 57.]
Black's Law Dictionary (8th ed. 2004) , Page 193
State and local administrative agencies often mirror federal agencies. Thus, the individual states have agencies that
control transportation, public health, public assistance, education, natural resources, labor, law enforcement,
agriculture, commerce, and revenue.
LIMITED LAWMAKING AUTHORITY
SUBSTANCE OF AGENCY POWER MUST BE INTELLIGIBLE
CONTROLS LIMITING POWERS
State Administrative Agencies
state agency.An executive or regulatory body of a state. • State agencies include state offices,
departments, divisions, bureaus, boards, and commissions. — Also termed state body.
Local Administrative Agencies
local agency.A political subdivision of a state. • Local agencies include counties, cities,
school districts, etc.
Black's Law Dictionary (8th ed. 2004) , Page 193
YOU MUST EXHAUST
NOW WRAP YOUR MIND AROUND THAT....
CREATED by Lisa Stinocher O'Hanlon 02.28.2013
Black's Law Dictionary, XMind Software
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Agencies are created by an enabling statute, which is a
state or federal law that gives birth to the agency and
outlines the procedures for the agency's rule making.
Furthermore, agencies include the public in their
Thus, by proxy, agencies are the will of
An agency's actions must be in accordance with its enabling statute,
and courts will examine the agency records to determine whether the
agency exceeded its lawmaking or judicial powers.
Any regulation established by such an agency that conflicts with a federal
regulation will not be legally valid, but this fact does not keep state agencies from developing regulations that differ
from those promulgated by their federal counterparts.
Rigorous judicial oversight of agencies
would defeat a cherished feature of
administrative agency by eliminating
agency flexibility in resolving conflicts. To
avoid this outcome, most enabling statutes
are worded vaguely, in such a way as to
allow the agencies broad discretion in
determining their rules and procedures.
Supporters of administrative agencies note also that agencies are able to adjudicate relatively minor or exceedingly
complex disputes more quickly or more flexibly than can state and federal courts, which helps preserve judicial
resources and promotes swift resolutions. Opponents argue that swiftness and ease at the expense of fairness are
no virtues, but while the debate continues, administrative agencies thrive.
The strict rules observed in a courtroom do not apply to these hearings,
and the board's decisions must account for
the public interest as well as the rights of the prisoners/CLIENTS/VICTIMS.
Determinations and sanctions made by ALJs are
subject to review by state or federal courts, but a party
must exhaust all appeals within the agency
before suing in civil court.
DOCTRINE OF EXHAUSTION
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