Statement Regarding Hearings During the COVID-19 Pandemic
SOAH is committed to maintaining both public health and Texans’ right to fair and open administrative proceedings as Texas reopens following the initial response to the COVID 19 pandemic.
Under my current emergency order, SOAH hearings will continue to be scheduled as remote proceedings to the extent possible, except as required by statute. Remote proceedings can be held either by conference call or videoconference. SOAH may recommence the scheduling of a limited number of live hearings subject to certain additional requirements as outlined in the emergency order.
SOAH has created a COVID-19 Information Page breaking out information on hearings and cases during this transitional time.
Some particularly complex or large hearings involving large numbers of participants pose significant public-health and logistical challenges. I have directed SOAH ALJs to confer with identified parties in these cases to address public-health concerns in a manner that will allow proceedings to move towards resolution of the important substantive issues presented.
Kristofer S. Monson
Chief Administrative Law Judge
TCEQ Preliminary Hearings
To promote the fairness and efficiency of certain large public hearings conducted by SOAH on behalf of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, including those that may be conducted remotely by videoconference, SOAH has added a new online registration portal to our E-Services page that will allow participants and attendees to register in advance. You can access the Public Hearings Registration here.
In addition, SOAH streams the large public hearings live on YouTube. You can access information about the live video here.
Proposed SOAH Rules
On September 4, 2020, SOAH published proposed amendments to its Rules of Procedure for general docket hearings. These rule amendments include important updates affecting contested case procedures and the electronic filing and service of documents in general docket cases. Please see the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking here.
For the latest information regarding the electronic filing and service of documents at SOAH, click here. click here.
To eFile at SOAH, click here.
The State Office of Administrative Hearings, also called SOAH, resolves disputes between Texas agencies, other governmental entities, and private citizens either through an administrative hearing or mediation. The office is separate and independent from the agencies involved in the disputes. The administrative law judges who preside over the disputes are neutral. The specific objectives of the State Office of Administrative Hearings are to:
- Conduct fair and objective administrative hearings.
- Provide fair, timely, and efficient decisions and proposals for decision.
- Offer the opportunity for parties to resolve their disputes through mediation (or alternative dispute resolution).
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