State Office of Administrative Hearings

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

Answers to the following questions have been generalized for most hearings at the State Office of Administrative Hearings. Information for your specific hearing may vary, depending on the referring agency and type of hearing.

Generally, unless there is good cause for not doing so, all pleadings and exhibits should be pre-filed at least 10 days before your hearing. However, parties should act in strict accordance with the judge’s orders. For example, in some cases, a judge may order that exhibits be filed no later than 5 days before a hearing. Additionally, except as authorized by SOAH’s rules, attorneys, state agencies, and other governmental entities should pre-file exhibits electronically. See SOAH e-Services for more information about electronic filing options. Self-represented parties who are unable to file documents electronically are allowed to submit documents by mail, hand delivery, or fax. See 1 Tex. Admin. Code § 155.101.

Upon assignment of your case to a SOAH Administrative Law Judge, the judge will issue an order that includes information advising the parties how the hearing will be conducted. Parties should expect that most non-emergency hearings could be conducted remotely by teleconference or videoconference. If a party wishes to request an in-person hearing or refuses to consent to a remote hearing, they must file a motion or objection that includes a brief demonstrating good cause as to why an in-person hearing is requested or why the use of remote technologies is not feasible or in the interest of justice.

Zoom is videoconferencing software that is available online and through an app.

Information related to the use of Zoom can be found on the company’s website. In addition, there are a number of instructional videos on YouTube.

Yes. Where it is both technically feasible and allowed by law, SOAH can conduct mass docket preliminary hearings via videoconferencing.

The judge assigned to the case or a court reporter service will set up and host the videoconference hearing.

Yes. In videoconference hearings and mediations, SOAH will enable the use of breakout rooms to allow participants to confer in a confidential manner.

Participants in the main room cannot see or hear what is happening in a breakout room.

Yes. In telephonic and videoconference hearings, the judge will record the proceeding and the audio recording will be downloaded and maintained by SOAH as the official record of the proceeding, unless a court reporter was assigned.

Participants in remote hearings are required to pre-file exhibits so that all parties may have access to exhibits. Party participants can also use various screen-sharing functions to view and discuss pre-filed documents and exhibits.

If a judge sets a videoconference hearing and a party does not have reliable internet access, your Notice of Hearing should also include information on how to join the hearing by telephone. If you need further assistance, please contact the SOAH Chief Clerk's Office at 512.475.4993 or the SOAH Field Office to which your case is assigned.

Yes.

Participants that need language interpreters should let the SOAH Chief Clerk's Office or the assigned judge know before the hearing so that those arrangements can be made.

Yes.

SOAH’s videoconference platform offers closed captioning and is accessible for visually impaired persons that have a computer and internet access. Individuals who do not have the ability to use closed captioning can contact the SOAH Chief Clerk's Office at 512.475.4993 to arrange for other accommodations.

Videoconference hearings hosted by SOAH will use unique meeting identification numbers, a password, a waiting room feature, and judges will lockdown hearings when all the expected participants are present to prevent unauthorized access. In public hearings, observers may be allowed to listen to or observe the hearing, but their microphones will be muted and video cameras disabled to prevent disruptions.

Telephonic/Videoconference hearing information will be included in the orders issued by the judges. Additionally, the SOAH website may include instructions or links to information about public attendance of remote hearings.

SOAH can resolve all types of cases using remote hearings technology, including complex multi-day hearings and cases involving numerous participants. Videoconferencing provides numerous tools for sharing and marking documents. And SOAH ALJs have established procedures for large hearings that cannot be heard in a single teleconference or videoconference session. Counsel in such large complex cases are invited to request a pre-proceeding conference with the assigned ALJ to address questions and concerns related to technology and access.

An administrative hearing is like a trial but less formal. Both you and the referring agency can present evidence to the administrative law judge, who will make findings of fact and conclusions of law.

The notice of hearing is a written document telling you when and where the hearing will be held. The notice of hearing is sent after you request a hearing with a Texas State agency and the referring agency has sent your case to the State Office of Administrative Hearings. You typically should receive the notice of hearing at least ten days before the hearing.

In addition to the date and location of the hearing, the notice of hearing describes the nature of the hearing, including a short statement of the facts that the agency claims are true. You can use the notice of hearing to determine what laws apply to your case and help you prepare.

In most cases, you will not have to pay for your hearing. Some exceptions to this include, but are not limited to:

  • If you choose to order a court reporter’s transcript of your hearing, you will pay for the associated costs.
  • There are a few Texas state agencies that will charge you for the costs of the hearing if you lose your case.
  • In Appraisal Review Board appeals, contract claims, and worker’s compensation cases, costs may be charged to the parties.

Although you may choose to hire an attorney, you are not required to have one. Please note that an attorney will not be appointed for you.

Yes.

However, if you represent yourself you must follow the State Office of Administrative Hearings’ procedural rules. The State Office of Administrative Hearings has created two guides to further assist self-represented litigants:

For guidance on how to send documents to the administrative law judge in general hearings, please reference General Hearings Filing Information.

For guidance on how to send documents to the administrative law judge in driver's license hearings, please reference Driver's License Hearings Filing Information.

Yes.

You may be able to resolve, or settle, your case by discussing the case with the referring agency. Settlement negotiations will be between you and the referring agency’s representatives. The administrative law judge will not participate in settlement negotiations.

Yes.

All hearing rooms at the State Office of Administrative Hearings are accessible to people with disabilities. If you will need special accommodations, please contact the State Office of Administrative Hearings Austin office as soon as possible.

Yes.

For more information on attending a non-confidential general hearing please reference Attend Non-Confidential General Hearings.

For more information on attending a driver's license hearing, please reference Attend Driver's License Hearings.

To promote the fairness and efficiency of certain large public hearings where additional capacity for remote attendance is required, SOAH provides live video streaming on YouTube. Not all proceedings at SOAH are live streamed. Participants and observers that want to attend a public videoconference hearing should review the ALJs Orders in SOAH’s Public Case File Search or contact the SOAH Chief Clerk's Office.

SOAH’s homepage includes a link to our YouTube site, and that link will take you to the available live streaming videos. You can also access the SOAH YouTube site.

Video from streamed hearings is only available for viewing on YouTube during the scheduled hearing.

Yes, under certain conditions.

Access to non-confidential general hearing documents is available through the Public Case File Search. The State Office of Administrative Hearings does not provide online access to files in confidential or driver's license hearings.

No.

No party to a hearing is allowed to communicate with the administrative law judge about a hearing without the participation of all other parties to that hearing.

However, you may call the State Office of Administrative Hearings Austin office to speak with someone who may be able to answer your questions.

Please reference Visiting SOAH: Austin (Headquarters) for more information about parking at the Austin office.

Please refer to Visiting SOAH for more information about visiting any of the other State Office of Administrative Hearings office locations.

The State Office of Administrative Hearings has created two guides for self-represented litigants that may answer any additional questions you may have:

If you have any other questions, please fell free to contact the State Office of Administrative Hearings Austin office for assistance.

You should bring everything you may need to present your case to the administrative law judge during the hearing. Remember, the hearing is your opportunity to present your case and tell your side of the story. Please note that you will need to bring copies for both the administrative law judge and all other parties to your case.

When a hearing is scheduled, you should receive a notice of hearing telling you when and where the hearing will be held. You typically should receive the notice of hearing at least ten days before the hearing.

The hearing schedules for both general and driver's license hearings are posted online as well:

If you are unable to attend the hearing on the date it is set, you must file a written motion for continuance with the State Office of Administrative Hearings and you must send a copy to the other party. A motion for continuance requests that the hearing be rescheduled. You must include in your motion the reason why you cannot attend the hearing on the date it is scheduled. You must also file the motion at least five days prior to the hearing, unless there is a legitimate reason for the request being submitted later.

No, under certain conditions you may appear by telephone or videoconference or have a witness do so.

You must file a written motion with the State Office of Administrative Hearings to appear by telephone. Your motion should state the reason why you would like to appear by telephone, the telephone number at which you can be reached, and that you will be the person testifying by telephone at the hearing. You must also send a copy of your motion to the other party in the case. The State Office of Administrative Hearings procedural rule 1 Tex. Admin. Code § 155.405(a) governs motions to appear by telephone.

You may also file a motion to appear by videoconference with the State Office of Administrative Hearings. Your motion should state the reason for your request and the city of your residence. In determining whether to grant your motion, the administrative law judge will consider relevant factors, including the availability of videoconferencing facilities. The State Office of Administrative Hearings procedural rule 1 Tex. Admin. Code § 155.405(b) governs motions to appear by videoconference.

You must file similar motions for any witnesses to appear by telephone or by videoconference.

If you were provided a notice of hearing but fail to attend the hearing, then the judge may proceed with the hearing in your absence on a default basis. With a default, the allegations of fact in the notice of hearing are deemed to be true and the party that alleged these facts against you will not have to submit any additional proof. At a default hearing, based on evidence showing you received adequate notice of the hearing, the judge may proceed to issue rulings related to the case. 

In most cases, you should receive a copy of the Proposal for Decision (PFD) or Decision and Order no later than 60 days after the close of the hearing record. However, in certain cases the deadline may be shorter or longer.

Each party may object to the Proposal for Decision by filing written exceptions with the State Office of Administrative Hearings and with the referring agency. The deadline for filing exceptions and any replies to exceptions is set out in 1 Tex. Admin. Code § 155.507(b).

Different procedures apply to a Decision and Order. You should consult the specific statute of the referring agency and the Administrative Procedure Act, Tex. Gov’t Code § 2001.145, to determine the appropriate course of action.

Yes.

In most cases, you have the right to appeal the final order of an agency to the Travis County District Court. However, you should check the specific law governing the general hearings handled by the referring agency to determine your appellate rights.

eFileTexas was first implemented for General Docket cases March 3, 2020. IDEA cases were added later on September 1, 2021. Finally, eFiling became effective for all Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Hearings on June 1, 2022.

eFileTexas.gov, which is currently used by judicial courts in Texas for the filing and service of case-related documents, is an electronic filing platform that manages the flow of information among filers, court clerks, court personnel, and judges.

The efiling requirements apply to all cases at SOAH except for cases referred by the Public Utility Commission.

Unrepresented parties (self-represented parties or pro se litigants) who are unable to electronically file documents are not required by Rule 155.101 to do so. However, unrepresented parties are encouraged to consider the benefits of electronically filing and serving documents through the eFileTexas platform as a convenient alternative to filing and serving documents by mail, fax, or hand-delivery.

For more information on the use of eFileTexas by unrepresented parties, please see the following documents and pages:

General Hearings Guide for Self-Represented Litigants

Driver's License Hearings Guide for Self-Represented Litigants

Email Service Request Form

Helpful Links

The process involves three simple steps:

  1. After selecting an electronic filing service provider (EFSP) certified by the Texas Office of Court Administration (OCA), filers log on to their provider’s website to file case-related documents online to any court in Texas. Filers will select SOAH from the list of available courts.

  2. The EFSP checks the submission for completeness, electronically delivers the submitted documents to SOAH, and electronically notifies all parties of the submission.

  3. The SOAH Chief Clerk's Office will receive the electronically filed documents, review the documents, accept the filings and provide an electronic timestamp notification to the filer for the accepted documents, or return them for correction.

eFiling through eFileTexas is facilitated by electronic filing service providers (EFSPs), or web portals operated by independent companies. You must create an account with an EFSP that is certified by the Office of Court Administration in order to electronically file documents at SOAH. The official state-provided EFSP is EFILE.TXCOURTS.gov, and is available for use at no cost. Visit the eFileTexas.gov website for a listing of certified EFSPs.

There are multiple certified service providers who offer eFiling services at no cost. The official state-provided EFSP is EFILE.TXCOURTS.gov, and is available for use at no cost. While some EFSPs charge fees for eFiling and related services, it is at the filer’s sole discretion as to the selection of their provider. SOAH does not require use of any particular EFSP so long as the provider is certified by the Office of Court Administration.

Filers should be able to file documents at SOAH using any certified EFSP.

SOAH does not require use of any particular EFSP so long as the provider is certified by the Office of Court Administration. The official state-provided EFSP is EFILE.TXCOURTS.gov, and is available for use at no cost. Training videos and other support on use of the state-provided EFSP is accessible online.

No fees will be charged by SOAH for the eFiling of documents at SOAH.

When filing documents at SOAH through eFileTexas, users should add a new payment account for this purpose under the Payment Accounts tab, and select “waiver” (rather than credit card) as the payment account type.

Training videos, including how to set up a payment account, are available at EFILE.TEXAS.gov.

Yes.

The use of eFileTexas is required for referring agencies and represented parties participating in nearly all matters referred to SOAH, except for cases referred by the Public Utility Commission. See §155.101 of SOAH’s Rules of Procedure.

Unrepresented parties (self-represented parties or pro se litigants) who cannot file documents electronically will not be required to use eFileTexas, and may continue to file documents by mail or fax to the SOAH Chief Clerk's Office or by hand-delivery to the appropriate State Office of Administrative Hearings office location.

Yes. SOAH’s general docket filing rules require that pleadings and other documents filed electronically must be in text-searchable format and comply with certain other technical requirements required by the eFileTexas platform as specified by Rule 155.101(b). In addition, the document images should sized for 8-1/2 x 11 inch format, and comply with other requirements of SOAH’s Rules of Procedure rules. See, Rule 155.301 (Required form of Pleadings) and Rule 155.429(b) (Exhibits).

Electronic filings for ALR cases must follow similar guidelines published on SOAH's Driver's License Hearings Filing Information page.

As a general matter, all documents filed electronically by attorneys, state agencies, and other governmental bodies must be legible and in text-searchable PDF format to the extent possible in accordance with SOAH Rule 155.101(b):

  • All pleadings, motions, responses, exceptions, or requests to SOAH for an order must be in native, text-searchable PDF format.

  • Supporting documents, including documentary evidence, attachments to pleadings or motions, exhibits, affidavits, etc. must be in native, text-searchable PDF format to the extent possible.

  • With good cause shown as to why certain documents cannot be filed electronically, the presiding judge may permit represented parties to file documents in paper or other form in a particular case.

When a document submitted for filing fails to conform to certain requirements of SOAH rules and the technology standards required for use of the eFile Texas system, the SOAH Chief Clerk's Office may identify the errors to be corrected and set a deadline (generally 5 business days) for the filer to correct and resubmit their filing.

When this happens, you will receive a notification through eFileTexas from the SOAH Chief Clerk's Office identifying the corrections required, which may include a link to instructions on how to resubmit corrected documents.

Examples of reasons that an electronic filing may be returned for correction include, but are not limited to:

  • Filing a document that is not in text-searchable PDF format

  • Filing a document that is not legible or has a screen resolution of less than 300 DPI

  • Filing a document into the wrong case or creating a duplicate case

  • Filing with incorrect or incomplete information (wrong party names, wrong case type, incomplete service contact information, etc.)

  • Combining exhibits with pleadings and other documents in the same submission

  • Filing without required attachments

  • Filing a document without the correct confidentiality designation for the type of proceeding

  • Unnecessarily combining confidential and non-confidential documents in the same submission

  • Improperly designating a document as “filed under seal” without a protective order authorized by the judge

  • Filing unredacted confidential information or personal identifying information into an open/public case

  • Attempting to electronically file documents for in camera inspection

eFileTexas can accommodate the secure electronic filing of confidential documents into the record for both confidential “closed” proceedings and public “open” proceedings at SOAH, however it is imperative that the filer assume responsibility for making sure documents are properly filed as CONFIDENTIAL by taking the following steps:

  1. For open proceedings, file only confidential information that is necessary to the resolution of the case. Documents containing confidential information that is not essential to the resolution of the case should be redacted and the document should be filed as a public document.

  2. For open proceedings, file documents containing confidential information separately from other public documents. Parties should not combine public documents with confidential documents or designate an entire record or series of documents as confidential if only a portion of the information is entitled to confidentiality protections.

  3. Clearly mark the pages of any confidential exhibits or filings as “CONFIDENTIAL” (as required by SOAH rules); and

  4. When uploading a document for filing, the eFileTexas system will prompt you to identify the “security” level for the attachment. The filer must select “Confidential” under the security drop down menu.

Documents designated and filed electronically as “Confidential” in this manner will be securely transmitted to SOAH, and should not be publicly available or searchable in either eFileTexas or in re:SearchTX.

You may view or download a listing of confidential case types and information at SOAH, by visiting our website.

All documents submitted for filing in an ALR proceeding shall be designated as “Confidential” within eFile Texas or the party’s electronic filing manager at the time of submission to avoid the need for redaction and the risk of public disclosure of confidential information or personal identifying information necessary for the resolution of an ALR proceeding.

Please contact the SOAH Chief Clerk's Office at 512.475.4993 if you believe that confidential information has been improperly filed into an open/public proceeding.

Yes. The eFileTexas system adheres to state and federal security regulations and also meets Payment Card Industry Security Standards to protect filer and transaction information. For security questions or more information on eFileTexas infrastructure standards, visit the eFileTexas website or contact eFileTexas technical assistance at 855-839-3453 or by email to support@eFileTexas.gov.

eFileTexas has a maximum filing capacity limit of 35 megabytes (MB). Files that are larger than 35 MB may be split into multiple volumes for filing as needed so long as other formatting requirements are met. Certain voluminous filings and case exhibits may still need to be filed and served through other methods due to technical constraints.

Audio/Video Exhibits. MOVEit Transfer is the primary method for parties to submit audiovisual exhibits and evidence for ALR and general docket hearings. See SOAH eServices and MOVEit Secure Transfer FAQs for more information.

EFILE.TEXAS.gov, the official state EFSP, offers the following training and additional information for use of the state-provided platform:

*If you are using an EFSP other than EFILE.TEXAS.gov, you should contact that provider for technical assistance.

Rule 155.53(a) requiring referring agencies to file “a completed Request to Docket Case form and the complaint, petition, application, or other pertinent documents describing the agency action giving rise to the case” has been required under SOAH Rules of Procedure since their original adoption in 2008.

As a general matter, SOAH no longer allows agencies to docket contested cases without the filing of the required information and supporting documentation in compliance with Rule 155.53. If a request to docket form is incomplete or filed without the required supporting documentation, the SOAH Chief Clerk's Office may accept the filing effective as of the date filed, but will require that the filing be amended to include the required information and documentation before the case is docketed and given a SOAH docket number.

The filing of an initial pleading or other document is a necessary precursor to proper use the eFileTexas platform.

To view SOAH’s Rules of Procedure regarding the filing and service of documents, including requirements relating to electronic filing, click links below:

Visit the SOAH website for more information on SOAH’s Administrative Rules and Law.

MOVEit Transfer is a managed file transfer platform used by SOAH to facilitate the secure transmission and sharing of electronic files. It is a cloud-based file sharing application that is comparable to other commercial products like DropBox, GoogleDrive, or Box, but provides increased security and an email-like interface.

MOVEit is used by SOAH for secure transfer of information for the following purposes:

General Docket Case Hearings

  • Exhibits.  Effective May 1, 2022, parties in most General Docket proceedings are required to submit all exhibits and evidence to be offered at the hearing electronically using MOVEit Transfer at least three (3) days prior to the scheduled hearing date, unless otherwise ordered by the judge.

  • Audio/Video Exhibits. MOVEit Transfer is the primary method for parties to submit audiovisual exhibits and evidence for general docket hearings.

Administrative License Revocation (Driver’s License ALR) Hearings

  • Audio/Video Exhibits. MOVEit Transfer is the primary method for parties to submit audiovisual exhibits and evidence for Administrative License Revocation (Driver’s License ALR) hearings.

    Unless otherwise ordered by the judge, only audiovisual exhibits should be submitted for ALR hearings using MOVEit. All other pleadings, motions, exhibits, and documentary evidence for ALR cases must be filed according to the instructions on SOAH’s Driver’s License Hearing Filing Information page.

Mediation

  • MOVEit is used to facilitate the confidential sharing of documents with the SOAH Mediator and the parties.

Public Information Requests

  • MOVEit may be used by SOAH’s Public Information Coordinator for sending responsive information to requestors if the information cannot be sent by regular unsecured email, including:

    • Confidential Information

    • Large documents or voluminous information

    • Audio recordings

The security of the MOVEit Transfer has been validated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as complying with the Federal Information Processing Standard 140-2. The FIPS 140-2 government computer security standard is a federal security certification required for use by government agencies, health care institutions, and regulated industries for the collection, storage, and transfer of confidential and sensitive information.

MOVEit was adopted by SOAH based on recommendation of the Texas State Auditor’s Office, and the platform is also used by various federal agencies to assure the secure and compliant transmission of electronic files. MOVEit complies with standards required by the Identity Theft Protection and Enforcement Act, the Health Information Privacy and Portability Act (HIPAA), the Family Educational Right to Privacy Act (FERPA), and Internal Revenue Service regulations for the secure transmittal of confidential educational records.

MOVEit also provides SOAH with tools to authenticate users and verify access to files exchanged through MOVEit.

More information about the security of MOVEit is available at: https://www.ipswitch.com/industries/government

If you do not already have a MOVEit account managed by SOAH, you must first be invited by SOAH to create an account before you can send or receive documents. You may not create an account on your own without first being invited by SOAH to do so.

If you need access to submit exhibits for a case, you will be invited by the SOAH staff on behalf of the ALJ.

  • For General Docket hearings scheduled to occur on or after May 1, 2022, the parties should expect to receive an invitation from SOAH hearings staff to upload exhibits to be presented at the hearing through MOVEit about 7 days prior to your scheduled hearing. Once exhibits are uploaded by the parties, the parties should be able to view exhibits submitted by both sides.

  • For ALR cases involving the submission of audio or video exhibits, please contact the SOAH office to which your case is assigned to request access to upload your exhibits at least 2-3 days before your scheduled hearing.

For SOAH Mediations, you should expect to receive an invitation from SOAH staff or the mediator to upload your mediation documents through MOVEit about 10 days after the assignment of your SOAH mediator, depending on the particular circumstances of your mediation.

If you have requested confidential information, audio recordings, or voluminous information, SOAH’s Public Information Coordinator’s office will provide you with instructions on how to access your documents using SOAH’s Secure File Transfer System (MOVEit) once the responsive information is ready to your download.

No. You must first be invited by SOAH to create an account before you can send or receive documents. You may not create an account on your own without first being invited by SOAH to do so.

For hearings and mediations, contact the Chief Clerk’s Office or the SOAH field office to which your case is assigned for assistance or to determine if access to MOVEit is required.

For public information requests, contact the Public Information Coordinator’s Office.

If your account has been inactive for 90 days or more without use, your temporary user account has likely been de-activated and you will require a new invitation from SOAH to reactivate your account.

Effective May 1, 2022, attorneys, agency staff, and non-attorney representatives in most General Docket proceedings are required to submit all exhibits and evidence to be offered at the hearing electronically using MOVEit Transfer at least three (3) days prior to the scheduled hearing date, unless otherwise ordered by the judge.

Unrepresented parties (pro se) without access to a computer, mobile device, or a reliable internet connection may be permitted to submit exhibits through other means if necessary. Contact the SOAH Chief Clerk’s Office or the SOAH Field Office to which your case is assigned for more information.

Links to step-by-step instructions on how to create an account and use MOVEit are available on SOAH’s Electronic Filing page.

When logged into your MOVEit account, you can also click “Help” in the top right corner of your screen to access the MOVEit Transfer User Guide.

No. Your temporary license for MOVEit will only allow you to exchange documents with SOAH and parties who are authorized and invited by SOAH to access the information.

Yes. You can access MOVEit using the internet browser on your mobile device. Air time charges through your wireless data provider may apply.

No. All external users of SOAH’s MOVEit Transfer are granted only a temporary license to facilitate the transfer of information for their contested case, mediation, or public information request.

External SOAH MOVEit user accounts are restricted to temporary licenses due to SOAH’s software licensing agreement, and the need for SOAH to maintain strict information security controls over access to SOAH data and systems.

We regret any inconvenience that may result from these safeguards, but we appreciate your cooperation with SOAH’s obligation to protect the security and confidentiality of SOAH information systems.

After 90 days without use, your temporary user account will also be de-activated. We regret any inconvenience that may result from these safeguards, but we appreciate your cooperation with SOAH’s obligation to protect the security and confidentiality of SOAH information systems.

SOAH’s Secure File Transfer System is not available to use for ongoing cloud storage of documents. MOVEit Transfer is only intended for the transfer of information for your SOAH contested case, mediation, or public information request.

Information will remain available for your download for 20 days, and each package may be downloaded an unlimited number of times. After 20 days, the files will no longer be available.

**Users must download and store information received through MOVEit on their own computer system to avoid losing access to data after its transfer.**

Effective May 1, 2022, attorneys, agency staff, and non-attorney representatives in most General Docket proceedings are required to submit all exhibits and evidence to be offered at the hearing electronically using MOVEit Transfer at least three (3) days prior to the scheduled hearing date, unless otherwise ordered by the judge.

Unrepresented parties (pro se) without access to a computer, mobile device, or a reliable internet connection may be permitted to submit exhibits through other means if necessary. Contact the SOAH Chief Clerk’s Office or the SOAH field office to which your case is assigned for more information.

Information will remain available for your download through SOAH’s Secure File Transfer System for 20 days, and each package may be downloaded an unlimited number of times. After 20 days, the files will no longer be available.

Information will remain available for your download through SOAH’s Secure File Transfer System for 20 days, and each package may be downloaded an unlimited number of times. After 20 days, the files will no longer be available.

In most situations, if you require authorized access to MOVEit to exchange files with SOAH, SOAH can provide you with another invitation to access the system. Your new invitation will authorize you to re-set your password to re-establish your account.

When logged into your MOVEit account, you can click “Help” in the top right corner of your screen to access the MOVEit Transfer User Guide.

re:SearchTX is the electronic court records system hosted by the State of Texas through a vendor contracted with the Office of Court Administration. re:SearchTX is a web-based platform that allows registered users access to an online repository of court case information powered by eFileTexas, the state’s e-filing database.

re:SearchTX is operated by Tyler Technologies, Inc. under contract with the Office of Court Administration. re:SearchTX is not owned or operated by SOAH, nor does SOAH provide technical support for its use.

When the records of general docket administrative proceedings at SOAH are electronically filed in eFileTexas, a copy of the filing is automatically uploaded and retained in re:SearchTX.

Records filed in general docket cases at SOAH on or after March 3, 2020.

Public cases and records in re:SearchTX are available to all users. Confidential cases and records may be restricted to only certain authorized users. See FAQ How can I access confidential case records in re:SearchTX? for more information.

  • Records filed in general docket cases at SOAH prior to March 3, 2020 (prior to SOAH’s adoption of eFileTexas)

  • Administrative Driver's License cases referred by the Texas Department of Public Safety

  • Non-SOAH issued documents filed in cases referred by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC case records are available on the PUC Interchange)

  • Records of special education due process proceedings referred by the Texas Education Agency (de-identified copies of decisions in these cases are publicly available on TEA’s website)

Important note regarding Confidential Information: Pursuant to SOAH’s Rules of Procedure, some information in publicly-filed records may be redacted and some confidential cases or records may be “hidden” from public view in accordance with applicable confidentiality laws. See 1 Texas Administrative Code § 155.103. Confidential case records are not available to all users. You may print or download a listing of confidential case types and information at SOAH on our website.

To access information in re:SearchTX, Click "Sign in" to sign in with your eFileTexas credentials, or click "Register" if you do not already have an eFileTexas account.

Note: If you do already have an eFileTexas account, you do not need to create a new user account to access re:SearchTX; you can sign into re:SearchTX using the same email address and password information that you use to access eFileTexas.

re:SearchTX provides a “Quick Reference Guide” that describes how to search for court records and documents. For specific guidance and tips on searching for SOAH case information, please see below:

Login Using eFileTexas or re:SearchTX User Account Information

In order to access information on re:SearchTX, you must first login using either your eFile Texas or re:SearchTX credentials. Click “Register” if you do not have an eFileTexas account already.

Use Search Bar for Quick and Easy Searching

Use the search bar across the top of the “Search” screen to search by docket number, party, or attorney. Click on the search icon.

re:SearchTX Search Bar

Search Tips:

  • On the left-hand side of the screen, set your location filter as “State Office of Administrative Hearings” to narrow your search results to only SOAH cases.
  • For best results, try searching by the SOAH docket number. When searching by docket number, use only the numeric portion of the SOAH docket number with dashes included; DO NOT include any suffix (e.g. .F5, .MAS, .C, etc.).
  • You cannot search by a SOAH judge assigned to the case at this time.
  • SOAH general docket numbers currently use the following format:

Use Search Filters to Narrow Search Results

Different search filters are located in the menus on the left side of the screen. These will help you narrow your search results and return information that may be more relevant to your search.

  • Search Tip: Use multiple filters at the same time to further narrow your search results.

re:SearchTX Search Filter

Docket Number Search

If you know the docket number to the case you are searching for, enter the docket number in the “Search” bar across the top of the page. You can also use partial docket numbers to search for cases.

Search Tips:

  • Use only the numeric portion of the docket number with dashes included.
  • Do not include case "suffixes" (e.g. .MAS, .C, .AB101, etc.).

re:SearchTX Search by Docket Number

Search Tip Regarding Confidential Cases:

  • If you have correctly entered the SOAH docket number of a confidential case and receive a message that says, “Sorry, we couldn’t find what you were looking for. You may not see some results due to your role and access.” This mean that you do not have proper authorization within eFileTexas to view the case.

Search by Case Description or Style of the Case

If you know the case description or case style, enter the information in the “Search” bar. The following is an example of how to search for a case by case style.

re:SearchTX Search by Name

re:SearchTX Search by Case Style

re:SearchTX Search by Agency

Search Tip:  Because the case description and style information varies widely based on how the case information was entered into eFileTexas by the referring agency, you may also try searching by party name (e.g. full name of person/company, person's last name only, referring agency full name or acronym, etc.).

Location Search

  1. On the left side of the screen, click on “Location” to expand the list of locations and to type in a court name.
  1. In the “Search” field under “Location”, enter “State Office of Administrative Hearings”. Click on the check box next to “State Office of Administrative Hearings”, and click “APPLY”. This will limit your search results to only cases at SOAH.

re:SearchTX Search by Location

Case Category Search (i.e., Referring Agency Search)

On the left side of the screen, click on “Case Category” to view a list of agencies that refer cases to SOAH. Click on the check box next to a “Case Category” and click “APPLY”. This will give you search results by referring agency.

Search Tips:

  • If you do not see the referring agency you are looking for in the first 10 options, click “Next 10” to view the next 10 options in the list.
  • You may also type text into the “Search” field under “Case Category” to search for a specific referring agency.
  • Only state agencies that refer contested cases and mediations to SOAH will appear in “Case Category.”

re:SearchTX Case Category Search

Case Type Search

On the left side of the screen, click on “Case Type” to view a list of case types at SOAH. Click on the check box next to a “Case Type” and click “APPLY”. This will give you search results by a case type.

Search Tips:

  • Case types at SOAH are identified by a “suffix” that may appear as part of the case docket number.
  • If you do not see the case type you are looking for in the first 10 options, click “Next 10” to view the next 10 options in the list. 

re:SearchTX Case Type Search

Access to confidential case records is determined by the security role assigned to you within eFileTexas for the particular case. The parties to the case can determine these security roles within eFileTexas. To access confidential SOAH case records through re:SearchTX, you must be designated within eFileTexas as one of the following:

  1. A filing party. To be identified in eFileTexas as a filer in the case, you must have e-filed at least one document in the case.

  1. Lead counsel; or

  1. A member of the lead counsel’s eFileTexas firm profile for the confidential case you are trying to access.

Tips Regarding Online Access to Confidential Cases:

  • If you are a self-represented litigant (without an attorney) and you want to access your confidential case records in re:SearchTX, you must file at least one document in the case using eFileTexas. You are encouraged, but not required, to file this e-service request form.

  • If you are assigned as lead counsel and you do not have access to the confidential case in re:SearchTX, contact the eFileTexas administrator for your law firm or state agency and ask them to update your firm profile within eFileTexas and/or designate you as lead counsel for the case within eFileTexas. Counsel can also designate themselves as lead counsel by filing into the case. If you have not yet entered an appearance in the case, then you should file a notice of appearance in accordance with SOAH Rule 155.201.

You may submit a Public Information Request for the information to SOAH.PI@soah.texas.gov. Please see SOAH’s Public Information webpage for further information on how to submit a request under the Public Information Act.

No. SOAH does not collect or receive any fees associated with the use of either eFileTexas or re:SearchTX. There is no cost to establish an account, and SOAH case records are available to view, download, or print at no cost to all users. You may also conduct searches of SOAH case records by party name, docket number, case category, and case type using the free search tools available.

No. See the re:SearchTX website for more information regarding subscription access to enable advanced search options that the service provides, including:

  • In-document text searching

  • Automatic alert notifications about cases you are following

  • Ability to track the activity of specific people, including expert witnesses and other attorneys

  • Insight into new cases being filed in your area of practice

  • Instant view of case documents filed by the presiding judge

There are a number of significant advantages offered by re:SearchTX over SOAH’s legacy case search system:

  • re:SearchTX is based on the same electronic filing platform that has been in use by judicial courts throughout the State of Texas since 2016 and the system has proven to be reliable.

  • Document image quality is significantly improved.

  • Documents that appear in re:SearchTX are copies of the actual documents electronically filed into the case and may be relied upon in the same manner as the original.

  • Documents older than 30 days that have dropped off the eFileTexas system are available through re;SearchTX.

  • Voluminous documents and exhibits are available.

  • Confidential documents and cases are available to authorized users.

  • The procedural records of mediations are available to authorized users

  • The ability to search text within filings, set up case alerts, and other advanced options are available to subscribers.

For more information or assistance, please see re:SearchTX. On the website, you can click the “?” or “Help” icons for links to FAQs, training webinars, online assistance, and access to the support center.


Source URL: https://www.soah.texas.gov/frequently-asked-questions