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About OALJ

The Administrative Law Judges of the United States Department of Agriculture's Office of Administrative Law Judges (USDA OALJ) conduct rulemaking and adjudicatory hearings throughout the country in proceedings that are subject to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. § 551 et seq. Approximately 50 statutes administered by USDA agencies require APA hearings.

Judges issue initial decisions and orders in adjudicatory proceedings, which become final decisions of the Secretary unless appealed to the Secretary's Judicial Officer by a party. Decisions are issued after a hearing, upon the written record, or on motion by litigants. Judges approve consent decisions that the parties enter into, which resolve disputes by settlement. They also decide appeals of debarments and suspensions as required by regulations implementing a government-wide system for non-procurement debarments and suspensions (7 C.F.R. § 3017.100-.515 (1993)). In addition, the Chief Judge supervises the activities of the Hearing Clerk’s Office, which is responsible for maintaining and archiving the formal record in cases brought before OALJ.

OALJ also publishes Agriculture Decisions, the official compilation of quasi-judicial and judicial decisions issued concerning regulatory laws administered by the Department.


Judge Biographies


Office of Administrative Law Judges
United States Department of Agriculture
Stop 9202,
Room 1049, South Building
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20250-9202

Phone: (202) 720-6383
Fax: (202) 690-0790