From time to time government proposes or takes actions that people believe adversely affect them. When that happens, state law and local ordinances often require that the people who are affected have the opportunity to tell their side of the story at a hearing. A legal term that is often used to describe those kinds of hearings is administrative contested case proceedings.
Before 1975 hearings held by state agencies were conducted by agency employees. After listening to the evidence, those employees would make recommendations to the heads of their agencies about what to do. Many felt that it was unfair to have agency employees conduct those hearings. So, in 1975 the legislature created the Office of Administrative Hearings (or OAH), an independent agency to conduct hearings for state agencies.
Administrative law judges employed by OAH preside over three kinds of administrative proceedings:
Workers' compensation judges employed by OAH preside over two other kinds of administrative proceedings:
Each year, OAH's administrative law judges and workers' compensation judge preside over several thousand hearings throughout the State of Minnesota. OAH has offices located in St. Paul, Duluth, and Detroit Lakes. Also, administrative law judges and workers' compensation judges travel to conduct hearings in many other communities throughout the state.