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OAH Frequently Asked Questions

What documents are on this web page?

 

This page contains decisions issued by the Office of Administrative Hearings. ​

How can I use these decisions?

 

The decisions are to be used for information and education. Administrative Law Judges are not required to reach the same conclusion in similar cases or future cases. ​

How are the decisions organized?

 

Decisions are organized by the related agency, unit, and case type that applies to the case.

The Office of Administrative Hearings conducts hearings on behalf of many state agencies.  Agencies are broken down into different units.  OAH hears different types of cases for each of those units.  Each decision in this portal is identified by agency, unit, and case type.

To see how to use a case number to locate similar decisions, please see "How do I find decisions in cases like mine?"  

How do I search the decisions?

 

You can search for decisions in several ways:

Free Text Search

You can enter search terms into the search bar just like any online search engine.  Your search will return a maximum of 50 decisions.  

Filtering

Use the drop down menus and select the decisions by agency, then by unit, and then, if you choose, by case type.  Once you have made your selections from the drop down menus, you must press the search button to complete your search.  

If you select an agency, the corresponding units and case types for that agency will appear in the other drop down menus.  You can filter by agency only; by agency and unit; or by agency, unit, and case type.  ​

Please note that if the unit for a case is a county, it has been replaced in the drop down menus with XXXX.  

By date

You can also select a date or range of dates to get all of the decisions from a specific time.  To search by a specific date, enter it in the Start Date box on the search page.  To search by a range of dates, enter dates into both the Start Date and End Date boxes on the search page.  You should enter dates in MM/DD/YYYY format.  

How do I find decisions in cases like mine?

 

You can use your ​case number to locate other decisions of the same type from the same agency. 

Your case number is on your hearing notice.  It is a series of letters and numbers separated by dashes.  The first three sections of the case number will tell you the agency, unit, and case type that correspond to your case. 

Use the agency, unit, and case type information to filter cases on the search page with drop down menus.    

Here is an example:  If your case dealt with an intercept of your tax refund because of money owed to the State, your case number would look like this: DBM-CCU-01-17-12345.  In this sample case number, the first section represents the agency (the Department of Budget and Management); the second section represents the unit (the Central Collection Unit); and the third section represents the case type (01 for the tax intercept program).  To find similar cases, go to the drop down menus on the search page and first select DBM.  Next, go to the drop down menu for units and select CCU.  Finally, use the third drop down menu to narrow the case type to 01.  Then press search.  That will provide you with all other cases in the portal that also dealt with tax refund intercepts for the Central Collection Unit.  

Please note that where the unit for a case is a particular county, it has been replaced in the drop down menus by XXXX.  So, if the second set of letters in your case number is an abbreviation of a county, you should select XXXX from the list of units in order to find similar cases.​

What agencies’ decisions are included?

 

DHCD Department of Housing and Community Development

DLLR  Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation

DNR    Department of Natural Resources

DPSC  Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services

MDE    Maryland Department of the Environment

MDH   Maryland Department of Health

MHBE Maryland Health Benefit Exchange

MIA     Maryland Insurance Administration

MSDE Maryland State Department of Education

When were the decisions in this database issued?

 

Decisions that were issued on or after September 1, 2017 are included.  

What types of decisions are in this database?

 

This website includes:

  • Final Decisions;
  • Proposed Decisions, once the agency has issued its final decision; and
  • Rulings on motions, only if the ruling concludes the case. 

Some agencies delegate the authority to OAH to issue a final decision in the cases it hears.  Other agencies ask OAH to issue a proposed decision, which can then be reviewed by the agency before it becomes final.

Why are some parts of the decisions covered up?

 

Parts of some decisions are covered up to protect private information, the identity of the appellant, and potential individual privacy concerns.  In some cases, confidentiality laws require removing identifying information before publication.  Examples of confidential information include names, addresses, and account numbers in certain cases.​

Why is my case online? Can I ask you to take it down?

 

Your case is online because most of the decisions issued by the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) are public documents. 

The work of government agencies is generally open to the public.  In Maryland, the Public Information Act requires that government agencies provide access to government documents to members of the public.  OAH and the agencies that delegate decision making authority to OAH are government agencies, and their work is public record.     

There is an exception to the open access requirement for certain personal information considered confidential in some cases.  If the law requires personal information to be kept confidential, it is removed from the decision before publishing. 

Because the law also requires open access to decisions, OAH generally will not take down individual decisions that are published in the portal.  If you are concerned that there is confidential information in your decision that is published on the portal, please contact DLDecisions_OAH@maryland.gov.

Why is my case not online?

 

There could be several reasons why your case is not online. 

Not all OAH decisions are published.  Older decisions are not available online, and decisions issued for certain agencies will not be published.  To see a list of agencies that are included for publication, see "What agencies' decisions are included?" in these FAQs.  

Some decisions are not published because the law or other privacy concerns require them to be kept confidential. 

If you are interested in getting a copy of decision that is not on our website, you may contact DLDecisions_OAH@maryland.gov

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