Executive Hearing

Frequently Asked Questions


What is an administrative law judge in the Executive Hearing Office?

An administrative judge is a presiding officer for the administrative hearing and makes the final decision in your case after hearing all the evidence. The judge's decision will be in writing, setting forth separate findings of fact, conclusions of law and a final decision and order.

The administrative law judge is employed by the Arizona Department of Transportation but exercises independent judgment, free from pressures by the parties or other individuals within the agency. The duties and responsibilities of the administrative law judge are generally comparable to those of the judge in a trial court. Phillips v. Clancy, 152 Ariz. 415

The ALJ of the Executive Hearing office is charged with making sure that you have had a fair, impartial and independent opportunity to be heard before an agency acts.

What is an administrative hearing?

An administrative hearing is an informal trial. Evidence is presented by each party, either as sworn testimony or as documents. Before the hearing, each party may make an opening statement to tell the administrative law judge what the party believes the evidence will show. At the end of the hearing, each party may present a closing argument to explain why the ALJ should rule one way or the other. After the hearing, the ALJ will review all the evidence and issue a decision and order.

Can anyone request an administrative hearing?

No. There are some actions that are classified as "Mandatory." In these cases, there is no right to an administrative hearing. The notice or order that you receive will indicate whether a hearing may be requested.

Do I need to request an administrative hearing to get a restricted driver license?

No. In fact, the administrative law judge cannot even consider the issuance of a restricted driver license at the administrative hearing. Whether you are entitled to a restricted license depends upon the particular statute or violation involved and, in most cases, your prior driving history. When authorized by statute, a restricted license will be issued only after your license has been suspended for the mandatory period as required by law.

Can I observe an administrative hearing prior to attending my own hearing?

Yes. All hearings conducted by the Executive Hearing Office are open to the public without need for prior notice or approval. You should, however, inform the administrative law judge that you are an observer immediately upon entering the hearing room. As an observer, you are required only to conduct yourself in a polite and orderly manner consistent with the dignity of the hearing.

What if I cannot appear on the date or at the time the hearing is scheduled?

If you cannot appear on the date or at the time scheduled for your hearing, you may ask the chief judge for a continuance. However, you should understand that a continuance is not granted automatically. Your request is subject to the following rules:

  • Your continuance request may be submitted in the same manner as a hearing request.
  • The continuance request must be received in the Executive Hearing Office no fewer than seven business days before the scheduled date of your hearing.
  • Your written request must show good cause for the requested continuance. Business obligations, school schedules, vacations or matters of personal convenience do not constitute "good cause."

Do I need an attorney?

At the administrative hearing you may represent yourself or you may be represented by an attorney. If you decide to hire an attorney, the cost is yours. Because this is a civil proceeding, you are not entitled to the services of a court-appointed attorney. In any regulatory or enforcement hearing that involves a corporation, the corporation must be represented by an attorney licensed to practice law in Arizona.

No one is required by the Executive Hearing Office to have a lawyer. Individuals may, of course, represent themselves. However, when a party wishes to be represented by another, the Supreme Court restricts that representation to licensed attorneys, with exceptions. (see generally Rule 31, Rules of the Supreme Court ).

The Executive Hearing Office may not give legal advice to you, but it will do everything it can to provide you with a fair and impartial hearing. It will also help you understand and follow the procedures to present your case.

What do I do if I need an interpreter?

All hearings in the Executive Hearing Office are conducted in the English language. If you need a language translator at your hearing, please indicate up front the language translation on your written hearing request when filing that request with our office.

How do I know what rules apply?

You can find the rules in the Arizona Administrative Code at ACC R17-1-501 and in Title 28, Arizona Revised Statutes. ARS §28-1301 to ARS §28-1467 are applicable. These sources may also be found at any law library and in most public libraries.

What do I do if I disagree with the administrative law judge’s decision?

While the decision of the administrative law judge in the Executive Hearing Office is final, that decision may be appealed to the superior court. This appeal is not a new hearing, but a review of the administrative hearing record to determine whether the judge may have made an error in applying the law. The findings of fact made by the administrative law judge cannot be changed by the appellate judge unless such findings are wholly without merit.

You may also choose to ask for a rehearing at the Executive Hearing Office. A rehearing request will only be granted if the circumstances meet the requirements listed in Arizona Administrative Code R17-1-512. A timely motion for rehearing stays most agency actions until the rehearing request is ruled upon. Contact the Executive Hearing Office if you have questions about whether a particular agency action is stayed pending a rehearing request.

Will the hearing be recorded?

The audio of EHO hearings are digitally recorded. You can request a digital copy of the audio recording. To receive a copy of the recording, you must send a $5 fee and a blank DVD-RW along with your request. Checks can be made to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

What if I need special accommodations?

The Executive Hearing Office endeavors to ensure the accessibility of its hearings to all people with disabilities. If you require special accommodations, such as wheelchair access, sign-language interpreters, foreign-language interpreters or TTY telephone accommodations, you must inform the office of that need at the time you file your hearing request.

What forms are available that I can use?

AAC § R17-1-509: Subpoena Issuance

A. In connection with an administrative hearing, an administrative law judge may issue a subpoena to compel the attendance of a witness or the production of documents or things.

    1. A party or a party's attorney requesting a subpoena shall file a written subpoena request, briefly stating the substance of the evidence sought and why the evidence is necessary for the hearing.

    2. An administrative law judge has discretion to issue or deny a subpoena based on the:

      a. Relevance of the evidence sought,

      b. Reasonable need for the evidence sought, and

      c. Timeliness of the request.

B. A party or a party's attorney requesting a subpoena shall:

    1. Draft the subpoena in the correct format, including:

      a. The caption and docket number of the matter;

      b. A list of documents or things to be produced;

      c. The full name and address of:

        i. The custodian of the documents or things listed, or

        ii. The person ordered to appear;

      d. The time, date, and place to appear or to produce documents or things; and

      e. The name, address, and telephone number of the party or the party's attorney requesting the subpoena;

    2. Obtain an administrative law judge's signature on the subpoena,

    3. Ensure service of the subpoena on the person named in the subpoena under subsection (C), and

    4. Bear all subpoena-related costs.

C. Unless otherwise provided by statute or administrative rule, a party or a party's attorney requesting a subpoena shall have the subpoena served by a person who:

    1. Is at least age 18 and is not a party to the administrative hearing;

    2. Delivers, within Arizona, a copy of the subpoena to the person named in the subpoena;

    3. If the subpoena requires the named person's attendance at an administrative hearing, hands the named person the amount prescribed in A.R.S. § 12-303 as the witness fee for one day's attendance and allowed mileage; and

    4. Files with the Executive Hearing Office a proof of service, signed by the person who served the subpoena, certifying:

      a. The date of service,

      b. The manner of service, and

      c. The name of the person served.

D. A party or a person served with a subpoena who objects to the subpoena or a portion of the subpoena, may file an objection in writing with the Executive Hearing Office. The party or person served with the subpoena shall:

    1. State in the objection the reasons for objecting; and

    2. File the objection:

      a. Within five days after service of the subpoena; or

      b. If the subpoena is served less than five days before an administrative hearing, at the start of the hearing.

E. An administrative law judge may quash or modify a subpoena if:

    1. The subpoena is unreasonable or imposes an undue burden, or

    2. The evidence sought may be obtained by another method.

F. Unless otherwise provided by statute or administrative rule, a party or a party's attorney requesting a subpoena or the Arizona Department of Transportation shall enforce the subpoena in the Superior Court of Arizona, in the county where the administrative hearing is held.

I have a trial pending in court on a DUI charge. Is this the same as the ADOT hearing?

No. The EHO hearing is a civil administrative proceeding concerning the suspension/revocation of your driver license or driving privileges. It does not determine whether you are guilty of a criminal act, such as driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs.

I have already been to court, and I was found “Not Guilty” of the DUI charge. Will I still be required to attend the ADOT hearing?

Yes. The criminal trial and the Executive Hearing Office proceeding are separate and distinct. The outcome of one will not affect the other. If you wish to contest the suspension/revocation of your driver license, you must appear at the hearing before an administrative law judge. If you fail to appear, you may lose the case by default.