FAQ - Executive Hearing

What is an administrative hearing?

An administrative hearing is an informal proceeding.  Evidence is presented by each party, either as sworn testimony, documents or other physical evidence.  Each party will have an opportunity to question the witnesses.  At the end of the hearing, each party may present a closing argument to explain why the ALJ should rule in their favor.  The ALJ will make a decision at the time of the hearing or the ALJ may take the matter under advisement and issue a decision after the hearing.  A written Decision and Order will be mailed to the parties.

Who can be an Administrative Law Judge?

All of the ALJs for the Executive Hearing Office are licensed attorneys with the Arizona State Bar.  They are employed by the Arizona Department of Transportation but exercise independent judgment, free from pressures by the parties or other individuals within the agency. The duties and responsibilities are generally comparable to those of the judge in a trial court. Phillips v. Clancy, 152 Ariz. 415 (1986).

The ALJ is responsible for making sure that you have a fair, impartial, and independent opportunity to be heard when the agency has taken some action against you. The ALJ will make the final decision in your case after hearing all of the evidence.  The decision will be in writing, setting forth separate findings of fact, conclusions of law, and a final decision and order.

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

No.  The Executive Hearing Office has no jurisdiction to determine eligibility for a restricted license.  Whether you are entitled to a restricted license depends upon the particular statute or violation involved and 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.  You should contact MVD regarding eligibility for a restricted driver license.

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

Yes.  All hearings conducted at the Executive Hearing Office are open to the public.  You should inform the ALJ that you are an observer immediately upon entering the hearing room.  As an observer, you are required to conduct yourself in a polite and non-disruptive manner.

Do I need an attorney?

You may represent yourself at your hearing or you may be represented by an attorney.  Because the hearings held at the Executive Hearing Office are administrative proceedings, you are not entitled to the services of a court-appointed attorney.  If you decide to hire an attorney the cost is yours.  You will need to make financial arrangements with the attorney for his or her services.  In any regulatory or enforcement hearing that involves a corporation, the corporation must be represented by an attorney licensed to practice law in Arizona unless exempted under Rule 31 of the Arizona Supreme Court.

What if I need an interpreter?

All hearings at the Executive Hearing Office are conducted in English.  If you need a interpreter at your hearing, please indicate the language you require for interpretation and notify the Executive Hearing Office as soon as possible with your request to prevent any delay in scheduling your hearing.

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

If you cannot appear on the date and time scheduled, you may request a continuance.  Continuances are NOT granted automatically.  The Associate Presiding Judge or your assigned hearing judge will rule on your request subject to the rules set forth in Article 5 of the Arizona Administrative Code.

What if I need special accommodations?

The Executive Hearing Office strives to ensure the accessibility of its hearings to all persons with disabilities.  If you require special accommodations please advise the Executive Hearing Office as soon as possible to prevent any delay in scheduling your hearing.

Are hearings recorded?

All hearings are audio recorded.

How do I request a copy of the audio recording from my hearing?

You may request a copy of the audio recording by submitting a written request and a $10.00 processing fee (check or money order) to the Executive Hearing Office at 3838 N. Central Ave., 3rd Floor, Phoenix, Arizona 85012.  Checks or money orders should be made payable to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Your written request must include the name of the petitioner, the date of the hearing, the case number, the name and phone number of the person making the request, and the reason for the request.  The request must also indicate whether you will pick up the audio recording from the Executive Hearing Office, or whether you want the audio recording to be mailed to you, in which case a mailing address must also be provided.  If you elect to pick up the audio recording, you will be notified at the phone number provided in your request once the audio recording is ready for pick-up.

Audio Request Form

How do I know what rules apply?

Specific rules governing hearings in the Executive Hearing Office may be found in the Transportation Section of the Arizona Administrative Code and in Title 28 and Title 41 of the Arizona Revised Statutes.

What do I do if I disagree with the ALJ’s decision?

While the decision of the ALJ is final, that decision may be appealed to the Superior Court.  Your appeal is not a new hearing, but a review of the hearing that was conducted to determine if the judge made an error in applying the law. 

You may also request a rehearing through the Executive Hearing Office.  A rehearing request will only be granted if the reasons provided meet the requirements listed in Article 5 of the Arizona Administrative Code.  A timely motion for rehearing will stay most agency actions until a judge makes a ruling on the motion.  Contact the Executive Hearing Office if you have questions about whether a particular action will be stayed pending a rehearing request.

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

No.  The administrative hearing at the Executive Hearing Office is an administrative  proceeding concerning the suspension/revocation of your driver license or driving privilege.  It does not determine whether you are guilty of a criminal act such as Driving Under the Influence (DUI).

I have been found “Not Guilty”of the DUI charge.  Do I still have to attend the ADOT hearing?

Yes.  The criminal trial and the administrative hearing are separate and distinct proceedings. If you wish to contest the suspension/revocation of your driver license, you must appear at the hearing before the ALJ.  If you fail to appear, you may lose the case by default.