The Division of Administrative Law (DAL) is an independent state agency which provides impartial judges to conduct fair and prompt hearings for persons affected by state agency actions. Its mission is to provide a neutral forum for handling administrative hearings for certain governmental agencies, with respect for the dignity of individuals and their due process rights.
An administrative hearing is a legal proceeding before an impartial administrative law
judge designed to review a state or local governmental agency decision. Each party to an
administrative hearing has a right to present and question witnesses, and submit or
challenge documents regarding the decision. The result of the proceeding is a decision
to affirm, modify, or set aside the original agency decision.

The Division of Administrative Law (DAL) conducts administrative hearings for governmental
agencies according to the Louisiana Administrative Procedure Act,
(LSA-R.S. 49:955, et seq.)
Cases often settle without going to hearing. Contact the agency representative to see
if you can work your case out. It is appropriate for the parties to discuss settlement,
and the parties may agree to resolve a case by settlement at any time.
DAL provides mediation services to parties when both sides want to resolve the case without a hearing. A judge who has been trained as a mediator, and who will not hear your case on the merits, will be assigned upon request.

State law or agency rules may allow you to appeal an action of the agency and request a fair hearing. Usually you will file the hearing request with the agency that took the action being appealed. That agency will then refer the hearing request to DAL, and DAL will schedule and conduct the hearing, and issue an impartial decision. Some types of appeals are allowed by law to be filed directly with DAL, and some must be filed with both DAL and the agency. It is important that you read the notice you receive from the agency for guidance as to how to properly proceed. The procedural rules for filing appeals of an agency action may vary, depending on the applicable law.
You have the following rights in connection with your hearing:

(1) To present evidence on any relevant issue;
(2) To be represented by counsel at your expense;
(3) To subpoena witnesses and documentary evidence; and
(4) Such other rights as are conferred by law and/or rule.

DAL judges are appointed to conduct hearings. There are at least two parties in an administrative hearing. One party is a governmental agency, and the other party may be a person, a business or other organization. Any party may be represented by an attorney or may appear without an attorney. Depending on the area of law, a party may be represented by a non-attorney representative.
In some cases, the judge or one of the parties will want to have a pre-hearing conference to discuss the issues in the case and answer any questions there may
be before the hearing. This can be done by telephone. If you want to request a
pre-hearing conference, you may write to the Clerk.
If you will need any special accommodations to attend a hearing, please notify the Clerk's office. You may bring any documents or witnesses in support of your case. Please do not bring any food, children, or weapons.
You will receive a written notice stating the date, time and place of your hearing. The hearings will usually be held at a DAL office or an agency. Many hearings are held by telephone.
You must show good cause to change a hearing date. If you cannot attend on the date and time shown, you must contact the Clerk as soon as you know of the problem. To request a change of date, you must file a written request, called a Motion for Continuance, stating the reasons for the change. Make your request as far in advance of the hearing as possible. Forms are available from the Clerk.
If a party fails to attend a hearing after having been given written notice, the judge may proceed with the hearing in the absence of the party. In some cases, if you fail to appear, you have waived your right to the hearing. Unless you are excused by the judge for good cause, the judge may dismiss your case if you are more than 15 minutes late.

If an emergency arises on your hearing date and you will be late for the hearing, telephone DAL and explain the problem to the Clerk of Court. However, you must have permission from the judge for a continuance.

No person is allowed to talk to the judge about a case without the participation of all other parties to that case. However, by calling the Clerk's office, you may be referred to a case assistant who can answer some of your questions or help you to schedule a pre-hearing conference.
When the hearing begins, each party may present an opening statement which tells the judge what the party intends to prove.

Evidence: Each party can offer evidence to prove its case. Evidence can be sworn testimony taken under oath at the hearing or it can be documents or other items. To be admissible, evidence must meet certain legal requirements. For example, evidence must relate to the issues to be decided.

Filing Evidence: Documentary evidence, submitted on 8 ½ X 11-inch paper, may be introduced at the hearing. If you want to file documents into the record prior to the hearing, you may fax, mail or deliver them to the Clerk's office. The address and phone number for the Clerk is printed on the notice of hearing. Documents are deemed filed on the date received by the Clerk if recieved by 5pm of a business day. If it is received after 5pm it will be clocked in on the next business day.

Subpoenas: DAL has a sample Subpoena Request Form which can be forwarded to you upon request. A party should prepare the subpoena and submit it to the DAL. After processing, the original subpoena will be returned to the party to have it served. For complete information, please call (225) 342-1800.

After the parties have presented the evidence to the judge, the hearing record is closed. The judge will issue a written decision based on the evidence introduced and the laws and regulations which apply to the case. In most cases, the decision will be issued within 30 days after the hearing is completed. In some cases, the judge may issue a decision immediately following your hearing.

A party who is dissatisfied with the judge's decision ordinarily has a right to appeal. Typically, the appeal is a judicial review of the record by the District Court. Provisions for such appeals vary according to the type of case being appealed.
Our main office is located in downtown Baton Rouge near the corner of 7th Street and Main Street. Please use the Main Street entrance to enter and exit the building.
When a written request for a hearing is received, a judge is assigned to the case. In some cases, the date of the hearing is already set on the violation notice given to the Respondent.

In other cases, a hearing or an initial status conference will be scheduled for the next available date. Notice of this date is then sent to the Respondent and/or attorney and to the government agency who issued the violation.

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, individuals needing special accommodations (including auxiliary communicative aids and services) during a hearing should notify the Administrative Hearings Clerk by calling (225) 342-1800 as soon as possible or at least three (3) days before the hearing.