Code of the District of Columbia

§ 2–509. Contested cases.

(a) In any contested case, all parties thereto shall be given reasonable notice of the afforded hearing by the Mayor or the agency, as the case may be. The notice shall state the time, place, and issues involved, but if, by reason of the nature of the proceeding, the Mayor or the agency determines that the issues cannot be fully stated in advance of the hearing, or if subsequent amendment of the issues is necessary, they shall be fully stated as soon as practicable, and opportunity shall be afforded all parties to present evidence and argument with respect thereto. The notice shall also state that if a party or witness is deaf, or because of a hearing impediment cannot readily understand or communicate the spoken English language, the party or witness may apply to the agency for the appointment of a qualified interpreter. Unless otherwise required by law, other than this subchapter, any contested case may be disposed of by stipulation, agreed settlement, consent order, or default.

(b) In contested cases, except as may otherwise be provided by law, other than this subchapter, the proponent of a rule or order shall have the burden of proof. Any oral and any documentary evidence may be received, but the Mayor and every agency shall exclude irrelevant, immaterial, and unduly repetitious evidence. Every party shall have the right to present in person or by counsel his case or defense by oral and documentary evidence, to submit rebuttal evidence, and to conduct such cross-examination as may be required for a full and true disclosure of the facts. Where any decision of the Mayor or any agency in a contested case rests on official notice of a material fact not appearing in the evidence in the record, any party to such case shall on timely request be afforded an opportunity to show the contrary.

(c) The Mayor or the agency shall maintain an official record in each contested case, to include testimony and exhibits, but it shall not be necessary to make any transcription unless a copy of such record is timely requested by any party to such case, or transcription is required by law, other than this subchapter. The testimony and exhibits, together with all papers and requests filed in the proceeding, and all material facts not appearing in the evidence but with respect to which official notice is taken, shall constitute the exclusive record for order or decision. No sanction shall be imposed or rule or order or decision be issued except upon consideration of such exclusive record, or such lesser portions thereof as may be agreed upon by all the parties to such case. The cost incidental to the preparation of a copy or copies of a record or portion thereof shall be borne equally by all parties requesting the copy or copies.

(d) Whenever in a contested case a majority of those who are to render the final order or decision did not personally hear the evidence, no order or decision adverse to a party to the case (other than the Mayor or an agency) shall be made until a proposed order or decision, including findings of fact and conclusions of law, has been served upon the parties and an opportunity has been afforded to each party adversely affected to file exceptions and present argument to a majority of those who are to render the order or decision, who, in such case, shall personally consider such portions of the exclusive record, as provided in subsection (c) of this section, as may be designated by any party.

(e) Every decision and order adverse to a party to the case, rendered by the Mayor or an agency in a contested case, shall be in writing and shall be accompanied by findings of fact and conclusions of law. The findings of fact shall consist of a concise statement of the conclusions upon each contested issue of fact. Findings of fact and conclusions of law shall be supported by and in accordance with the reliable, probative, and substantial evidence. A copy of the decision and order and accompanying findings and conclusions shall be given by the Mayor or the agency, as the case may be, to each party or to his attorney of record.


(Oct. 21, 1968, 82 Stat. 1208, Pub. L. 90-614, § 109, formerly § 10; Oct. 8, 1975, D.C. Law 1-19, title I, § 102(gg)-(kk), 22 DCR 2054; renumbered, Mar. 29, 1977, D.C. Law 1-96, § 3(a), (c), 23 DCR 3744; Feb. 11, 1982, D.C. Law 4-67, § 2(a), 28 DCR 5043; Jan. 28, 1988, D.C. Law 7-62, § 14(a), 34 DCR 7426.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-1509.

1973 Ed., § 1-1509.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 3-409, § 3-606, § 7-1231.12, § 7-2036, § 7-2308, § 8-111.06, § 8-113.09, § 8-231.15, § 8-1059, § 8-1308, § 25-354, § 26-704, § 26-706.01, § 26-906, § 26-1204, § 26-1205, § 28-3905, § 31-903, § 31-2102, § 31-2231.23, § 31-2411, § 31-3109, § 31-5238.02, § 31-5608.03, § 32-402, § 32-412, § 34-2305, § 41-125, § 42-3405.08, § 44-413, § 44-1204, § 46-225.01, § 46-226.03, § 47-2844, § 48-108.01, § 50-1301.04, and § 50-1403.01.

Cross References

Abandoned or unclaimed property, submission of claim for property, hearing following denial or failure to act on claim, see § 41-125.

Asbestos workers or businesses, reprimands and suspension or revocation of license or permit, grounds and procedure, see § 8-111.06.

Banks and banking, regional interstate banking, nonregional bank holding companies, hearing to determine compliance with orders as to commitments, see § 26-706.01.

Banks and banking, savings and loan acquisitions, hearing to determine compliance with orders as to commitments, see §§ 26-1204 and 26-1205.

Boxing and wrestling commission, permits and licenses, revocation and suspension, contested case provisions applicable to revocation and suspension proceedings, see § 3-606.

Child development facilities regulation, duty of mayor to develop administrative procedures for hearings, contested hearing procedure, see § 7-2036.

Compulsory/no-fault motor vehicle insurance, taxicab waiver, hearings to determine minimum liability insurance requirements during waiver period, see § 31-2411.

Consumer protection procedures, complaint procedure, application of Administrative Procedure Act, § 28-3905.

District of Columbia Court of Appeals, jurisdiction, administrative orders and decisions, see § 11-722.

Emergency executive orders, applicability of contested cases provision, see § 7-2308.

Employment services licensing and regulation, application for license, right to hearing when application rejected, see § 32-402.

Employment services, violations, cease and desist orders, hearing procedure, see § 32-412.

Environmental controls, underground storage tank management, proposed orders, finality of orders, requests for hearing, contested hearing procedure, see § 8-113.09.

Funeral directors, violations, contested hearing procedures applicable to hearing on written complaint, see § 3-409.

General license law, grounds for suspension or revocation of licenses, hearing procedure, see § 47-2844.

Hazardous waste management, hearing following adverse action, contested case procedure to apply, see § 8-1308.

Health services planning, administrative appeal, contested cases to be heard by Board of appeals and review, see § 44-413.

Insurance, insurance companies deemed to be in hazardous financial condition, corrective action, requests for hearing, hearing procedure, see § 31-2102.

Money lenders, complaints, investigations, right to contested hearing prior to suspension, revocation or denial of license, see § 26-906.

Motor vehicles and traffic, motor vehicle safety responsibility, hearing procedure applicable to administrative actions see § 50-1301.04.

Motor vehicles and traffic, operators’ permits, application of Administrative Procedure Act to administrative actions affecting permits, see § 50-1403.01.

Public utilities, water and sewer services, right to contest water or sewer bill, hearing procedure, see § 34-2305.

Regional interstate banking, bank holding company, failure to fulfill express written commitments, compliance order, hearing to determine compliance, see § 26-704.

Rental housing conversion and sale, implementation and enforcement, administrative proceedings, hearing procedure, see § 42-3405.08.

Solid waste management, solid waste facility permits, hearing after adverse action, contested case procedures to apply, see § 8-1059.

Substance abuse and mental illness insurance coverage, rates and rating plans, adjustment of rates following contested hearing, see § 31-3109.

Substance abuse treatment and prevention, certification of treatment facilities, notice and hearing before suspension or revocation of license, see § 44-1204.

Veterinarians, contested case provisions applicable to hearings on written complaints, see § 3-510.

Editor's Notes

The Law Effective Date Notice for D.C. Law 1-96, published on April 8, 1977, was incorrect and was corrected on June 3, 1977, and published at 23 DCR 9532b.

Uniform Law: This section is based upon §§ 9 and 10 of the Uniform Law Commissioners’ Model State Administrative Procedure Act (1961 Act).