(a) The Office of Administrative Hearings shall grant a fair hearing to any client or client representative who wishes to appeal a decision listed in subsection (b) of this section and who requests such a hearing, orally or in writing, within 90 days of receiving written notice of the adverse action; provided, that, when written notice is given pursuant to§ 4-754.33(c-1) because the client was absent from the temporary shelter or transitional housing provider's premises for more than 4 consecutive days due to inpatient psychological or psychiatric treatment or hospitalization for medical treatment, the 90-day period to request a hearing shall begin the day that the client is released from the facility at which the client was treated. A request for a fair hearing shall be made to the client’s provider, the Department, the Mayor, or the Mayor’s designee. If the request is made orally, the individual receiving the request shall promptly acknowledge the request, reduce it to writing, and file the request for a fair hearing with the Office of Administrative Hearings.
(b) A client or client representative may request a fair hearing to:
(1) Appeal an administrative review decision made pursuant to § 4-754.42;
(2) Review any decision of a provider of services to:
(A) Transfer the client to another provider;
(B) Suspend provision of services to the client for a period longer than 10 days;
(C) Terminate services to the client;
(D) Deny an application for services;
(E) Deny eligibility for shelter following an interim eligibility placement; or
(F) Exit the client from a housing program; or
(3) Obtain any legally available and practicable remedy for any alleged violation of:
(c) The Mayor shall treat a fair hearing request made by a client representative in the same manner as it would be treated if it were made directly by the client; provided, that the Mayor subsequently receives written documentation authorizing the client representative to act on behalf of the client in accordance with the requirements of § 4-210.05.
(d) In accordance with § 4-754.11(18), any client who requests a fair hearing within 15 days of receipt of written notice of a suspension or termination of shelter or housing services provided within the Continuum of Care shall continue to receive shelter or housing services provided within the Continuum of Care pending a final decision from the fair hearing proceedings. This right to continuation of shelter or housing services provided within the Continuum of Care pending appeal shall not apply in the case of an emergency suspension or termination pursuant to § 4-754.38.
(d-1) In accordance with § 4-754.11(20), any client in an interim eligibility placement who requests a fair hearing within 48 hours or before the close of the next business day, whichever occurs later, of receipt of written notice of a denial of eligibility for shelter placement shall continue in that interim eligibility placement pending a final decision from the fair hearing proceedings.
(e) Upon receipt of a fair hearing request, the Mayor or the Mayor’s designee shall offer the client or client representative an opportunity for an administrative review by the Department of the decision that is the subject of the fair hearing request.
(f) All fair hearings shall be conducted in the following manner:
(1) In accordance with the requirements for the review of contested cases as provided in Chapter 5 of Title 2;
(3) In accordance with the following additional requirements:
(A) The hearing shall be held within a reasonably short time following the request, such time not to exceed 15 days following the initial request for hearing;
(B) If a party fails to appear, the Administrative Law Judge designated to conduct the hearing may enter a default decision in favor of the party present. The default may be set aside only for good cause shown, and upon equitable terms and conditions;
(C) Except as provided in subparagraph (D) of this paragraph, the Administrative Law Judge shall issue a final decision within 15 days following the completion of the hearing; and
(D) The Administrative Law Judge shall issue a final decision in a review requested pursuant to subsection (b)(2)(E) of this section within 96 hours, not including weekends or holidays, following the completion of the hearing;
(4) For a fair hearing requested from the Office of Administrative Hearings pursuant to subsection (b)(2)(E) of this section, the following additional requirements shall apply:
(A) The fair hearing shall be held no later than 4 business days after the Office of Administrative Hearings receives an administrative review decision issued pursuant to § 4-754.42; and
(B) If a party fails to appear, the Administrative Law Judge designated to conduct the hearing may enter a default decision in favor of the party present; provided, that the default decision may be set aside only for good cause shown, and upon equitable terms and conditions; and
(5) For a fair hearing requested from the Office of Administrative Hearings pursuant to subsection (b)(2)(F) [of this section], review shall be limited to evidence pertaining to factors the provider or the Mayor was permitted to consider, by this chapter or regulations issued pursuant to this chapter, in making the decision to exit a client from the program.
(g) Materials and documents filed with the Office of Administrative Hearings during fair hearing proceedings shall be maintained in compliance with § 2-1831.13(d), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, approved August 21, 1996 (Pub. L. No. 104-191; 110 Stat. 1936), and any other District or federal law pertaining to confidentiality of records.
(h) The Mayor or the Mayor’s designee shall maintain a file of final fair hearing and administrative review decisions, indexed by issue, with identifying information redacted. The file shall be accessible to clients, their representatives, and other persons upon request to the Mayor or the Mayor’s designee.
(Oct. 22, 2005, D.C. Law 16-35, § 26, 52 DCR 8113; Apr. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-367, § 2(e), 58 DCR 987; Feb. 27, 2016, D.C. Law 21-75, § 2(f), 63 DCR 257; Feb. 28, 2018, D.C. Law 22-65, § 2(cc), 65 DCR 331.)
Effect of Amendments
D.C. Law 18-367 rewrote subsec. (b)(2), which had read as follows: “(2) Review any decision of a provider of services, other than shelter or supportive housing, to: (A) Transfer the client to another provider; (B) Suspend provision for a period longer than 10 days; or (C) Terminate services to the client; or”.
The 2016 amendment by D.C. Law 21-75 added (b)(2)(E) and (d-1); rewrote (f)(3)(C); added (f)(3)(D) and (f)(4); and made related changes.
For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(f) of the Interim Eligibility and Minimum Shelter Standards Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-217, Nov. 30, 2015, 62 DCR 15648).
For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(f) of the Interim Eligibility and Minimum Shelter Standards Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-326, Mar. 3, 2016, 63 DCR 3658).