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(10.37) What if I disagree with the ALJ’s hearing decision?

(10.37) What if I disagree with the ALJ’s hearing decision?

If you disagree with the ALJ’s final decision, the next step is court. You would have to appeal to the superior court for your county. Your appeal is called a writ of administrative mandamus or mandate.[1]California Code of Civil Procedure § 1094.5 The regional center may also appeal a decision, unless it involves rights under the Medi-Cal waiver. You must ask for the appeal within 90 days after you get the administrative hearing decision.[2]§ 4712.5(a). To do this, you must “file” appeal papers in the superior court for your county. Going to court is complicated. There are many steps and difficult legal terms. You will probably need a lawyer.

In your appeal, you can ask the superior court to order a state agency, like DDS, to set aside its decision or take other actions. Contact a lawyer for help. Disability Rights California may be able to help you or make suggestions.

When you appeal an unfavorable ALJ decision to the superior court, the court will only look at the record from your hearing.[3]To ask the superior court to review your hearing, you must file a Petition for a Writ of Administrative Mandamus, Calif. Code Civ. Proc. § 1094.5. That is why it is important to get all your information into the hearing record. Usually, you cannot give the court new information.[4]“Where the court finds that there is relevant evidence that, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, could not have been produced or that was improperly excluded at the hearing,” the court may … Continue reading The court will consider only two issues:

  1. Whether the trial or hearing was fair, and
  2. Whether there was a “prejudicial abuse of discretion.”[5]Calif. Code Civ. Proc. § 1094.5(b). This could mean the ALJ used the wrong legal standards to make the decision. It could also mean the ALJ made a decision that is not based on the findings, or made findings that are not supported by the evidence.

If the ALJ’s decision was not in your favor because you did not have enough evidence, you cannot enter new evidence in court.

References
1 California Code of Civil Procedure § 1094.5
2 § 4712.5(a).
3 To ask the superior court to review your hearing, you must file a Petition for a Writ of Administrative Mandamus, Calif. Code Civ. Proc. § 1094.5.
4 “Where the court finds that there is relevant evidence that, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, could not have been produced or that was improperly excluded at the hearing,” the court may allow the evidence to be introduced. Calif. Code Civ. Proc. § 1094.5(f).
5 Calif. Code Civ. Proc. § 1094.5(b).