Functions of the USCG ALJ Program

CG ALJs preside over 600-900 Suspension and Revocation cases annually. In a fully-contested case, the ALJ presides over all aspects of the hearing including admitting or rejecting evidence, regulating the course of the hearing, ruling on motions, and issuing subpoenas for witnesses. The ALJ then reviews the evidence and testimony, finds the facts, and prepares a decision that applies the facts to the law and states the reasons for the ALJ’s findings. In a non-contested case (settlement, admission, or default), the ALJ reviews the docket record, ensures that due process has been afforded the respondent, and then issues an appropriate order.

The Docket Center manages the docket and all filings in an administrative proceeding for each case. The center also maintains the file room and develops and maintains a system for file storage and retrieval. The staff provides help to parties in filing documents, maintains a system for tracking and monitoring the status of outgoing and archived files, and answers public inquiries on case status.

Indexing and Record Management
The APA requires that all ALJ decisions be indexed and available for inspection and copying. The center staff prepare a general index of all cases and a specialized index of contested cases that summarize and review such cases for legal issues. The public can search cases by name, topic and by keyword. The center maintains the paper version of these decisions and publishes electronic versions of them on the web in conformance with the Electronic FOIA. The center also maintains the case files in accordance with National Archives and Records Administration requirements.