ALJ Decisions

General Information

All decisions issued by the Administrative Law Judges are subject to review by the Commandant. An Administrative Law Judge's initial decision, which is a disposition of all of the issues in a proceeding, becomes the final order of the USCG within 30 days after service upon the parties unless a party appeals to the Commandant.

Published Decisions(Click to View Decisions)

This site contains copies of published decisions of Coast Guard Administrative Law Judges. We publish copies of decisions and orders in contested cases that were decided under the Rules of Practice, Procedure and Evidence for Formal Administrative Proceedings for the Coast Guard, 33 CFR Part 20. 

How to find a copy of a published decision or order

Published decisions are given a citation number and are published under the year of issuance.  The other pages in this section contain listings of each case published that year.  We also provide an alphabetical listing of cases.

Decisions are available in Portable Document Format (.pdf). Unless otherwise noted, the .pdf version is the official version.  We have redacted certain privacy related information in this public version.  If you were a party to an administrative proceeding you may receive an unredacted copy of the decision in your case from the Docketing Center.

Unpublished Decisions

Settlements, orders in admissions and default cases are not automatically published. We publish examples of those decisions and non-contested decisions that establish new rules of law or that were appealed. Most settlements, orders in admissions, withdrawals and defaults are unpublished.  Unpublished Decisions are available for inspection and copying at the ALJ Docketing Center.  

How to find and request a copy of an unpublished decision or order

We publish a listing of the results of the ALJ Docket by Docket Number and alphabetically.  That listing states the name, the docket number, a summary of the allegations, the findings and whether the case is published or unpublished.

You may request a copy by Docket Number.  If you are a party, you will receive an unredacted copy.  If you are not a party, we will redact certain privacy related information.

Electronic copies of all decisions issued after November 1996 can be requested from the center.

How to find and receive copies of case files

Case files include the filed documents (pleadings, motions, orders, etc) exhibits and  testimony.  When a decision is issued, the ALJ returns the case file to the Docketing Center.  The Docketing Center maintains the case file. 

Case Files in unpublished cases are maintained for five years.  The decision or order is a permanent record.

Case Files in published but unappealed cases are maintained for ten years.  The decision or order is a permanent record.

Case Files in published cases that have been appealed are maintained for twenty-five years.  The Appeal Decision and ALJ Decision are permanent records.

If a case is appealed to the National Transportation Safety Board, the ALJ Docketing Center maintains a copy of the file for twenty-five years.  Sometimes the NTSB retains the file.  We cannot guarantee that all documents filed with the NTSB are included in our copy file.

If you are not a party, you may review case files at the Docketing Center, however, the Docketing Center staff must redact privacy material.  This redaction process may take a few days.  Contact the Docketing Center at 410-962-5100 with questions.  If you want a copy, please request in writing and the Docketing Center will provide an estimate of the costs for duplication.  The first 100 pages are at no cost.