If you are looking for records for cases related to the denial of unemployment benefits, or perhaps the denial of a driver’s license, these denials likely came from an Administrative Agency.
Administrative Agencies operate at both the Federal and the State level. Federal Administrative Agencies are granted their power by the Congress while State Legislatures grant power to the State Administrative Agencies.
Agencies are generally used to enforce rights of the general public and they can vary in size and function. Most states have a Department of Licensing or an agency which handles unemployment. Additionally, many states have unique agencies dedicated to a specific concern for their communities. For example, Oregon has a state agency dedicated to body piercing (The Body Piercing Licensing Program). There are also many Federal Administrative Agencies which most of us are familiar with such as the CIA (Central Intellegence Agency), EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), and SEC (Securities and Exchange Commmission).
These Administrative Agencies have power to regulate rights and obligations, through rulemaking, investigation, prosecution, licensing, and other informal actions that may be created by the specific agency.
The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) governs the activities of Federal Agencies. States create their own rules which are similar to the APA to govern the State Administrative Agencies. Through the APA, or the state rules, agencies are provided with the authority to investigate matters through a variety of methods such as hearings and inspections. These agencies also have rule making authority. They can create rules that apply to the subject they govern. For example, the EPA has the power to create rules related to the environment and pollution issues. Administrative Agencies have their own adjudication system related to their rules. In some situations the Administrative Agency adjudication procedure is similar to traditional judicial courts. However in other cases, licensing is also considered a form of adjudication, such with the Department of Licensing.
If a person feels they have been wrongly affected by a decision of an Administrative Agency, they can seek to have the decision reviewed by a judicial court. These hearings are called Administrative Agency Appeals. In most states, Administrative Agency Appeals are found in the courts of general jurisdiction, such a Superior Court, District Court, or Circuit Court. The court will review the records related to the agency’s adjudication and make a decision based on that information. The records for Administrative Agency Appeals can be found with the court handling the hearing. As with most court records, Administrative Agency Appeal records can be found either on the court’s website, or at the court house, depending on the system used in the state. Courtreference.com provides a listing by state of where Administrative Agency Appeals can be found, as well as helpful links to the court websites by state.