Wednesday, May 25, 2011

NJ bill would give Administrative Law Judges final call

New Jersey Assemblyman John Patrick Carroll (R-Morris County) notes that:
Currently, in contested cases an administrative law judge makes a recommended decision, and the agency head makes the final decision by either adopting, rejecting, or modifying the administrative law judge's decision. 

Carroll finds the practice "wasteful and inefficient."  Why? 
Because the "opinions of trained administrative law judges can be disregarded by politically-appointed department heads; and, moreover, the existing process allows for any agency against which a complaint is filed to make the final determination as to the validity of that complaint."

To correct the practice, Carroll has introduced A-4069 which would allow the administrative law judge's decision to be final and subject only to review by the Appellate Division of the Superior Court.

The legislation would not apply to a contested case involving a rate making agency.

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