Recommendation 2016-6 – Self-Represented Parties in Administrative Hearings offers best practices for agencies dealing with self-represented parties in administrative hearings. Recommendations include the use of triage and diagnostic tools, development of a continuum of services to aid parties, and re-evaluation and simplification of existing hearing practices, where possible.
The project builds on the activity of a working group on Self-Represented Parties in Administrative Hearings that is co-led by the Administrative Conference and the Department of Justice’s Office for Access to Justice.
Citation: Admin. Conf. of the United States, Recommendation 2016-6, Self-Represented Parties in Administrative Proceedings, 81 Fed. Reg. 94319 (Dec. 23, 2016).
Federal agencies conduct millions of proceedings each year, making decisions that affect such important matters as disability or veterans’ benefits, immigration status, and home or property loans. In many of these adjudications, claimants appear unrepresented for part or all of the proceeding and must learn to navigate hearing procedures, which can be quite complex, without expert assistance.