CDHS Office of Appeals
Filing Written Exceptions To The Initial Decision
& Responses To Exceptions
The Office of Appeals will notify the parties, including the State Department program area, that they may challenge the Initial Decision by filing Exceptions. Exceptions are written objections which state your disagreement with the Administrative Law Judge’s decision. The Notice of Initial Decision will provide a specific due date for filing Exceptions (15 days plus 3 days for mailing from the day listed on the Notice of Initial Decision Certificate of Mailing. If the due date delineated on the Notice of Initial Decision falls on a weekend or state holiday, the due date is moved to the next business day).
In your Exceptions, tell the Office of Appeals what specific fact, rule or statute you disagree with and why. (Be sure to include your name and case number.) Written briefs which merely state support or a general dissatisfaction will not be treated as Exceptions. The Office of Appeals cannot consider any dispute other than the issues raised in the appeal before the Administrative Law Judge. The Office of Appeals cannot consider new evidence, which with reasonable diligence could have been produced at the time of the hearing or review. The Office of Appeals cannot consider any challenge to the facts of your case unless a transcript is provided; however, if you requested a Record Review of a child abuse/neglect Trails Report, there was no hearing and thus, no transcript is available or required when challenging the Administrative Law Judge’s factual determinations. The Exceptions must be in writing and be filed with the Office of Appeals by the due date contained on the Notice of Initial Decision unless the Office of Appeals grants a request for an extension of the due date for filing Exceptions. Any Exceptions received by the Office of Appeals after the due date for filing Exceptions will not be considered.
Exceptions can be filed by mail, by fax or be dropped off in person. This office recommends filing by fax and that you call to confirm that the fax was received. Any person hand delivering their Exceptions is advised that the Office of Appeals staff will only retrieve the document; staff cannot respond to questions about the appeal process unless the individual has a scheduled appointment.
If your filing is timely and constitutes Exceptions, the Office of Appeals will send the Exceptions to the other parties so they have an opportunity to respond to your arguments. Similarly, if the opposing party files Exceptions, you will have the opportunity to respond. The response must be filed in writing by the due date delineated on the Notice of Exceptions. Responses are to address only the issues raised in the opposing party’s Exceptions. The Office of Appeals does not provide copies of responses to Exceptions. Answers to, or comments on, written responses are not permitted even if a party filing a response provides a courtesy copy of his/her response to the other parties.
(This information does not apply to a Record Review of a child abuse/neglect Trails Report. In those cases no hearing was held and thus, there is no transcript or recording of a hearing.)
If you want to challenge the facts of your case, you must provide the Office of Appeals a transcript of the hearing. The Office of Appeals needs to review the documents in the case file and the testimony when considering a challenge to the findings of fact. The party filing the Exceptions is responsible for paying for the transcript and for filing the transcript by the due date for filing Exceptions. Transcripts are to be filed with a party’s Exceptions; if a party needs additional time to file a transcript, a party must request additional time for filing Exceptions. Any transcript received by the Office of Appeals after the due date for filing Exceptions will not be considered.
If you cannot afford a transcript, you may request permission to file an audio recording. The request for permission to file an audio recording must be filed in writing (Be sure to include your name and case number). The request must explain your financial circumstances and why you cannot afford a transcript. The request must include an explanation as to why it is essential for the Office of Appeals to listen to testimony of a specific witness or witnesses. A County Department's request to submit an audio recording instead of a transcript must state that funds are not available in the County Department's operating budget to pay for preparation of a transcript and the request must be certified by the County Director. This request must be filed prior to the due date for filing Exceptions; any submission of an audio recording without first obtaining permission from the Office of Appeals will not be considered.
A party requesting permission to file an audio recording of the hearing is still responsible for filing Exceptions to the Initial Decision by the due date delineated in the Notice of Initial Decision unless an extension of time has been granted by the Office of Appeals. When a request for filing of an audio recording instead of a transcript is approved, the Office of Appeals will notify the parties. The requesting party is solely responsible for requesting the copy of the audio recording from the Office of Administrative Courts and for filing the audio recording with the Office of Appeals by the due date to file Exceptions or if an extension of time is granted, the new due date provided by the Office of Appeals.
To obtain the transcript or the audio recording, contact the Office of Administrative Courts.
Office of Administrative Courts
633 17th St., Suite 1300
Denver, CO 80202
Exceptions and the accompanying materials are to be filed with the Office of Appeals. Documents filed with the Office of Administrative Courts will not be considered by the Office of Appeals unless it is clear that the document constitutes Exceptions to the Initial Decision and the document is received by the due date for filing Exceptions.
Office of Appeals
Colorado Department of Human Services
1575 Sherman Street, 1st Floor
Denver, CO 80203
FAX: (303) 866-5024