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Glossary & Terms


 CDHS Office of Appeals
These terms are merely informational. they do not consitute a legal determination.


Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
A licensed attorney employed by the Department of Personnel and Administration, Office of Administrative Courts to conduct hearings and enter decisions resolving disputes between the State Department, County Department, or their agents, and persons whose rights or benefits are affected by an agency action.
Administrative Procedure Act
Title 24, Article 4 of the Colorado Revised Statutes.
Burden of Proof
The duty to prove the disputed facts and establish the claim or allegation.
Conclusions of Law
The part of the Initial Decision where the ALJ states his/her interpretation of applicable statutes or rules.
De Novo Hearing
A new hearing, where the ALJ considers the evidence without regard to decisions made earlier (e.g., local evidentiary hearing or conference.) Review of an ALJ's Initial Decision is not a de novo review; the Office of Appeals may not modify or reverse the ALJ's Initial Decision unless there were errors in law or fact.
Written arguments about why an Initial Decision is incorrect and should be reversed or modified by the Office of Appeals, or remanded back to the ALJ for a rehearing, further fact finding or reconsideration of the legal conclusions.
Ex Parte Communication
Information which is shared or communicated to the ALJ or Office of Appeals without the knowledge of other parties or opportunity for the other parties to participate or rebut the information. §24-4-105(14) C.R.S. prohibits the ALJ and Office of Appeals from engaging in ex parte communications with any. The prohibition on ex parte communications is essential to maintaining impartiality and to assure that all of the parties are given a fair and equal opportunity to be heard. To ensure impartiality, the Office of Appeals cannot provide legal advice or discuss the specifics of a case; it can only speak with the parties about the Office of Appeals procedures.
Final Agency Decision
The decision entered by the Office of Appeals, as the Executive Director's designee, which will affirm, reverse or modify the decision of the ALJ. The Final Agency Decision serves as the official and final action of the Colorado Department of Human Services and issuance of the Final Agency Decision concludes the administrative hearing process. To challenge a Final Agency Decision an individual must file suit in district court as mandated by the Colorado Administrative Procedure Act, Title 24, Article 4, of the Colorado Revised Statutes and/or file a motion for reconsideration.
Findings of Fact
The ALJ's statement of the facts of the case, as established by evidence (documents and testimony) entered at the hearing. The findings will usually reflect that one party's evidence on the factual issues was more persuasive than the other party's or the findings may show that a party with the burden of proof on an issue failed to introduce enough evidence to meet that burden.
Good Cause
Includes, but is not limited to: death or incapacity of a party, or his/her representative; any other emergent occurrence preventing compliance with applicable deadlines; lack of proper notice of the Initial Decision of the ALJ; substitution of a party's representative or counsel, if the substitution is shown to be necessary and diligently pursued; or where additional time is required to obtain a transcript of a hearing and the party can show that the transcript was ordered in a timely manner and is necessary for preparation of the party's Exceptions. Good cause does not include: excessive workload of either the party or his/her representative; a party obtaining legal representation in an untimely manner; failure to receive the Initial Decision when a party has failed to advise the Office of Appeals of a change of address or a correct address; or, any other circumstance which was foreseeable or preventable.
Initial Decision
The written decision entered by an ALJ, usually after a hearing, which is subject to review by the Office of Appeals. Once an Initial Decision is entered, the ALJ no longer has jurisdiction to consider any further arguments or motions. Once the ALJ had entered an Initial Decision, jurisdiction transfers to the Office of Appeals.
Authority to resolve an issue in dispute.
Party of Interest
Is the individual or individuals directly affected by the action (i.e., Appellant, Petitioner, Respondent); the individuals' designated representative or legal counsel; the County Department or its legal representative or authorized agent; the State Department, the relevant State Department program area or its legal representative or authorized agent. A party of interest does not include a physician or hospital, unless acting as the individual's representative, nor does it include a federal government agency.
The Record
The hearing record includes the request for hearing, motions and orders entered by the ALJ, notices sent by the Office of Administrative Courts, correspondence from the parties, and all documentary evidence admitted into evidence by the Appellant and agency representative as exhibits during the hearing in support of their positions. It generally includes application forms, case notes, eligibility documents, worksheets, and statements from employers or other collateral sources. Evidence is formally admitted into the record by the ALJ at the hearing, or after the hearing when the record is left open for filing additional documents. The Initial Decision and any written Exceptions, Responses to Exceptions, and transcripts (or audio recording) of the hearing filed with the Office of Appeals become part of the record after the hearing and will be part of the "state administrative record" certified to district court if judicial review is sought by the individual who filed the appeal.
Reasonable Diligence
A party made every reasonable effort to produce the evidence at the hearing and was without fault in the delay in submittal of the evidence.
Response to Exceptions
Written arguments, which respond to issues, raised or arguments made in an opposing party's Exceptions.
State Department Rules
An elaboration of state statute that requires or permits specific actions by the Department of Human Services and entities working on behalf of the Department. State rules are binding over applicants, recipients and the State or County Department or their agents only when the rules have been promulgated pursuant to Colorado Administrative Procedure Act (APA). State rules are published in the Code of Colorado Regulations and are available on the Secretary of State's website and the Department of Human Services' website (unofficial copy).
A written version of the hearing that was recorded electronically by the ALJ.