Setting the Hearing
This information is provided as a courtesy; it does not represent legal advice. If you are unsure about how to apply this information, you should use your own judgment or that of your attorney.
How do I file an Application for Hearing? You may request a formal hearing from OAC by filing either an Application for Hearing/Notice to Set or, where allowed by statute, an Application for Expedited Hearing. Where the only issue the judge must decide is an award of disfigurement benefits for scarring or other disfigurement, you may file an Application for Hearing - Disfigurement Only. For help obtaining forms for applying for hearing, you can call OAC at (303) 866-2000, or you can also call Customer Service at the Division of Workers' Compensation at (303) 318-8700. You should carefully follow the Instructions for Completing an Application for Hearing and Notice to Set, or a Response to Application for Hearing, for a Workers' Compensation Hearing. You must either mail or hand-deliver the completed application to the appropriate OAC office. For hearings in Denver, Greeley, or Loveland, file the application at the Denver office. For hearings in Colorado Springs, Pueblo, or Alamosa, file the application at the Colorado Springs office. For hearings in Grand Junction, Durango, or Glenwood Springs, file the application at the Grand Junction office.
Besides an Application for Hearing, what forms will I need? You need to file a Case Information Sheet between 5 and 20 days before the date of the hearing. If you need to call other witnesses to appear for your hearing, you may need subpoenas.
Where will my hearing be held? OAC has hearing locations in Denver, Colorado Springs, Grand Junction, Greeley, Loveland, Pueblo, Alamosa, Durango, and Glenwood Springs. If the Application for Hearing is not for an expedited hearing, OACRP Rule 8(B) requires that the hearing be set in the place closest to the claimant's residence, unless the parties agree upon a different location and a judge approves it.
When setting a hearing, are the 100 days calculated from the setting date or the certificate of mailing date? The 100 calendar days are calculated from the setting date listed on the Application for Hearing.
Why don't parties get to choose a date for an expedited hearing? An expedited hearing must be set at least 10 calendar days from the date of the application in order to timely mail a notice of hearing. The expedited hearing must commence within 40 calendar days of the date of the Application for Expedited Hearing. This leaves very few dates for the hearing to take place. Therefore, OACRP Rule 9(E) provides that the OAC will set an expedited hearing in the location and on the date of its choosing. If the parties have agreed on a date when the Application is filed, please note that on the Application and the Clerk will set it at the requested time if available.
Why do Prehearing ALJs say a hearing date is available, but then OAC tells us that date is not available? The OAC manages its own docket schedule. A DOWC Prehearing Judge does not have access to the OAC's up-to-the-minute calendar. Dates that appear to be available may, in fact, already be filled with other cases.
What is the trailing docket? There are more cases set at that particular time than there are judges available. OAC attempts to maximize the number of cases that can go to hearing on a particular docket. Most hearings are canceled because the parties are able to resolve the issues without going to hearing. This means that most of the time all of the remaining cases can be heard. When there are more cases than judges available, OAC will make every effort to get the hearing started within 2 hours of the scheduled time. If that is not possible, the hearing will be rescheduled, usually for a date within 20 days of the original date.
How do I get a case set on a nontrailing docket? A nontrailing docket is one in which only one case is set for either a half-day or full-day docket. For a nontrailing hearing in Colorado Springs, Denver, Grand Junction, or Pueblo, you must file a motion and obtain an order from a judge or a prehearing judge. Non-trailing settings in any other hearing locations may only be granted with the approval of the Director of OAC. As a practical matter, OAC has limited ability to obtain additional hearing rooms or additional hearing dates in locations outside the offices in Denver, Colorado Springs, and Grand Junction. Nontrailing hearings are rarely set for remote locations unless they are necessary to finish a hearing that has already been started.
I live out of state and cannot be there. Can I have my hearing by telephone? Yes, OACRP Rule 22 states that you may appear by telephone for the hearing. You are responsible for making arrangements and paying for all of the cost for your telephone call. You should contact the appropriate OAC office as soon as possible to see what telephone arrangements must be made.
Is there a way to settle the issues without a hearing? Cases often settle without going to hearing. The parties may discuss settlement and settle a case at any time. You can contact the lawyer for the other side to see if you can work something out. You may request a settlement conference at the Division of Workers' Compensation by calling (303) 866-5508. You may also request a mediation by calling the OAC at (303) 866-5694. Settlement discussions or mediations do not put your case on hold. All deadlines in the case remain the same unless the judge changes them.
Next: Getting Ready for a Hearing