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Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings

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August 2nd, 2021 UPDATED STATEMENT FOR LITIGANTS ON COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS): : Return to in-person hearings

On March 25, 2021, the Governor of Arizona issued Executive Order 2021-06 transitioning social distancing and face masking requirements for businesses from requirements to recommendations. More recently, the Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) updated social distancing and mask wearing requirements for persons who are fully vaccinated. Click here to see the AZDHS guidelines. Click here to see the CDC guidelines.

To protect the health of parties and witnesses to hearings and of Office of Administrative Hearings staff, while at the same time recognizing the updated AZDHS and CDC guidelines, hearings scheduled on or after Monday, August 2, 2021 shall be conducted as follows:

(1) Unless the Notice of Hearing provides otherwise, hearings will be held in-person at the Office of Administrative Hearings in Phoenix. Hearings may also be conducted by either video conference or telephone.

(2) Parties or witnesses wishing to appear by video conference or telephone may, not later than 7 calendar days prior to the hearing date, request that the assigned administrative law judge permit them to appear by video conference or by telephone. If a party or witness does not file a request to appear by video conference or telephone, the administrative law judge will presume that the party or witness will attend the hearing in-person.

(3) The following standards shall be followed by any person appearing at the Office of Administrative Hearings to participate in an in-person hearing:

(a) Persons who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 may appear without face coverings.

(b) Persons who have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should follow all AZDHS and CDC social distancing guidelines and it is strongly recommended that such persons should wear a suitable face mask at all times while on the premises of the Office of Administrative Hearings.

(4) “Fully vaccinated” as used in this directive means a person who has received both doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and two weeks have passed since the person received the final dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series or received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. If you do not meet these vaccination requirements, you are NOT fully vaccinated.

(5) The requirements of paragraphs 3 and 4 above shall apply to any member of the public appearing at the Office of Administrative Hearings to observe a hearing open to the public. A member of the public may also observe cases which are open to the public by Google Meet, subject to capacity limitations inherent in Google Meet. A member of the public wishing to attend a hearing by Google Meet shall not later than 7 calendar days prior to the hearing date request from the Office of Administrative Hearings a Google Meet link for the hearing.

(6) In the sole discretion of the assigned administrative law judge, an in-person hearing may be continued to a later date if the judge determines that the safety or welfare of the hearing participants requires an immediate adjournment of the matter. This authority is in addition to any other basis for adjournment or continuance prescribed by Title 2, chapter 19 of the Arizona Administrative Code or otherwise provided by law.

(7) The assigned administrative law judge shall at all times have the power to vary these requirements in a particular case to prevent injustice or the infringement of any constitutional or statutory right. The administrative law judge may so act on motion or stipulation of any party or parties, and may also act upon the administrative law judge’s own initiative.

 

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Mission Statement: We will contribute to the quality of life in the State of Arizona by fairly and impartially hearing the contested matters of our fellow citizens arising out of State regulation.

 

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    Advisement: OAH Staff cannot give legal advice. Legal advice could be described, but is not limited to: offering interpretation of rules; recommending a course of action; predicting a judicial officer's decision and interpreting the meaning or effect of any court order or judgment.

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