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Chapter 4 Part II
How Much Must the Agency Put in the Record?
In the Matter of Ciba-Geigy Corp. n n n NJ DEP issued Ciba a permit to dump treated waste water into the Atlantic Regulated by state and federal laws Statutes required the agency to make decision based on a list of factual determinations Where did the agency's fact finding fall apart? What did the court do?
Review of Requirements for the Record
Link between the Facts and the Law n n n Must do more than just recite the evidence Must explain why the agency reached its conclusions, esp. if the are contrary to the evidence or involve expert conclusions from the evidence This is what happened in the Franz case n Gross negligence is a term of art in CA with specific elements n The Board made a finding of gross negligence, but did not explain how the elements were satisfied
Explanation and Discretion n n What is the relationship between requiring the agency to explain its actions and interfering with its discretion? When can judicial requirements on the record cross the line to interfering with the agency's discretion?
Post Hoc Rationalizations n Should the agency be allowed to supplement the record in its briefs if the case is appealed to the courts?
Findings at Every Level? n n Should the agency head have to make separate findings if it rejects the ruling of the ALJ? How much deference should the agency give the ALJ? What ALJ finding are entitled to more deference? How is this different in LA?
Res Judicata and Collateral Estoppel
What is res judicata - claim preclusion? n n Plaintiff wins - the claim is gone and becomes a judgment, attackable only as a judgment Defendant wins - no more claims
What is collateral estoppel - issue preclusion? n n Issues decided by the court, that are essential to the judgment (not dicta), are settled as to subsequent actions between the same parties on the same facts. Hard to apply against the Feds when one party is the agency
State v. Arnold, 593 So. 2 d 1293, La. App. 1 Cir. , 1991 n n n Does an administrative finding establish collateral estoppel in a subsequent criminal proceeding? How are the standards of proof different? In this case, the defendant lost his driving license in an administrative proceeding and the state is arguing that this also establishes that he was
Are the Parties Really the Same? n We disagree with defendant' argument that the parties are the same since they are "arms of the state". Furthermore, the previous ruling regarding probable cause to stop defendant was not made in a criminal prosecution. The administrative hearing is conducted as a civil proceeding to determine whether or not driving privileges should be suspended. This criminal proceeding is based upon a bill of information charging defendant
Criminal Evidence in Administrative Proceedings n n How does the differing standards of proof affect the flip side – does a guilty plea or verdict in a criminal case become binding in subsequent civil proceedings? What can the defendant plead to avoid this?
Are administrative findings binding in later civil proceedings?
Ryan v. NY Telephone n n n Fired for stealing Contested it at comp hearing, with a union rep but not a lawyer Board upheld theft charge Later sued for false arrest, defamation, and wrongful discharge Estopped - the agency findings were conclusive - he should have had a lawyer, that was his problem
University of Tennessee v. Elliott n n n What is the key factor about the defendant? What is the stigma in this case? Did he get a hearing? Was it comprehensive? What was the agency decision? Why did plaintiff not file an action in the state courts?
Federal Court Action n n What laws did plaintiff use to get into federal court? n 42 USC 1983 n Title II What policy did the court articulate about the use of state administrative law decisions in federal court? n They get the same deference as the state court would give them
Preclusion v. Deference n n n What was the weight of the agency's decision in the: Title VII claim? n Substantial weight 1983? n Preclusive effect Why were they different? n 1983 is silent - why? n Title VI specifies the standard How might you attack the preclusion under 1983?
Non-acquiescence n n n When a Federal agency ignores a court decision and re-litigates it in other cases Intracircuit v. Intercircuit n A real problem because the circuits are very different and plaintiffs can shop n Cannot relitigate the issue against the same parties n Can relitigate the issue against different parties Splits in the circuits are a major area of United
Consistent Decisionmaking: Stare Decisis n n UAW of America v. NLRB – 208 What did the NLRB do that was contested? What did the court require? What about if the agency is relying on notice and comment rules in the adjudication, like the ones promulgated in Heckler v. Campbell
Estoppel - Foote’s Dixie Dandy, Inc. v. Mc. Henry – 211 n n n State court, State tax question Can an agency be bound by mistakes of its employees? Why is this a problem?
When did the court say an agency might be bound? n n n Agent must know the facts Must intend his advice to be followed The party must not know the real law The party must rely on the advice Feds do not buy this n IRS could not give any advice if it applied n SC has said no, but not said Hell no! This is a big deal if there are criminal
Heckler v. Community Health Services - 214 n n n Medicare reimbursement case Much of the claims processing for Medicare and Medicaid is done by private companies such as EDS, called third party intermediaries TPI n CHS relies on the oral advice of the TPI as to whether using federal job training money for some its services would reduce its Medicare reimbursement n TPI says no, but the agency disagrees and asks for reimbursement Court says: do not rely on oral advice, and if you have a question, ask the agency
Penalties for guessing wrong? n n GE v. EPA, 215 n EPA promulgates a complicated rule on disposing of PCBs n GE thinks it is following the rule, but EPA disagrees and fines them $25, 000 n Court says it would uphold EPA's reading of the rule, but would require that the defendant be warned about the EPA interpretation before being fined Does this make sense? n What if the agency says the rule was clear? n How gets to decide?
Declaratory Orders n n APA 554 n (e) The agency, with like effect as in the case of other orders, and in its sound discretion, may issue a declaratory order to terminate a controversy or remove uncertainty. Agency summary judgment n Based on stipulated or uncontested facts