Hearing & Review Judges
The information explaining how to review or appeal a DEL decision is broken into four sections for easier navigation. Below are the four sections and where you are located now:
- What may happen before formal action is taken? Before taking a formal action, the department can work to address concerns. Read More >
- Appealing a DEL action There are laws in place to protect the right to appeal certain DEL decisions to a hearing judge. Read More >
- Appeal rights after a hearing After a hearing judge hands down an initial decision, any party may request review by the DEL review judge. Read More >
- Hearing and DEL Review Judges Who are the hearing judges and DEL review judge, and what is their relationship with the Department?
Who are the hearing judges and DEL review judge, and what is their relationship with the Department?
The Administrative Procedure Act gives DEL several options for conducting hearings and reviews. The DEL Director may preside at hearings or may appoint a staff person as a hearing officer. The Director may also appoint hearing or review judges, or use judges from the state Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH).
DEL has chosen to use OAH to provide hearing judge services. The department does not supervise the OAH judges or direct how they make decisions. The DEL review judge is appointed by the DEL Director to give an impartial review of hearing judge decisions when a review is requested.
To protect the hearing and review judges from improper influence, the DEL Director, managers, licensing and subsidy program staff are prevented by law (RCW 34.05.455) from talking to the judges about cases they are hearing or reviewing.
If any party in a case believes the hearing judge or DEL review judge is biased or has a conflict of interest, they can petition to get a replacement judge. The department cannot fire or take any other action against the DEL review judge when his decisions go against the department.
DEL Review Judge Gail G. Maurer was appointed in July 2008. Judge Maurer is an attorney with more than 30 years of experience as an administrative law judge, and he has experience with child care cases. The department may appoint other review judges when Judge Maurer can’t review a particular initial decision.