Decisions Made in USDA Adjudicatory Proceedings


The Office of the Administrative Law Judges (“OALJ”) includes Judges who conduct rulemaking and adjudicatory hearings throughout the United States in proceedings subject to the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”), 5 U.S.C. § 551 et seq. There are approximately 40 statutes administered by agencies within the Department of Agriculture that require APA hearings. The Judges issue initial decisions and orders in adjudicatory proceedings which become final decisions of the Secretary unless appealed to the Secretary’s Judicial Officer by a party to the proceedings. Final consent orders are issued by the Judges following hearings or upon waiver of hearing. The Judges also decide appeals of debarments and suspensions as required by regulations implementing a government-wide system for nonprocurement debarments and suspensions (7 C.F.R. § 3017.100-.515 (1993))

The Office of the Judicial Officer was established pursuant to the Act of April 4, 1940 (7 U.S.C. §§ 450c-450g). The Judicial Officer is delegated authority by the Secretary of Agriculture to act as final deciding officer in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) adjudicatory proceedings subject to 5 U.S.C. §§ 556 and 557 and other proceedings listed in 7 C.F.R. § 2.35. The Judicial Officer’s decisions are not reviewable within USDA, but any litigant in a proceeding, other than USDA, may seek judicial review of the Judicial Officer’s decision.

Rulings made by both the OALJ and the Judicial Officer are available for download.  To find a listing of available OALJ rulings, click here. To find a listing of available JO decisions, click here.

Further, Agriculture Decisions is the official combined publication of all decisions and orders issued in USDA adjudicatory proceedings (those issued by the USDA Office of Administrative Law Judges as well as Judicial Officers).  Recent versions of this publication, beginning in January of 2015, are available below.  Older versions of this publication are available on the USDA-OALJ website, here.


Agricultural Decisions Available Soon