|What to Expect?|
What Happens at the Prehearing Conference?
Most cases have a prehearing conference (PHC) before the hearing. This is a brief phone call with the judge and the Agency Representative.
You must participate in the prehearing conference. Otherwise, your case may be dismissed.
A prehearing conference is not the hearing. A PHC is typically short and you will not need witnesses.
A hearing is when you get to present your case to the judge.
The judge will explain how the hearing works. The judge will also make sure that everyone understands what the hearing will be about. You will agree on a date and time for the hearing.
You will not tell the judge your side of the case and you do not need witnesses. That will happen at the hearing.
After the PHC, you will get a PHC order in the mail that confirms everything that was agreed on. It also provides information about preparing for the hearing.
If you miss your PHC, the judge will send out an Order of Dismissal. If you still want your hearing, you must send OAH a written explanation of why you missed your PHC.
You have a limited time to do this. Please look at your Order of Dismissal for instructions.
A time will be scheduled for you to explain to the judge why you missed your PHC. The judge will decide whether you had a good reason.
You can change the PHC date if you have a good reason. The judge will decide if the date or time may be changed.
You must call the Agency Representative as soon as possible if you need to change the date or time of your PHC. Their phone number is on the Notice of Prehearing Conference.
OAH can help you find the number for the Agency Representative. Call OAH at 360-407-2700 or 800-583-8271.
If your PHC date changes, OAH will send you another notice with the new date and time.