|What to Expect?|
What Happens at the Hearing
Exhibits are documents you want the judge to read before making a decision.
It is important to give all the exhibits to the judge and all parties on the case before the hearing. If you do not, your exhibits might not be considered. The judge will discuss this during the Prehearing Conference.
At the hearing, each party may object to the exhibits. An example is that the exhibits do not relate to the case. You cannot object to an exhibit just because you disagree with what it says. You can tell the judge why you disagree when it is your turn to give testimony. The judge decides whether exhibits will be considered.
Testimony is a statement given under oath. An oath means that the speaker promises to tell the truth. This is the part of the hearing when each person gets to explain their side of the case. The judge may stop or limit testimony if it is unnecessary.
When a person is done giving their testimony, the other party may ask them questions. This is called cross-examination. You may only ask questions. You may not comment on their testimony or make statements. If you disagree with what the person said, you may ask the judge to let you testify again.
You are allowed to have witnesses. A witness is someone who will give testimony to support your case. You need to make sure they are available at the time of the hearing. The agency may also have witnesses.
At the end of the hearing, the parties may give closing statements. A closing statement is your chance to summarize the facts and ask the judge to decide in your favor. This is not the time to give additional testimony.
In most cases, the judge will not look at any new exhibits or testimony after the hearing ends.
If you miss your hearing, 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 hearing.
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 hearing. The judge will decide whether you had a good reason.