Filing Procedures

The following filing procedures apply to proceedings before judges and hearing officials within the Office of Hearings and Appeals only. Parties should also consult the applicable provisions of the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). It is preferable that a party file electronically. However, a party may file a submission via U.S. mail or by hand-delivery.
OHA’s Web-based E-Filing Systems

OHA has permitted e-filing since 2012 utilizing its web-based e-filing system known as OES. OES utilizes standard web-based screens and prompts to enable you to submit documents in PDF format directly to OHA within minutes. When creating your PDF documents, you choose the tool, process and workflow with which you author your documents, convert them to standard PDF files and then submit them to OHA’s secure servers. For information on how E-filing works, please go here.

Format of Briefs and Exhibits

Briefs are generally limited to a maximum of 15 pages unless the case is exceptionally complex. The judge or hearing official has discretion as to whether to allow longer filings.

If filing electronically via the OES, parties do not have to follow up with a hard copy to OHA. Please consult OHA’s Filing Guide for specifics on how to file electronically or via other means.

All exhibits submitted by the United States Department of Education should be marked numerically after the symbol ED, such as ED-1, ED-2, etc., and those of Respondent should be marked numerically after the symbol R, such as R-1, R-2, etc. All pages of each exhibit should be consecutively numbered. Exhibits should be submitted on 8½ x 11 paper in booklet format, tabbed, and bound firmly along the left margin. The binding should obscure no part of the text of the exhibit. The brief should not be attached to the exhibit booklet. Three ring loose-leaf binders, binder clips, and rubber band or string bindings may not be used.

The parties should refer to the case docket number in all correspondence. All submissions relating to the proceeding shall be in the form of an original and one copy to our office, with simultaneous service of an additional copy upon all opposing parties. A party should include as exhibits any references to materials other than published statutes, regulations, and decisions. Consistent with the rules for citation contained in THE BLUEBOOK: A UNIFORM SYSTEM OF CITATION, cite all federal regulations to the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) by title, section, and year. Cite to the most recent edition of the C.F.R. only when appropriate.

A continuance of the schedule provided in the Order Governing Proceedings will be given only in cases where good cause is shown. Upon request, either party may file a reply brief.

Failure to comply with the procedures and instructions set forth herein, without demonstration of exceptional circumstances, shall result in rejection of the submission.

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