-- A --

Adjudicative Proceeding

A hearing generally conducted by a Health Law Judge.

Administrative Procedure Act (also known as APA)

The statute (Chapter 34.05 RCW) governing most administrative hearings in Washington.

Administrative Record

The official record of an adjudicative proceeding. This will usually consist of legal documents filed in the case (such as a statement of charges or notice of an action and a request for hearing), hearing exhibits, testimony given under oath, and arguments of the parties. In making a decision after a hearing, the Health Law Judge or other decision-maker (such as a Board/Commission panel) is permitted to consider only the admitted exhibits, witness testimony and arguments at hearing as well as the law applicable to the case.


A statement made under oath and notarized by a notary public.


A change to a law or contract or to a Statement of Charges or Answer to Statement of Charges.

Answer to Statement of Charges

An “answer” is a written response to the allegations contained in the Statement of Charges. To request or waive a hearing, the person receiving a Statement of Charges must submit an “answer.”


A request to change a decision or order. Usually an appeal will seek review of the decision by a different decision-maker. For example, a party may appeal the initial decision of the Health Law Judge to the Review Officer or the final decision of a Board/Commission


A person or entity who has applied to the Department of Health for a license or certificate of need.

-- B --


A written argument.

Brief Adjudicative Proceeding

An abbreviated and expedited appeal process.

-- C --


The heading of a legal document that contains the name of the agency, the names of the parties, the docket number, and the name of the document itself.


Start, beginning.


Postponing an event, conference, or hearing to a later date. Requests for continuance are granted if there is good cause.


Takes place when one party asks questions of the other party or the other party's witness after their direct testimony is finished.

-- D --


A written statement that the signer swears, under penalty of perjury, is true.


Loss of the right to participate in a hearing or challenge a decision. Default can occur when a party fails to file an Answer to Statement of Charges. Default can also occur when the party requesting a hearing fails to appear at a prehearing conference or hearing.

Direct Testimony

Statements made under oath by a party or the party's witness. After a party or witness testifies, the other party has the right to ask questions on cross-examination. After that, the Health Law Judge or panel members might ask if there is any “redirect,” meaning “Do you have more direct testimony in light of questions asked on cross-examination?”


Exchange of information such as documents or depositions prior to a hearing.


The decision-makers' freedom to decide an issue. Some issues are clearly decided by law, and the decision-maker is said to have very little or no discretion. On other issues, the decision-maker might be said to have wide discretion.

Docket Number

See Master Case Number.

-- E --


An exhibit or testimony submitted during a hearing to prove a fact or facts. The decision-maker considers evidence in the hearing record when making findings of fact.

Exclusion of Witnesses

Keeping witnesses out of the hearing room until it is their turn to testify.


A document or other thing presented by a party during a hearing to establish the facts.

Ex Parte Communication

Communication between a Health Law Judge or panel member and a party without the other party or parties being present. Ex parte communication is generally not allowed.

-- F --

Fair Hearing

The term used for a hearing involving the Women, Infants and Children Supplemental Food Program (the WIC Program). The term used for an expedited hearing involving Women, Infant and Children (WIC) benefits.

Fax, Filing by

See Filing.


Delivering papers to the Adjudicative Service Unit in person, by mail, or by fax.

Final Order

An order that is the decision maker's final decision in the case. A final order may be reconsidered upon written request and may be appealed to Superior Court. Board or Commission orders after hearing are final orders.

-- G --

Good Cause

A valid reason for a request. For example, good cause is the standard used to consider requests to continue cases or to extend the time for filing an answer.

-- H --

Health Law Judges

Health Law Judges are administrative law judges (who are also lawyers) who preside over all Department of Health cases. This means they make the legal decisions and run the hearings. The Health Law Judges decide all Department of Health cases – except those before a board or commission. In board or commission cases, the board or commission panel decides the case.


A hearing is a formal meeting before a decision-maker where issues of fact and law are tried. Each party has the opportunity to present their witnesses and exhibits and to question the witnesses about issues of fact. At the end of the hearing each party can present arguments to the decision-maker as to what should be the appropriate decision. Arguments must be based upon the evidence presented. Hearings are digitally recorded or a court reporter attends the hearing to record the proceeding. Generally, the hearing is a public proceeding.

-- I --

Initial Order

A preliminary order after a hearing by a Health Law Judge in that becomes final if not appealed. Initial orders can be appealed to the Department's Review Officer.


A third party who voluntarily enters into the legal action and gains the right to participate in it. The intervenor can enter into the legal action only by permission of the judge. Intervenors generally have a legal interest in the proceeding and would be affected by the decisions made in that legal action.

-- J --

-- K --

-- L --


A “license” (also known as a certificate, registration or credential) is the authorization required by law that allows a person to work in a specific health care field.

-- M --

Master Case Number

The number assigned to a case by the Adjudicative Clerk Office.


A motion is a party's oral or written request for the presiding officer to make a decision or direct an action favoring the party making the motion.

-- N --

-- O --

-- P --


A person named in a legal action. A party has the right to participate in the proceeding. A party is affected by the decisions made in the legal action. In a legal action such as a disciplinary proceeding involving health care practitioners, there are two parties: the Respondent and the Department/Program. The Respondent is the person (health care practitioner) eligible to request an adjudicative proceeding, because the Department/Program issued charges of unprofessional conduct against them.

Petition for Judicial Review

Document filed with a Superior Court within 30 days of service of the Final Order, requesting that the Final Order be reviewed.

Petition for Reconsideration

Document filed with the Adjudicative Clerk's Office within 10 days of service of the Final Order, requesting that the Final Order be reconsidered by the decision-maker. The request must state the specific grounds for reconsideration and the relief requested. The final decision maker in Secretary cases is the Review Judge.

Petition for Review

Document filed with the Adjudicative Service Unit within 20 days of an initial order in a Secretary case requesting review.

Prehearing Conference

A prehearing conference is a meeting of the parties in the presence of a presiding officer. During the prehearing conference, the presiding officer reviews matters in preparation for the hearing, including the following topics: Issues to be considered at the hearing

  • Facts which are admitted or not contested
  • Identification of exhibits that will be admitted at the hearing
  • Identification of expert and lay witnesses
  • Motions

The purpose of the prehearing conference is to prepare the parties for the hearing and to ensure that the hearing is completed on the scheduled hearing date.

Prehearing Statement

Document filed with the Adjudicative Service Unit prior to the Prehearing Conference which should include:
  • Matters that relate to amendments of the pleadings.
  • A written statement of facts.
  • A statement of the issues to be resolved at hearing.
  • A list of all witnesses to be examined at the hearing.
  • A statement of the relief being requested.
  • All documents or other exhibits to be admitted at the hearing.

Presiding Officer

One who presides over an adjudicative proceeding (Health Law Judge in a case before the Department of Health or a health profession board or commission).

Pro se

A self-represented person.

Protective Order

An order that states a person cannot share the confidential information received during the adjudicative process with other people.

-- Q --

-- R --


One who must respond to the Statement of Charges brought against them.

Review Officer

The judge who hears internal appeals and has the final say for the Department of Health.

-- S --

Statement of Charges

A Statement of Charges (also known as an “initiating document”) is a written document notifying a person that the department or board is starting disciplinary action against a person's license or application.

Stay of Proceeding

To temporarily place an adjudicative proceeding “on hold” to wait for the outcome of another entity's action (for example, another court).

-- T --

-- U --

-- V --

-- W --


One who testifies at a hearing.

-- X --

-- Y --

-- Z --