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New Jersey Administrative Law: NJ Office of Administrative Law

Guide to administrative law research for New Jersey

Overview

The New Jersey Office of Administrative Law (OAL) is the centralized authority for administrative hearings in the state.  OAL hears "contested cases" from state agency decisions.  Contested cases are defined in the New Jersey Statutes as:

...a proceeding, including any licensing proceeding, in which the legal rights, duties, obligations, privileges, benefits or other legal relations of specific parties are required by constitutional right or by statute to be determined by an agency by decisions, determinations, or orders, addressed to them or disposing of their interests, after opportunity for an agency hearing, but shall not include any proceeding in the Division of Taxation, Department of the Treasury, which is reviewable de novo by the Tax Court.  N.J. Stat. Ann. § 52:14B-2 (2009 & Supp. 2016).

Most OAL decisions are forwarded to the relevant agency with jurisdiction.  The agency can accept, alter or reject the decision.

OAL does make some final decisions itself and these are posted at its website.  These decisions involve special education (EDS);  the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HEA); New Jersey  DEP Spill Compensation Fund Arbitration (ESR/SF ); and the Child and Adult Food Care Program (AGR-FN). 

Rutgers Law hosts a database of OAL and other departments and commissions from October 1997.  Rutgers’ New Jersey Digital Library has opinions from 1979 - 1991.

Both Lexis Advance and Westlaw have their own databases of OAL decisions and other select agencies.