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Mn/DOT Contested Cases

 

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Contested cases and transportation regulation proceedings

Minnesota law allows an aggrieved person the right to request a contested case hearing in certain situations.

 

This right is often triggered when a person’s substantive rights are affected by a Mn/DOT decision (e.g., prevailing wage determination or a notice to remove a billboard). It may also arise if prior to a Mn/DOT decision, two or more parties do not agree on the same outcome in a transportation related matter (e.g., rail clearance variance, establishment of a new grade crossing). The above cases include the former Transportation Regulation Proceedings Board’s decision making authority that the legislature transferred to the commissioner of transportation in 1996.

 

The commissioner exercises the authority to make the final decisions on some of the above matters by using a contested case hearing process at the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) and hearing oral argument in appropriate cases.

 

Under the supervision of the Chief Counsel, the program administrator for contested cases processes and coordinates the contested case hearings. An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) at the OAH conducts the contested cases pursuant to Minn. Stat. Chap. 14. The commissioner (or the deputy commissioner) makes the final agency decision based on an ALJ’s recommendation after a hearing. The commissioner may adopt, modify or reject an ALJ’s recommendation. When the commissioner modifies or rejects an ALJ’s recommendation, the commissioner must give written reasons for doing so.

 

For detailed information about the contested case hearings, please visit the website of the Office of Administrative Hearings.

 

In addition to contested cases, certain state statutes or the federal law requires the commissioner or delegate(s) to reconsider or reexamine a decision made by a Mn/DOT office and issue the final agency decision (e.g., reconsideration of the decisions of the Office of Civil Rights on the apparent low bidder’s good faith efforts to recruit disadvantaged business enterprises). These hearings are also handled by the Office of Chief Counsel.

 

For more information about contested cases or other hearings, contact: