Ballotpedia study shows that no states require administrative agencies to meet higher burdens of proof in proportion to the size of monetary penalties they seek to impose

A Ballotpedia survey of all 50 state constitutions and administrative procedure acts (APAs) revealed that no state constitutions or APAs require administrative agencies to meet higher burdens of proof in proportion to the size of monetary penalties they seek to impose following adjudication.

Agency adjudication is a quasi-judicial process that takes place in the executive branch of the state government instead of in the judicial branch. Often, the procedural protections associated with adjudication are different from those found in a traditional courtroom setting.

Adjudication proceedings include agency determinations outside of the rulemaking process that aim to resolve disputes between either agencies and private parties or between two private parties. The adjudication process results in the issuance of an adjudicative order, which serves to settle the dispute and, in some cases, may set agency policy.

States often require state agencies to base their adjudication decisions on substantial evidence. That requirement led Ballotpedia to wonder whether state agencies had higher evidentiary burdens when they sought to impose higher penalties and fines. The survey showed that no state required administrative agencies to meet higher burdens of proof in proportion to the size of monetary penalties they seek to impose.

To learn more about Ballotpedia’s survey related to procedural rights, see here:

Procedural rights: States that require agencies to meet higher burdens of proof in proportion to the size of monetary penalties they seek to impose

Want to go further? Learn more about the five pillars of the administrative state here: Administrative state

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About the author

Jace Lington

Jace Lington is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

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