Ballotpedia study shows that every state allows administrative agencies to impose monetary penalties without a court order

A Ballotpedia survey of all 50 states showed that no state constitutions or Administrative Procedure Acts (APAs), as of May 2020, require administrative agencies to get a court order before imposing monetary penalties as a result of adjudication proceedings. Those state constitutions and APAs let agencies impose penalties without involving the judicial branch of the state government.

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.

Understanding limits on agencies’ ability to impose monetary penalties provides insight into procedural rights at the state level. Procedural rights is one of the five pillars key to understanding the main areas of debate about the nature and scope of the administrative state.

To learn more about Ballotpedia’s survey related to procedural rights, see here: Procedural rights: States that allow agencies to impose monetary penalties without a court order

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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