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Administrative Hearings

DIA's Administrative Hearings Division provides independent administrative law judges to make decisions regarding disputes primarily between private citizens and government agencies. The department strives to fairly and impartially decide cases, consistent with the law and in an efficient and professional manner.

In-Person Hearings

The Wallace State Office Building has three dedicated hearing rooms for administrative law judges to conduct in-person hearings. All rooms provide tables for parties and their attorneys to participate in the proceeding, a desk for the administrative law judge, a chair, and movable desk for witnesses to testify. There is also limited seating at the back of the hearing rooms for other interested persons to observe proceedings when permissible.

A large flat-screen television and DVD player are available for presentation of video evidence or other presentations (e.g., PowerPoint). Attorneys or parties wishing to use this technology should contact DIA in advance, as the technology is shared between hearing rooms. If the technology is not available, parties attending in-person hearings should plan to bring their own laptop or tablet.

If you have further questions about the hearing rooms or need to request special accommodations, please contact us.

Telephone Hearings

The majority of administrative hearings are conducted by telephone conference. The hearing process itself remains the same regardless of whether it is via telephone or in person. Administrative law judges are committed to ensuring all parties receive a fair hearing in either format.

At the time and date scheduled for a hearing, each party must call the toll-free phone number listed on the hearing notice instructions.

PLEASE NOTE: The number to call is a toll-free number, beginning with 888, 855, 866, 877, and NOT the phone number (with a 515 area code) for the ALJ who may also be listed on the hearing notice.

Once connected to the phone system, if the hearing has not yet started, the teleconference system will ask if the caller is the organizer. If you are a participant and not a judge, you are not considered the organizer—do not press "2." All parties will be put on hold until the administrative law judge enters the conference call; please stay on the line until they arrive.

It is each party's responsibility to call in for the hearing—this includes anyone being represented, any attorneys, and any witnesses. If you do not call using the instructions on the Notice of Hearing, you will not be able to participate in the hearing. If you have technical difficulties connecting at the time of hearing, please call 515-281-6468. Do NOT call the administrative law judge directly.

PLEASE NOTE: The telephone conference system begins recording as soon as the conference call begins. Any conversations that occur once the recording has started may be public records, depending on the confidentiality level of the case.

The Administrative Hearings Division conducts proceedings for nearly all Iowa State agencies and some local government agencies. DIA is authorized by section 10A.801(5) of Iowa Code to conduct proceedings for any government entity on a contract basis.

Administrative proceedings are billed to government agencies on a quarterly basis via EIT transfer or check payable to the Department of Inspections and Appeals. Government entities interested in administrative hearing services should fill out a contact form. Unless other arrangements have been made, a case is formally transmitted to the Administrative Hearings Division by submitting a Transmittal Form and other relevant documents to the division in paper or electronic form.

Members of the public may need to have an administrative hearing if they have filed a decision appeal with a State agency and the agency determines the appeal is valid and merits a hearing. In order to start the appeal process, the party who wants a decision appealed must file an appeal with the agency in question following the specific agency’s appeal instructions. If the appeal is accepted for a hearing, DIA will issue a "Notice of Hearing" to all parties who will need to be involved (typically the appeal requestor, agency staff, etc.). This notice will indicate whether the hearing is in-person or via telephone and will contain instructions about how to proceed with the hearing on the specified date.

If you are a participant in a contested case proceeding, you are entitled to legal representation at your own expense. If you meet certain income criteria and eligibility guidelines, you may qualify for free legal assistance from Iowa Legal Aid. Visit their website to learn more.

If you’ve had a weapons permit suspended or revoked or have had your weapons permit application denied, you may appeal these decisions according to Section 724.21A and Chapter 481-11 of Iowa Code. You are not required to be represented by an attorney at your hearing, but we strongly suggest obtaining legal advice or representation.

In order to appeal a weapons permit decision, you must file an appeal with DIA’s Administrative Hearings Division within 30 days of receiving the decision from the Sheriff or Commissioner of Public Safety. This appeal should contain a written statement clearly stating your reasons for rebutting the denial, suspension, or revocation; a copy of the Sheriff’s or Commissioner’s written denial, suspension, or revocation; and the $10 filing fee for your appeal (checks should be made out to The Department of Inspections and Appeals). You may also include any additional supporting information you feel is relevant to your appeal. Please mail this appeal by first-class mail, courier service, or personal delivery to the following address:

Administrative Hearings Division
Wallace State Office Building, Third Floor
502 East Ninth Street
Des Moines, IA 50319

After your appeal is received, a Notice of Hearing will be issued to all necessary parties if the appeal is valid. Your hearing will take place within 45 days of DIA’s receival of your appeal request. If you decide to revoke your appeal request, you may file a written request to withdraw. Your hearing will follow the typical process for either telephone or in-person hearing (this will be specified on your Notice of Hearing).

If you lose your appeal, you may request a rehearing by filing an application for rehearing within 20 days of the administrative law judge’s final decision. You may also opt to appeal the administrative law judge’s final decision by filing a petition for judicial review under Section 17A.19 of Iowa Code within 30 days of the judge’s final decision.

To learn more about contested cases involve permits to carry weapons or acquire firearms, review Chapter 481—11 of Iowa Code.