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August 02, 2010

Federal Court in Michigan holds plaintiff must exhaust local administrative review despite belief that hearing officer was selected by city attorney

Federal Court in Michigan holds plaintiff must exhaust local administrative review despite belief that hearing officer was selected by city attorney
Source: Administrative Law Professor Blog. Reproduced with permission. Copyright © 2010, All rights reserved http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/adminlaw/

Just because you think an administrative appeal would be useless doesn't mean that the courts will think it is useless. Dean Patty Salkin (Albany Law School) on her Law of the Land blog reports on a Federal District Court case that suggests one must be very, very careful before deciding that available administrative remedies would be useless and charging into the courts.

Dean Salkin’s report is posted on the Internet at: http://lawoftheland.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/federal-dist-court-in-michigan-holds-plaintiff-must-exhaust-local-administrative-review-despite-belief-that-hearing-officer-was-selected-by-city-attorney/

The general rule requires those objecting to administrative action to exhaust their administrative remedies before asking for judicial review.

There is an exception if further administrative steps would be futile and irreparable harm will result from the delay (as with a preliminary injunction).

Fear of bias, however well founded, does not mean that the agency will no-way do the right thing. It could have an attack of logic, or common sense, or honesty, or other insanity. Most agency decision makers, no matter how political, try to follow the rules. Even when the appellant is a whining publicity hound who contributed to the other party.

Edward M. “Ted” McClure

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