Much of the law which impacts individuals directly is derived from administrative codes created by federal, state, and local government agencies. Administrative law is the body of law that governs and refers to the procedures, rules, and regulations established by the various state and federal governmental agencies. While each agency’s power and authority varies depending on its size and whether it is on the state, federal, or local level, an agency’s rules and regulations can affect a wide range of matters, ranging from application and licensing guidelines and requirements, to air quality control regulations and consumer product safety.
When a federal or state legislature passes enabling legislation, governmental agencies often transform many of those laws into actionable rules which directly impact the people subject to the agency’s authority. When a person is harmed or mistreated by these rules, or the rules’ applications, however, the person is not without recourse. For example, Washington State provides procedures with which an individual may petition a state agency, and eventually the courts, for redress. These procedures are strictly enforced and generally provide a step-by-step pathway to address the administrative issue.
Before a court will hear an administrative law issue, however, the court almost always requires that the petitioner “exhaust” his or her administrative remedies. This means that the affected person must take every step possible in the administrative appeals process prior to petitioning the court for redress. Exceptions to this rule are generally limited to emergencies or futility. If an individual believes that he or she has been mistreated or issued a notice of violation or citation wrongfully, it is imperative that he or she follow the deadlines as set out in the citation documents. If you are confronted by an unjust, inaccurate, or incomplete citation from a government agency, you must act quickly, or at a minimum, act within the outlined appeals timeline.
Administrative Law Practice
At Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess, our attorneys offer a wealth of experience in handling issues relating to administrative agencies and law. Our administrative law attorneys have represented numerous clients in their administrative law matters and have appeared before various state, local, and federal agencies, as well as before state and federal courts. Whether you require legal assistance in obtaining a permit or license, or whether you need legal counsel to represent you before an administrative adjudication, our attorneys stand fully prepared to assist you. If you would like to speak with one of our Seattle & Tacoma administrative law attorneys, please give us a call.
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