quasi-judicial


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Related to quasi-judicial: Quasi-Legislative

Quasi-Judicial

The action taken and discretion exercised by public administrative agencies or bodies that are obliged to investigate or ascertain facts and draw conclusions from them as the foundation for official actions.

As a general rule, only courts of law have the authority to decide controversies that affect individual rights. One major exception to this general rule is the power of an Administrative Agency to make decisions concerning the rights of parties. An administrative agency is a body of government created by a legislature and charged with supervision and regulation of a particular area of governmental concern. Part of the regulatory power given to an administrative agency is the power of adjudication. Under the Administrative Procedure Act (60 Stat. 237 [5 U.S.C.A. § 551 et seq.]), an agency engages in adjudication when it follows a process for the formulation of an order. With the exception of rule making, any decision by an agency that has a legal effect is a quasi-judicial action.

Complaints against administrative agencies often arise when an agent denies benefits or places restrictions on an individual. For example, a homeowner who seeks to build another structure on her property must obtain approval from a number of administrative agencies. If the local conservation agency refuses to issue a permit for the building of a new structure, the homeowner may appeal this decision in a hearing before the agency's administrative board. The board may hear testimony and examine evidence at the hearing, and then it will decide whether to issue the permit or uphold the agency's refusal.

Quasi-judicial activity is limited to the issues that concern the particular administrative agency. For example, the social security administration may resolve disputes on issues concerning Social Security contributions and benefits, but it may not decide any other issues, even those related to Social Security benefits such as tax, estate, and probate questions.

An administrative agency must hold a formal hearing only when required by statute. A formal hearing is a complete hearing with the presentation of testimony, evidence, and arguments. An informal hearing usually is a simple meeting and discussion between an agent of the agency and the individual affected by the agency's actions. As a general rule, the scope of a hearing depends on the importance of the right at issue. If the Internal Revenue Service attempts to take away a person's homestead, for example, a full hearing would be required. By contrast, when an agent of the Department of Safety issues a small fine for illegal parking, the agency needs to provide only a brief, one-to-one meeting with a hearing officer regarding the issuance of the fine.

Quasi-judicial action by an administrative agency may be appealed to a court of law. With a few exceptions, a plaintiff generally must exhaust all remedies available through an agency before appealing the agency's decision in a case. One notable exception is that a person may appeal directly to a court of law and bypass the quasi-judicial activity of an administrative agency if the agency's remedies would be inadequate. For instance, if the creditors of a failed bank are suing the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation, they need not go through the agency's hearings before filing suit in a court of law because the agency has adverse interests to the creditors (Coit Indep. Joint Venture v. FSLIC, 489 U.S. 561, 109 S. Ct. 1361, 103 L. Ed. 2d 602 [1989]).

Further readings

Mashaw, Jerry L., Richard A. Merrill, and Peter M. Shane. 1992. Administrative Law: The American Public Law System; Cases and Materials. 3d ed. St. Paul, Minn.: West.

Cross-references

Administrative Law and Procedure; Bureaucracy; Public Administrative Bodies; Regulation.

quasi-judicial

adj., adv. referring to the actions of an agency, board, or other government entity in which there are hearings, orders, judgments or other activities similar to those conducted by courts. Example: a public utilities hearing on setting telephone company rates is quasi-judicial. (See: judicial, quasi)

quasi-judicial

proceedings that seem judicial but that are conducted by a person other than a judge - or at least not in his or her judicial capacity.
References in periodicals archive ?
Where Bass substituted exhaustion of remedies for quasi-judicial decisionmaking, focusing on the outcome and ignoring the quality of the process, Moreland used exhaustion of remedies as proof of a quasi-judicial determination.
The HLURB is the government's planning, regulatory, and quasi-judicial arm for land use development, the nature of cases appealed therefrom are disputes involving private rights, he explained.
5) In contrast, a local government decision that applies an existing legislative policy to an individual case is classified as a quasi-judicial decision.
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The federal district court held that a municipal court clerk was entitled to absolute quasi-judicial immunity from liability for her handling of the entry dismissing all charges against the suspect.
We see no reason why city agencies that are called upon to make quasi-judicial decisions, as is the case in this instance, shouldn't follow similar rules.
The quasi-judicial authority was a welcome development as it 'will add more teeth to our mandate to enforce the law and find solutions to criminal incidents,' Bulalacao said in a statement on Saturday.
The Senate chairman remarked that while the Supreme Court had demonstrated restraint in the matter of Zulfiqar Bhutto vs Federation of Pakistan and refrained from 'entering into the controversy', other courts and judicial and quasi-judicial tribunals under the Constitution, or any other law, must exhibit the same example.
The Tribunal is an independent quasi-judicial body that reports to Parliament through the Minister of Finance.
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Ms Jahangir said that the PEC was a 'rumour committee' which had taken quasi-judicial action of deciding the fate of the judges against which there was no remedy.
Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 Since the ERC acts as a collegial body, the presence of at least three members of the commission is needed to constitute a quorum to enable the ERC to adopt any ruling, order, resolution, decision or other acts of the Commission in the exercise of its quasi-judicial and quasi-legislative functions.

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