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40. Administrative Law

Administrative Law

Administative law is the set of procedures developed by agencies (governmental bodies of the city, county, state or Federal government) involving rules, regulations, applications, licenses, permits, available information, hearings, appeals and decision-making.

Federal agency procedures are governed by the Administrative Procedure Act, and many states have adopted similar protocols either by law or regulation. It is important to consider two vital factors in dealing with administrative agencies: 1) the rules and regulations are often special for each agency and are not usually found in the statutes but in those regulations; 2) a member of the public must "exhaust his/her administrative remedies" (take every step, including appeals) with the agency and its system before he/she can challenge the administrative ruling with a lawsuit in court. There are exceptions (such as emergency or obvious futility) to exhausting one's remedies, but those are rare. Administrative law can be a bureaucratic jungle, and the way lawyers earn their money is by knowing the path to hack through on behalf of their clients.

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