The Office of Fair Hearings (OFH) is the administrative tribunal tasked to hear contested cases, and to issue decisions and orders from administrative actions taken by the Montana Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED). CSED hearings are conducted by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Basic information about the hearing process is outlined below.
A Hearing is Requested
- Each CSED action begins with an administrative notice, each notice will have an accompanying hearing request. You are not required to use the hearing request form but all hearing requests must be made in writing. The request must include: your name, case number, mailing address, telephone number where you can be reached for the hearing and a reason for requesting the hearing. If you have an attorney please also provide their address and phone number.
- Your request must be received by the Office of Fair Hearings by the time stated in the administrative notice.
A Hearing is Granted
- If your hearing request is granted, you will receive a "Notice of Hearing" advising you of the date and time the hearing will be held. If the hearing is scheduled for a time when you cannot attend, you may request that the hearing be held at another time or date by filing a written request with the OFH prior to the hearing date.
A Hearing is Held
- The administrative hearing will be conducted by a telephone conference call; an Administrative Law Judge will call you at the telephone number you provide for the hearing. If you do not have access to a telephone, but wish to take advantage of the telephone hearing service, advise the OFH. The CSED will make a telephone available to you at a convenient location at the time of the hearing. Please advise the OFH if you are unable to use a telephone due to deafness or other disability. Please advise the OFH if you do not speak English fluently.
- The ALJ will decide your case based solely on the law, testimony and exhibits provided at the hearing; after the record is closed, you will not be permitted to submit additional information, without the ALJ's express permission. Therefore, it is important that you are prepared to present everything at the time of the hearing.
After the Hearing
- The ALJ will prepare a written decision and order, a copy of which will be sent to you. If you are unhappy with the ALJ’s decision, you may file a Petition for Judicial Review in District Court
The Office of Fair Hearings
PO Box 202922
Helena, MT 59620
Phone: (406) 444-9370
Fax: (406) 444-6565