Frequently Asked Questions About the Hearing and Appeal Process
If you cannot attend on the date and time listed on the Notice of Hearing, you must immediately call the Office of Appeals at the telephone number on the Notice of Hearing to request a postponement. The hearing may be postponed if the parties agree, or on a showing of good cause. Factors that will be taken into account when considering whether to grant or deny a postponement request are:
• whether the request is reasonable,
• whether the circumstance causing the request is beyond the control of the requesting party,
• whether failure to grant the postponement would cause undue hardship to the requesting party,
• the potential inconvenience to other parties and witnesses,
• the need to decide cases in a timely manner,
• the time and date that the postponement request was made, and
• the number and reason for any prior postponement requests made by either party.
You must call in for a telephone hearing at least 15minutes before the scheduled time of the hearing (or arrive for an in-person hearing). If you filed the appeal and you have not phoned in or are not ready to proceed when the case is called, the case may be decided without you. If the appeal was filed by another party, the Administrative Law Judge may begin the hearing without you. If you call in or arrive before the hearing is over, you may be allowed to join the hearing in progress. The Administrative Law Judge will summarize what happened before you joined the proceedings.
If you are the party who filed the appeal and do not attend, the Administrative Law Judge will decide the matter without you. If you are not the party who appealed and you do not attend, the hearing will proceed without you and you may be required to repay to the Department any benefits you have received.
If you wish to continue with the appeal process, you must file a Request to Reopen within 30 calendar days of the mailing date or electronic transmission date of the Administrative Law Judge’s decision or disposition. Your written request, signed by you or your authorized representative, must include your name and Social Security number. Attach a copy of the determination or decision you are appealing if possible (unless you are filing by Internet). The request may be:
- Faxed to the number shown on the determination, or
- Mailed to the address printed on the decision or disposition, or
- Personally delivered to any Employment Service Office or
- Filed online or
- Hand-delivered to the Office of Appeals at the address shown on the decision or disposition.
This request cannot be made by telephone.
If you file an appeal and would like someone to represent you, the following groups may be able to assist you:
- ASU Law, Civil Litigation Clinic (Maricopa County residents only) 602-496-1717 or Web site for counties shown below (Only January-March; June-July; and September-November);
- Community Legal Services (Maricopa County residents) 602-258-3434;
- Community Legal Services (Yuma County residents) (928) 782-7511;
- Community Legal Services (Mohave/La Paz County residents) (928) 681-1177;
- Community Legal Services (Yavapai County residents) (928) 445-9240;
- DNA-People’s Legal Services (Coconino County residents) (928) 774-0653;
- Southern Arizona Legal Aid (Southern Arizona Counties) (520) 623-9465
Don’t delay! If you want to see if one of these organizations can represent you, you should contact them as soon as possible.
Your witnesses should be able to testify as to what they actually observed, not what they heard happened. If you plan to have witnesses testify, ask them to be available at a telephone (or come with you to an in person hearing). If a needed witness is not willing to participate in the hearing you may request a subpoena (written order) be issued requiring that person to participate. This request must be made in writing at least 5 days before the hearing date. A Docket Officer will gladly explain the process for subpoena requests if you call the telephone number at the top of your Notice of Hearing.
Usually all of the witnesses and all of the parties will be on a telephone conference call throughout the hearing (in the same room for an in-person hearing). If you believe that the testimony of an opposing witness may be influenced by the testimony of another witness, you may request that all witnesses be excluded from the hearing when not testifying. You must make that request before any witness testifies.
Do not interrupt the witness, even if you think the testimony is incorrect. Make notes of statements you disagree with for later use during your questioning of the witness and during your testimony.
While you do have the right to object to testimony, you only should do that if the testimony is not relevant to the issue(s) of the hearing. Any testimony you disagree with may be addressed when you question that witness or when you testify. You may ask the Administrative Law Judge to assist you in asking questions. It may be that your question can be understood in a different way than you intended. On the other hand, the witness may not remember things the way you do. That is why it is better to rely on your own testimony than to try to get witnesses to admit something or change their testimony.
You may submit any evidence that will help further your case. This might include letters, medical statements, pay vouchers, employment contracts, memoranda, employee handbooks, personnel policies, work rules, written warnings, pay records, etc. If you want the Administrative Law Judge to consider documents not included in your packet, you must provide a legible copy of them to the Office of Appeals immediately by fax, U.S.Mail or hand-deliver to the Office of Appeals. You also must provide a copy to the other party or the Administrative Law Judge may exclude that evidence. If your evidence is not paper, call the number at the top of the Notice of Hearing to make arrangements to have it considered at the hearing.
If someone else has evidence you want to present, you can make a written request for a subpoena duces tecum. This is a subpoena to require someone to bring something to the hearing. As with a subpoena for a witness, you must make a written request at least five calendar days before the hearing. The request must describe the item, identify the owner or custodian, list that person's address, and describe why the Administrative Law Judge must consider that item in order to make a proper decision. Contact the Docket Officer for assistance.
After the hearing, the Administrative Law Judge will write a decision, which will state the facts, the law, and the reasons for the decision. It will be mailed to you, or, if you have consented to receiving electronic service of the decision or disposition, it will be emailed to you. It also will explain further appeal rights for the party who loses.
If you win your appeal and have continued to file your weekly benefit claims, you could be paid for those weeks if you met all of the eligibility requirements during the week(s) claimed. If you lose your appeal, you may be responsible for the overpayment of any monies paid to you during the time in which benefits have been denied in the Administrative Law Judge's ruling. You have the right to appeal the Administrative Law Judge’s Decision to the Appeals Board by filing a written petition for review. But, there is a time limit on that right. You must appeal within 30 calendar days of the date the Administrative Law Judge’s decision is mailed or electronically transmitted. An explanation of further appeal rights is attached to every decision for each level of the process.
If the decision is in your favor, and you've continued to file weekly claims for unemployment insurance (if you remain unemployed during the appeal process), you will be paid only for the weeks for which you filed a weekly claim and were otherwise eligible. If you lose the appeal, you may be required to repay to the Department any benefits you have received.