Administrative Law Judge Manual

This bench book is designed to advise judges as to proper conduct of a state hearing and how to address a variety of situations that arise in the hearing process. It is to be used as a training tool for all judges.

The policies set out in this bench book represent the official policies of the State Hearing Division (SHD) of the California Department of Social Services (CDSS). If a judge encounters a situation but believes the policy set out in the bench book should not be applied under the circumstances, that judge should consult the appropriate Presiding Judge.

Because it is awkward to identify persons as he/she, a judge or party will alternatively be referred to as either "he" or "she" throughout a section.

The SHD intends to update this bench book as necessary. The date of any additions or modifications will be listed on the bottom of the appropriate page.

Judges are encouraged to make suggestions for corrections or additions to current bench book subjects or ideas for new subjects by submitting written suggestions to the Quality Development and Training Bureau (QDTB).

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