You are here

Fair Hearings

The Office of Administrative Courts (OAC) consists of a central panel of administrative law judges (ALJs) who hear cases involving Colorado state governmental agencies, including the county departments of human/social services; these cases are called administrative fair hearings. A good summary of the role of the OAC can be found on their web site at:

For pre- and post-adoptive families, an administrative fair hearing is a process for settling differences between the families and the county departments of human/social services. Parents who think that a particular decision is unfair are entitled to request a fair hearing to resolve the dispute. All requests for fair hearings should be mailed to:

Office of Administrative Courts
633 17th Street, Suite 1300
Denver, CO 80202

Your letter must include a statement similar to the following:

“I/we request an administrative fair hearing” or, “I/we request an appeal”; it should also include your contact information, your signature and the date. It can include a brief statement summarizing the reason for the appeal (e.g., “We are in disagreement regarding the adoption subsidy amount offered by __ County”); however, this should be very general, and not limit the topics that may be discussed during the hearing. Always create a paper trial by making a copy of the letter for your files, and verify that OAC has received your letter. You will be contacted by OAC with the date and time of your hearing; the hearing is generally set about 6-8 weeks after your letter has been received. If you have any questions regarding the status of your hearing, contact OAC at 303.866.2000.

You can represent yourself at the hearing, or have an advocate or lawyer represent you. COCAF has participated in fair hearings as advocates at the request of pre- and post-adoptive families; please contact us if you have questions regarding this. Additionally, the OAC web site includes a helpful summary of general guidelines on how to represent yourself in these proceedings, if you choose to do so, entitled The Non- Lawyers' Guide to Representing Yourself.