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Judical Review of Adverse Agency Action
If you or your business has been aggrieved by an agency’s final decision you may seek redress in the circuit court where the agency is situated.
Article 6, section 13 of the Michigan Constitution gives Michigan’s circuit court appellate jurisdiction and supervisory and general control over “inferior tribunals,” including administrative agencies like the DHS.
Under Michigan’s Administrative Procures Act (“APA”), you must seek review of a final agency decision in a contested case within 60 days after the date the notice of the final decision is mailed or within 60 days after the notice of the decision on a timely motion for rehearing before the agency is delivered or mailed. MCL 24.304.
This will entitle you to file a brief setting forth the Agency’s errors and a hearing before a judge where you can argue your case.
Among the reason that a court may overturn an agency’s decision are:
• The decision is not supported by competent, material, and substantial evidence on the whole record; and/or
• The decision contains a substantial and material error of law.
However, before seeking judicial review of administrative action, you must normally exhaust the review procedures available within the administrative agency. MCL 24.301. This is commonly known as the exhaustion doctrine.
Failure to follow the exhaustion doctrine before seeking redress in the circuit court may be excused where . . .
(1) a controlling constitutional issue is raised;
(2) the agency’s jurisdiction to consider the subject matter is challenged;
(3) it is obvious that exhaustion would be in vain or useless; or,
(4) review of the agency’s final decision would not provide an adequate remedy and would run counter to the policies underlying the exhaustion doctrine.
A petition for court review must contain a concise statement of
(1) the nature of the proceedings before the agency, the authority under which the proceedings were conducted, and the statutory authority for review;
(2) the factual basis for venue;
(3) the grounds for relief, with a separate paragraph for each separate ground alleged; and,
(4) the relief sought. A copy of the agency decision must be attached, or the petitioner must explain why it is not attached. MCR 7.105(C).
The petition for review must be filed in the circuit court for Ingham County or in the county where you reside or where your principal place of business in Michigan is located. MCL 24.303.
If you or your business has been aggrieved by an agency’s final decision. We can help. Call us to discuss your case.
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