About the Departmental Cases Hearings Division

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, DCHD issued a blanket Order affecting all cases which has now been amended to remove the requirement of providing DCHD with a hard copy of a pleading filed by email. Please Click Here to see a copy of the Amended Order which applies until further notice.

In summary, the Amended Order states that DCHD will be issuing orders and decisions by email to the extent possible and invites each party to submit their email address to DCHD. It also sets forth the procedures and requirements for email filing and service. All persons practicing before DCHD are encouraged to file all documents by email in accordance with the Order.

While DCHD is checking the office voicemail periodically, we encourage communication by email to DCHD’s email address at dchd@oha.doi.gov. If your inquiry is about a case under the White Earth Reservation Land Settlement Act, please use dchdwelsa@oha.doi.gov.

The Departmental Cases Hearings Division serves as the Department's administrative trial court for cases involving lands and resources under the Department's jurisdiction. Through formal hearings conducted by administrative law judges under the Administrative Procedure Act, the Division decides grazing appeals, surface coal mining cases, civil penalty assessments under various wildlife and resource protection laws, certain cases involving the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDA), disputed issues of material fact with respect to conditions and prescriptions in hydropower licenses, and contests of mining claims, Alaska Native allotment applications, and other asserted interests in Federal land.

The Division also conducts hearings on other matters upon request from a bureau or office, an OHA appeals board, or the Director. Examples include adjudications pertaining to oil and gas leases, rights-of-way, and alleged trespasses on Federal lands.

The Division is headed by a Supervisory Administrative Law Judge and is located in OHA's Salt Lake City office. Most of its decisions may be appealed to the Interior Board of Land Appeals. Decisions in cases referred to the Division by the Interior Board of Indian Appeals are appealable to that Board, except that ISDA decisions involving the Indian Health Service are appealable to the Departmental Appeals Board within the Department of Health and Human Services.
Division decisions that are not administratively appealable include those determining issues of material fact with respect to conditions or prescriptions that the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, or Interior develop for inclusion in hydropower licenses under the Federal Power Act. Such determinations are final for the Departments involved.

The Division also probates estates under the White Earth Reservation Land Settlement Act of 1985 (WELSA) and conducts hearings on other matters upon request from a bureau or office, an OHA appeals board, or the Director.  Examples include adjudications pertaining to oil and gas leases, rights-of-way, and alleged trespasses on Federal lands.

Departmental Cases Hearings Division

Office of Hearings and Appeals
U.S. Department of the Interior
351 South West Temple, Suite 6.300 
Salt Lake City, Utah 84101 
801-524-5344 (voice) 
801-524-5539 (facsimile)
dchd@oha.doi.gov
dchdwelsa@oha.doi.gov (for WELSA cases)

Personnel

  • Vacant, Supervisory Administrative Law Judge
  • James H. Heffernan, Administrative Law Judge
  • Veronica I. Larvie, Administrative Law Judge
  • Christopher Damian Prandoni, Administrative Law Judge
  • Karl R. Johnson, Senior Attorney-Advisor
  • Kelly J. Latimer, Attorney-Advisor
  • Dawn Perry, Attorney-Advisor
  • Lucas Smart, Attorney-Advisor
  • Elizabeth Bowman, Paralegal Specialist
  • Rachel Nelligan, Legal Assistant
  • Julia Larkin, Legal Assistant

Resources

Procedural Regulations for Cases before the Departmental Cases Hearings Division

 

Was this page helpful?