What is the role of the Administrative Law Judge serving as the presiding officer?
The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) assigned as a presiding officer in a contested
case is a neutral decision maker who must make a proposed decision after hearing all of the
evidence presented by the parties. You should not call the presiding officer for legal advice
or to discuss the case. The ALJ is prohibited from communicating with any person or any
party about the factual or legal issues in your case, unless all parties are first provided notice
and an opportunity to participate and respond. These are referred to as “ex parte
communications” and are not allowed. For this reason, anyone who sends written
information to the ALJ concerning the case must also provide notice by sending the same
information to the opposing party or parties. Iowa Code § 17A.17.