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Chapter 1 - Scope and Definitions

1.2 - Definitions

For purposes of this Practice Manual, certain relevant terms are defined as follows:

(a) Certification

Certification means a formal assertion in writing of specified fact(s), signed by the person making the certification and thereby attesting to the truth of the content of the writing.

(b) Certify

Certify means the act of executing a certification.

(c) Chief Administrative Hearing Officer

The CAHO is the official who, pursuant to the authority delegated by the director of EOIR:

  • exercises administrative supervision over the Chief ALJ, the ALJs, and other staff assigned to OCAHO;
  • manages and directs hearings and duties within the jurisdiction of OCAHO; and
  • exercises discretionary authority to review the decisions and orders of the ALJs in cases arising under INA §§ 274A and 274C.

(d) Chief Administrative Law Judge

The Chief Administrative Law Judge is an ALJ who, in addition to performing the general duties of an ALJ, serves as the immediate supervisor of all other OCAHO ALJs. Subject to the supervision of the director of EOIR and the CAHO, the Chief ALJ is responsible for the supervision, direction, and scheduling of the ALJs in the conduct of the hearings and duties assigned to them.

(e) Complainant

Complainant means:

  • in cases arising under INA §§ 274A and 274C, DHS, Immigration and Customs Enforcement;
  • in cases arising under INA § 274B:
    • the Special Counsel in the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice;
    • the person or entity who has filed a charge with the Special Counsel that later forms the basis of an OCAHO complaint; or
    • in private actions, an individual or private organization who filed an OCAHO complaint.

(f) Complaint

Complaint means the formal document initiating an adjudicatory proceeding before OCAHO.

(g) Decision

Decision means any findings of fact or conclusions of law by an ALJ or the CAHO.

(h) Entry

Entry means the date the ALJ, CAHO, or Attorney General signs the order.

(i) Final Order

Final order means an order by the ALJ, CAHO, or Attorney General that disposes of a particular proceeding or a distinct portion of a proceeding, thereby concluding the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice over that proceeding or portion thereof.

(j) Hearing

Hearing means a live proceeding before an ALJ that involves the submission of evidence and sworn testimony, as well as arguments on behalf of the parties, to aid in the disposition of the matter before OCAHO.

(k) Interlocutory Order

Interlocutory order means an order that decides some point or matter but is not a final order or a final decision resolving the whole controversy. An interlocutory order decides some intervening issue(s) or matter pertaining to the proceeding and requires further steps to be taken in order for the ALJ to adjudicate the case fully.

(l) Motion

Motion means an oral or written request made by a person or party for some action to be taken by an ALJ or the CAHO.

(m) Order

Order means a determination or mandate by an ALJ, the CAHO, or the Attorney General that resolves some point or directs some action in the proceeding.

(n) Ordinary Mail

Ordinary mail means the mail service provided by the United States Postal Service using only standard postage fees. Ordinary mail does not include special systems, electronic transfers, or other means that have the effect of providing expedited service.

(o) Party

Party means all persons or entities named or admitted as a complainant, respondent, or intervenor in a proceeding. The definition also includes any person who filed a charge with the Special Counsel that resulted in a filing of a complaint with OCAHO concerning an unfair immigration-related employment practice.

(p) Pleading

Pleading means any of the following documents submitted to the CAHO, the ALJ, or the Chief ALJ: the complaint; the answer; supplements or amendments to the complaint or answer; motions; and any replies that may be permitted to any answer, motion, supplement, or amendment.

(q) Respondent

Respondent means a party to an adjudicatory proceeding, other than a complainant, against whom findings may be made or who may be required to provide relief or take remedial action.

(r) Special Counsel

Special Counsel means the Special Counsel for Unfair Immigration-Related Employment Practices appointed by the President under INA § 274B. In the case of a vacancy in the position, the Special Counsel means the designated officer or employee acting as Special Counsel during such vacancy.