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Chapter 2 - Parties and Representation

2.1 - Representation Generally

(a) Types of Representatives

The regulations specify who may represent parties before OCAHO. See 28 C.F.R. § 68.33. As a practical matter, four categories of people may present cases before OCAHO: unrepresented or pro se parties, attorneys, law students, and other individuals approved by the presiding ALJ.

(b) Entering an Appearance

     (1) Notice of Appearance - Except for government attorneys filing a complaint, each person representing a party before OCAHO must file a notice of appearance. The notice of appearance must include:

  • the name of the case or controversy;
  • the case number, if assigned; and
  • the party on whose behalf the appearance is made.

The notice of appearance must be signed by the representative and must be accompanied by a certification indicating that the notice was served on all parties of record.

      (2) Request for Hearing Filed with Immigration and Customs Enforcement - A request for hearing signed by a party or their representative and filed with Immigration and Customs Enforcement pursuant to INA § 274A(e)(3)(A) or 274C(d)(2)(A) and containing the same information listed above will be considered a notice of appearance for that party or representative on behalf of the respondent for whom the request for hearing was made. Therefore, a separate notice of appearance is not required to be filed with OCAHO. However, additional or different representatives (including other attorneys in the same firm or organization) seeking to represent the respondent must file a notice of appearance.

(c) Proof of Authority

Any individual acting in a representative capacity in an OCAHO proceeding may be required by the ALJ to show authority to act in such capacity.

(d) Withdrawal or Substitution of a Representative

An attorney or representative who seeks to withdraw from representing a party or to substitute a party’s representative must submit a written motion to the ALJ. The ALJ will enter an order either granting or denying the motion for withdrawal or substitution.