The Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) is the City's central independent administrative law court. OATH has grown exponentially since it was established by Executive Order No. 32 in 1979. In 1988, the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings was made a Charter Agency with Section 1048 of the Charter providing that OATH "shall conduct adjudicatory hearings for all agencies of the city unless otherwise provided for by executive order, rule, law or pursuant to collective bargaining agreements." The Charter established OATH as the first central municipal administrative law court in the country to be separate from the agencies that file their cases for hearings or trials, making OATH a truly independent municipal administrative law court. Our mandate necessitates that we foster judicial professionalism, fairness, impartiality, equality and a commitment to the integrity of the judicial decision-making process.
As the City's administrative law court, OATH's function is to provide due process in cases that originate from the City's numerous enforcement agencies in a forum that is in fact and in appearance truly neutral and unbiased. For the 300,000 trials and hearings that OATH currently conducts each year, OATH takes great pride in providing not only fair and impartial - but also convenient and accessible proceedings - as we work to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to participate in the hearing process.
-Hon. Fidel F. Del Valle