I-2-0-80.Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) File

Last Update: 9/28/05 (Transmittal I-2-66)

A. ALJ File — General

The ALJ file is an unofficial record of a case. It is prepared and maintained by the hearing office (HO) staff for the ALJ's use, primarily after the claim file is released from the HO to another component. For example, the ALJ file may be useful to an ALJ when evaluating a fee petition.

B. Preparing a Paper ALJ File

Use a standard size file, type the claimant's name and Social Security number on a gummed label, and affix the label to the index tab on the file. In electronic cases, eView contains a private section that functions as an electronic version of the ALJ file.

C. Content of the ALJ File

The content of the ALJ file is left to the judgment of an ALJ. ALJs may choose to include such documents as:

  1. A copy of the request for hearing.

  2. A copy of the notice of hearing.

  3. A copy of the ALJ's decision or dismissal order.

  4. A copy of the exhibit list (if one is prepared).

  5. A copy of the audio hearing recording envelope.

  6. Copies of any congressional inquiries and the ALJ's responses thereto.

  7. Copies of any correspondence with the claimant, other parties, representatives, expert witnesses, etc.


The claim file (CF) (whether electronic or paper) contains the official record of a case. Therefore, ensure that all documents that properly belong in the CF are placed in it. If the ALJ decides that any of these documents should be retained in the ALJ file, make and retain copies.