Subject: Receipt of New Civil Action
This transmittal amends sections I-4-1-2, I-4-1-12, I-4-1-14, and I-4-1-15 of the Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual and archives sections I-4-1-10, I-4-1-40, I-4-1-50, and I-4-1-55 of the HALLEX manual to update our policies and instructions concerning how the Office of Appellate Operations' (OAO) Division of Civil Actions (DCA) handles district court litigation. The changes primarily reflect updates to DCA's business processes after a civil action has been filed.
I-4-1-2 – We updated this section to reflect the changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which became effective on December 1, 2022, removing the requirement for claimants to provide the Commissioner with a copy of the summons and complaint. We removed the note regarding Acquiescence Ruling 99-4(11), Bloodsworth v. Heckler in light of agency policy that has extended court litigation rights to Appeals Council dismissals of a request for review of an Administrative Law Judge's (ALJ) decision. We added citations to reflect when DCA is required to prepare a limited Certified Administrative Record (CAR). We modified subsection D to omit the standard of review for federal court litigation. We made minor changes to reflect agency policy regarding use of gender-neutral language.
I-4-1-10 – We archived this section and incorporated this information in section I-4-1-12.
I-4-1-12 – We combined the information from I-4-1-10 into this section to clarify the responsibilities of the Court Case Preparation and Review Branch (CCPRB) when a new civil action is filed. We changed the section name to reflect the CCPRB responsibilities when they receive a new civil action. We updated the section to reflect DCA's current business processes and the reduced handling of paper-based claim(s) files. We updated employee position titles and made minor editorial changes.
I-4-1-14 – We changed the name of this section for clarity. We updated the instructions concerning hearing transcript preparation to remove the requirement to create and/or duplicate physical media. We removed subsection B as the guidelines are not consistent with the current DCA business process. We updated the process for how transcripts are electronically transmitted to DCA and to and from the contractors. We updated the instructions for identifying deficiencies in the transcript. We removed the note in subsection D.2. and consolidated the information in new subsection C.2. to correlate with the current DCA business process regarding hearing audits. We updated employee position titles and made minor editorial changes, including changes to reflect the agency policy regarding use of gender-neutral language.
I-4-1-15 – We updated the instructions for identifying and reviewing deficient hearing recordings to reflect the current DCA business process. We updated employee position titles.
I-4-1-40 – We archived this section, as DCA follows the same general procedure as the other Office of Appellate Operations Branches and the information in this section is not specific to DCA.
I-4-1-50 – We archived this section entirely, as status inquiries are handled by the Claimant and Public Assistance Branch as outlined in HALLEX I-1-6-5 and I-3-0-35.
I-4-1-55 – We archived this section, as it cites to a different HALLEX section for instructions on how to process medical support staff referrals.
Date: June 26, 2023