The following sample letter is merely intended as a guide that includes major points to raise with your legislator. It would be best to use your own words.

[Sen. or Del.] NAME

Dear: [Senator or Delegate]

I am writing to express my outrage at the abuse of power and denial of Constitutional Protections inherent in the way the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings is structured.

I have been shocked to learn that individuals brought before this quasi-judicial forum can never be tired by a jury of their peers. They can only take their case to an Appellate Court that is limited to reviewing procedural matters - not facts or equity.

Worse, the Administrative Law Judges who oversee the hearings have unprecedented discretion to exclude evidence or to refuse to qualify witnesses without regard to the prejudicial effect such actions may have on defendants.

While one might expect such "star chambers" to exist in dictatorships like Iraq or Cuba, it is an outrage that they are permitted to exist in a democracy such as ours.

I urge you to introduce legislation to abolish the Office of Administrative Hearings, or lacking that, at least provide defendants with recourse to a real court where a jury of their peers can judge them.

I would point out that just such action was taken in regard to medical malpractice cases a few years ago because of the same sorts of abuses that routinely occur at OAH. In taking that action, the legislature showed its understanding that arbitrary "Kangaroo Courts" have no place in a democracy. It is time to apply the same logic to the Office of Administrative Hearings.


Your Name