Administrative Hearings: What Animal Control and Other Justice Professionals Need to Know

Administrative Hearings: What Animal Control and Other Justice Professionals Need to Know
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2022-02-08
Unit 1Presentation Materials: Administrative Hearings
Unit 2Transcript: Administrative Hearings
Unit 3Workbook: Administrative Hearings
Unit 4Recording: Administrative Hearings

Administrative actions are found in a variety of places. Animal welfare and control agencies may be subjected to administrative actions when they infringe on property interests as they interact with people and their pets, companion animals, and livestock, which are still considered property. This webinar explains the nitty-gritty of administrative actions so that you and your agency will know what to do in the event that this happens to you.

This course’s instructor is Harold Holmes. He is currently the Executive Assistant for The County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control and previously the Deputy Director for the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services. Harold retired as a Chief of Police in northern California before shifting to the animal control field.

Specifics of Harold’s discussion include:

  • The three forms of liability/legal proceedings, the multiple levels of proof for each, and the areas of our lives where administrative actions can be found and used.
  • The difference of administrative action to other court proceedings regarding interests infringed upon, the key players, functions, procedures, and recommended penalty.
  • A brief history into the origins of the term kangaroo court often used to describe administrative hearings.
  • Why administrative hearings are seen as a mere formality in terms of the hearing officer’s training and bias, and who decides on the rules, investigation, evidence, and outcomes.
  • The different levels of law serving as basis of the rules used in administrative processes and the importance of analyzing applicable regulations and laws to be used in administrative actions.
  • The different rights afforded to the parties involved in an administrative setting that encompasses the proceeding, witnesses, evidence, access to a translator, timelines, discovery, and due process.
  • Guidelines and tips for successful administrative proceedings.
    • To treat it as if it is a court proceeding where one must be prepared, professional, and equipped with pertinent evidence and testimonies that anticipate the defenses.
    • To provide comprehensive documentation as evidence and document the proceeding as thoroughly as possible.
    • To establish expertise and educate during your testimony and avoid familiarity with the hearing officer which may imply bias.
    • Elements that may suggest the appearance of bias based on the choice of the hearing officer, the hearing officers’ access to the case file, and the hearing officer’s track records.
    • The format of written decisions And using this when pursuing appeals.
    • The process of appeals, the legal forum that handles appeals, and its costs.
  • How administrative actions, hearings, and their outcomes can impact the reputation of the individual, agency, and even the entire industry involved.

Questions raised by the webinar attendees are about:

  • Preventing the state from enacting unconstitutional outdated laws.
  • Appealing the decision of a hearing officer the agency chose itself.
  • Issuing a failure to appear warrant.


View our Animal Welfare Webinar  Schedule and Recordings


Audience Comments

  • “Lots of information! A lot to take in for a beginner!” — Maddie
  • “Our state does administrative hearings for dog bite cases and civil hearings for seized property. The breakdown of the differences was good. Need reminding. Thanks.” — Nancy
  • “Very good information on how to be prepared with information.” — Phyllis
  • “This webinar gave me more insight into the differences of hearings with In Towns/ states. …”– Melissa
  • “This was an extremely informative webinar, and I look forward to re-watching when recording is up, as there was a lot of information covered. The references and link at the end were very helpful.” — Kristina
  • “The entire presentation was filled with information essential to planning and conducting administrative hearings or preparing for trial–which should be done from the initial action. The point that was especially well made is that any action may result in a lawsuit, so prepare from the first contact and initial wording of charges and assure that no constitutional or other legal rights are violated. I also liked the warning about checking case law for how the courts have interpreted past challenges.” — Phyllis
  • “I haven’t had any training in administrative hearings as a Probation Officer. This was very interesting indeed.” — Ann
  • “Great educational training on administrative hearings, thank you.” — Alyse
  • “Administrative hearings are relatively the same across the board/” — Brittany
  • “Stressing the importance of providing the defendant with a FAIR hearing.” — William



This webinar has been certified by the National Animal Care & Control Association and is approved for 1 Continuing Education Unit. Please refer to your NACA membership portal for current CEU submission process. Current NACA Members who attend the live presentation or watch the recording will be able to download a jointly issued attendance certificate that includes the National Animal Care & Control Association logo. Visit the NACA training page for a complete list of future trainings.




This webinar has been pre-approved by the Maine Animal Welfare Program for 1 Continuing Education Unit for the State of Maine’s ACO annual training. You can find more information about Certification, required annual training or submitting materials for credit at Maine’s Animal Control Officer Resource Page.





Additional Resources
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