Appealing the Government's Determination
Follow the steps below to appeal a responsible authority’s determination to the Commissioner of Administration (Commissioner).
Receive a determination from the responsible authority (RA)
You must have a determination from the RA before you can move forward with an appeal.
Follow appropriate deadlines
The deadline to appeal the determination depends on whether the RA informed you of your right to appeal in his/her written determination. The Commissioner must receive your appeal within these deadlines. A postmark is not sufficient.
- If the RA included a statement saying that you have the right to appeal, you have 60 calendar days from the date of the RA’s written determination to submit your appeal to the Commissioner.
- If the RA did not include a statement saying that you have the right to appeal, you have 180 calendar days from the date of the RA’s written determination to submit your appeal to the Commissioner.
Send your appeal to the Commissioner of Administration
- Your appeal must be in writing.
- You may mail or email it.
- You must include copies of the disputed data.
- Also include the RA’s determination letter and any other communication about your challenge that you have sent or received.
If the Commissioner determines that your appeal meets all of the requirements in the law, she will accept it.
Consider informal dispute resolution
If the Commissioner accepts your appeal, you have the option of resolving the dispute informally by using conferences, conciliation or mediation. These informal methods will be used only if both you and the entity agree to use them.
- If these informal methods are successful, the Commissioner issues a Final Order. The Commissioner closes the record and the appeal process ends. The government entity is no longer required to include your statement of disagreement.
- If informal methods are not successful or if the parties do not choose to pursue informal methods, the Commissioner will order a contested case hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in the State Office of Administrative Hearings. The government entity is required to include your data challenge (“statement of disagreement”) every time it discloses a copy of the data in dispute.
If no informal resolution, the Commissioner will order a contested case hearing
- The government entity must pay the cost of the hearing.
- You must pay your own costs to attend the hearing and for a lawyer, if you choose to have one represent you. You don’t need a lawyer, but legal advice can be helpful.
- Once the Commissioner has turned the contested case over to the ALJ, his involvement in the case ceases until the ALJ submits his/her recommendation to the Commissioner.
- At the hearing, it is your responsibility to present your case to the ALJ. The ALJ will only hear evidence only about the data you challenged; other disputes with the entity will need to be addressed in another way. The ALJ will make a recommendation to the Commissioner and a copy of the ALJ’s recommendations will be sent to you and to the government entity.
- After the Commissioner receives the recommendations, he will ask you and the government entity for written exceptions/arguments explaining why he should not follow the ALJ’s recommendation.
- The Commissioner will set a deadline for the written exceptions.
- The Commissioner has 90 days to review the ALJ’s recommendation and exceptions and to issue a final order on whether the data are accurate and/or complete. If the Commissioner does not issue an order in 90 days, the recommendation of the ALJ becomes the final determination.
- After the final determination, the appeals process ends. The government entity must follow the Commissioner’s order and is no longer required to include a copy of your “statement of disagreement.”
Upon receipt of the Commissioner’s order, you or the government entity may appeal the Commissioner’s order to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.