Hearing (law)


Hearing (law)
Picture from the Berry confirmation hearing by the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Rm. 342.

In law, a hearing is a proceeding before a court or other decision-making body or officer, such as a government agency.[1]

A hearing is generally distinguished from a trial in that it is usually shorter and often less formal.[1] In the course of litigation, hearings are conducted as oral arguments in support of motions, whether to resolve the case without further trial on a motion to dismiss or for summary judgment, or to decide discrete issues of law, such as the admissibility of evidence, that will determine how the trial proceeds. Limited evidence and testimony may also be presented in hearings to supplement the legal arguments.[1]

In the United States, one aspect of the "due process revolution" is that many administrative decisions that were once made much less formally must now be preceded by a hearing. An important step in this development was the Supreme Court decision in Goldberg v. Kelly, 397 U.S. 254 (1970). There the Court held that an agency could not terminate a recipient's welfare benefits without a pre-termination hearing. The decision also illustrated that what constitutes a "hearing" can depend on the context. In Goldberg, the goal of a speedy decision was held to "justify the limitation of the pre-termination hearing to minimum procedural safeguards," which included such basic matters as the right to appear and to cross-examine witnesses, but did not include "a complete record and a comprehensive opinion".

References

  1. ^ a b c Lorch, Robert (1980). Democratic Process and Administrative Law. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0814315135. 

See also


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • hearing — hear·ing n 1: a proceeding of relative formality at which evidence and arguments may be presented on the matter at issue to be decided by a person or body having decision making authority compare trial ◇ The purpose of a hearing is to provide the …   Law dictionary

  • hearing, preliminary — n. An initial hearing in a criminal case in which a magistrate or judge decides whether there is sufficient evidence to justify detaining a person accused of a crime. The Essential Law Dictionary. Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc …   Law dictionary

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  • hearing examiner — An employee of an administrative agency who is charged with conducting adjudicative proceedings on matters within the scope of the jurisdiction of the agency. Dictionary from West s Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005. hearing examiner …   Law dictionary

  • hearing, final — n. The last stage in a lawsuit, in which the case is determined on its merits. The Essential Law Dictionary. Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. Amy Hackney Blackwell. 2008 …   Law dictionary

  • hearing before the court — index voir dire Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

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  • Hearing — may refer to: * Hearing (sense), the sense by which sound is perceived * Hearing (person), a person who has hearing within normal parameters * Hearing (law), a legal proceeding before a court or other decision making body or officeree also*Hear …   Wikipedia


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