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EA Hearing Decision: Hearing Officers Defer to ADA

Carla Sauvignon, DHCD

Pro se appellant fighting termination for rejecting a placement/abandonment argued disability-related good cause reasons for not staying at the original EA placement. Hearing Officer shunted the case to the ADA coordinator who denied the ADA request and the Hearing Officer, without evaluating good cause on her own or evaluating the validity of the ADA denial, denied the appeal on grounds that because the ADA request was denied, there was no good cause. Marion Hohn of Community Legal Aid got involved and wrote a strong remand request, emphasizing the proper role of hearing officers under the statute. The remand was granted, albeit "because the Department did not object" and with various restrictions, including re-enforcing that hearing officers cannot decide ADA-related issues (see DHCD email). The case mooted out before the remand occurred as appellant moved into permanent housing. The issue of the proper role of hearing officers on these issues is one that remains unresolved as of early 2016.

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