Civil Penalty Appeals

Under federal regulation 14 C.F.R. §13.202, the Administrator of the FAA serves as the "decisionmaker" on administrative appeals from the decisions of the Department of Transportation administrative law judges in civil penalty cases. The Office of Adjudication advises the Administrator on such matters.

Administrative appeals are not routine, and they usually come near the end of the FAA civil penalty process. The process starts with an investigation stage that might lead to a proposed civil penalty against a respondent. If the respondent does not accept the proposed penalty, it may request a hearing before an ALJ at the Department of Transportation's Office of Hearings. Following an initial decision or other dispositive order from an ALJ, the complainant (i.e., the FAA enforcement office) or the respondent may appeal to the decisionmaker under 14 C.F.R. § 13.233. Most decisions in administrative appeals are final agency orders that respondents may appeal to certain United States Courts of Appeal, and they are precedential in civil penalty matters.