Commonwealth Counsel Group PLLC recently secured full reversal of an adverse order from the Office of Claims and Appeals (formerly Kentucky Claims Commission) on behalf of a Kentucky property owner who brought claims against the Kentucky Division of Forestry. CCG was engaged to file a “petition for judicial review” and convinced the Breckenridge Circuit Court that the state agency’s final order dismissing our client’s claims was not supported by substantial evidence.
A “petition for judicial review” in Kentucky is a unique mechanism for appealing a state agency action. A reviewing court is bound to uphold an agency’s decision unless it is arbitrary and capricious. Thus, a reviewing court looks to determine whether the agency acted within the limits of its statutory authority, whether the party to be affected by the agency’s decision was afforded procedural due process and whether the actions of the agency are supported by substantial evidence.
The correct response to troubling Kentucky agency actions will vary. Sometimes a court challenge is necessary. Other times, the best approach involves further proceedings before the relevant agency. In either case, a thorough understanding of the principles governing Kentucky agency conduct is essential. CCG’s Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice attorneys are well-versed in these principles and have an exceptional capacity to represent clients in this area.
While this particular case involved claims against the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet – Division of Forestry, there are myriad other state agencies that have similar statutes and regulations which establish nuanced hearing procedures. Navigating an administrative proceeding before e.g. the Energy and Environment Cabinet, Cabinet for Health and Family Services, or Public Service Commission, to name a few, can be daunting and complex. If you would like to schedule a consultation regarding an administrative proceeding, please contact one of our attorneys.