The Legal Division's primary duty is presiding over adjudicatory proceedings conducted under the Massachusetts Administrative Procedures Act ( G.L. c. 30A and the Departments procedural regulations ( 220 C.M.R. § 1.00  pdf format of 220 C.M.R. § 1.00
). Adjudications are the formal determination of parties' rights through a quasi-judicial process. All parties - both the party filing the action and any intervenors - are entitled to due process safeguards, meaning that the parties are entitled to adequate notice and the opportunity to be heard. Parties to the action have the right to present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and receive a written decision from the Department. Pursuant to G.L. c. 25, § 4, the Chairman of the Department may delegate authority to an attorney from the Legal Division, known as the "Hearing Officer," to preside over Department adjudications. Staff from the various technical Divisions also participate in the hearing process.

The Department issues a Final Order at the conclusion of each adjudicatory proceeding, based on the evidence in the record. Pursuant to G.L. c. 25, § 5, the Department's Final Order is appealable directly to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court without intermediate appellate review.


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