34 CFR 222.157 - What procedures apply for issuing or appealing an administrative law judge's decision?
(a) Decision. (1) The ALJ -
(i) Makes written findings and an initial decision based upon the hearing record; and
(ii) Forwards to the Secretary, and mails to each party, a copy of the written findings and initial decision.
(2) An ALJ's initial decision constitutes the Secretary's final decision without any further proceedings unless -
(i) A party, within the time limits stated in paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section, requests the Secretary to review the decision and that request is granted; or
(ii) The Secretary otherwise determines, within the time limits stated in paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section, to review the initial decision.
(3) When an initial decision becomes the Secretary's final decision without any further proceedings, the Department's Office of Hearings and Appeals notifies the parties of the finality of the decision.
(b) Administrative appeal of an initial decision. (1)(i) Any party may request the Secretary to review an initial decision.
(ii) A party must file such a request for review within 30 days of the party's receipt of the initial decision.
(2) The Secretary may -
(i) Grant or deny a timely request for review of an initial decision; or
(ii) Otherwise determine to review the decision, so long as that determination is made within 45 days of the date of receipt of the initial decision.
(3) The Secretary mails to each party written notice of -
(i) The Secretary's action granting or denying a request for review of an initial decision; or
(ii) The Secretary's determination to review an initial decision.