Where is a Good Cause Exception Hearing Held?
Hearing at the Offices of Arizona Board of Fingerprinting
Where does a hearing occur if you need a hearing for your good cause exception in Arizona? So, I’ve talked about this in another blog. If you are getting your fingerprint clearance card and have any criminal history, including arrests, your application will be denied, and you’ll have to ask for a good cause exception. You’ll fill out the application and attach all required documents and go to the Board of Fingerprinting during the expedited review. If they decide that your application needs to go to a hearing, they will schedule a hearing with an administrative law judge. You can go with your attorney or represent yourself before this administrative law judge. Where does this happen? This isn’t in a court of law. It occurs at the offices of the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting. So, you’ll go into the building, go up to the Board of Fingerprinting, and then the administrative law judge will conduct the hearing there on that premises.
The hearing is usually informal, it’s only the judge, and no other attorney represents the board or the state. You’re just simply pleading your case to the judge. If you have an attorney representing you, they may give an opening or a closing statement. They can ask you questions regarding your case. They can submit evidence for you if you feel that’s needed to show that all of your points have been completed and that there’s nothing pending. And you’re not awaiting trial; you’ve completed all of your sentences and been rehabilitated. You or your attorney can do that. The things that are different about an administrative law judge and this hearing for a good cause exception are, as I said, informal. The room looks typically like a conference room. It’s not like you’re going to court. The judge does have the right to ask you specific questions if they need more clarification.
Again, your attorney can ask, or you can speak on your behalf. So, that’s where the hearing takes place. Now, during the hearing, the judge, as I said, can ask questions, and then after that, they will make a finding of fact and conclusions of law. They’ll decide using the testimony and all the evidence or exhibits you have put forth before the administrative law judge after the hearing. Then the judge will determine if they feel you should be granted a good cause exception. Then it goes before the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting, which will uphold the judge’s finding. They can disagree with the judge, or they can amend their conclusions. And that takes about 80 days after the hearing. So, it’s a long process. Things to remember are that the hearing will be held at the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting, it’s informal, and the judge themselves can ask you questions if they feel it’s needed.
Good Cause Exception
What is a good cause exception hearing? When you apply for a fingerprint clearance card and have any criminal history, including arrest, you will likely be denied on your application, and you’ll have to ask for a good cause exception. When applying for your good cause exception, there are many parts to the application.
20 Days for Expedited Review of Clearance Card Application
How long does a hearing take to get your good cause exception? Let’s first summarize how you would get to the point of the hearing. So, when you file your application for a fingerprint clearance card and have any criminal history, including arrest, it’s likely that your application will be denied. You will have to apply for a good cause exception. After you fill out your good cause exception and attach all the court documents, potential police reports, and letters of reference in your personal statement, you’ll send that to the board. And then, they have 20 days during this expedited review to see if they would like to grant you your good cause exception or if they think that your good cause exception needs to go to the hearing department, where you would meet with an administrative law judge.
A Good Exception Hearing Happens Within 45 Days
If this happens and they decide that you need a hearing, it’s 45 days until a hearing will be held. So, it’s a 45-day window. At that time, the hearing will be held, as I said, at the fingerprint board here in Arizona. You would go into the offices, and there would be an administrative law judge there who would conduct a brief hearing. You can have an attorney represent you; my firm always does this. Or you can represent yourself. You can give an opening and a closing statement, or your attorney would likely do that. The attorney may ask you questions regarding your case to show that nothing is pending, that it has concluded, and that you’ve completed your sentence. This is important. The board wants to know that everything has been finished. And then also, in the hearing, you would like to show that you have been rehabilitated.
These are past actions that you’ve taken responsibility for, you’ve learned from, and won’t happen again in the future. The judge may also ask you questions, and then your attorney can ask any clarification questions to you, or you can clarify on your own accord. The hearing itself is brief. It doesn’t take very long at all. Usually, there’s a specific issue that the judge is trying to find. If documents are missing, or they want to know if you’re genuinely rehabilitated, things like that. After the hearing, the judge will then make a finding of fact and conclusions of law. And what this means is that they will decide if you should be granted a good cause exception. They would then have their findings. They would take that to the board of fingerprinting, and the board of fingerprinting then decides if they would like to uphold the judge’s findings, if they want to amend it or if they want to reject it.