Legal Resources Initial Decisions
In proceedings set for hearings, the judge who presided over the reception of the evidence issues an initial decision and certifies the hearing record to the Commission. The initial decision is based on the record developed in the hearing, the briefs filed by the parties, the law, and the policy of the Commission. It is the judge's job to independently apply the laws enacted by the Congress as interpreted by the courts, and the policy promulgated by the Commission to the facts of the particular case.
The judge's initial decision becomes the final Commission decision 10 days after briefs on exceptions to the initial decision are due unless exceptions are timely filed or the Commission issues an order staying the effectiveness of the initial decision pending review.