Fiing by Email

Email filings permitted during pendency of COVID-19 hearings suspension

On June 1, 2020, the Chief ALJ issued an Administrative Order and Notice continuing the suspension of in-person hearings during the COVID-19 pandemic. See Administrative Order and Notice, 2020-MIS-00008 (June 1, 2020). The Chief ALJ's April 10, 2020, Supplemental Order and Notice relating to electronic service during the COVID-19 pandemic remains in effect. See Supplemental Administrative Order and Notice, 2020-MIS-00006 (Apr. 10, 2020); Administrative Order and Notice, 2020-MIS-00006 (Mar. 29, 2020). These Orders permit filing of documents by email. This page describes the email filing process and requirements. Please note that a new requirement is to include the name of the parties in the Subject line of the mail. Please also note the paragraph below addressing redaction requirements and the risks of filing confidential information by email.

What to include in the transmittal email

To ensure that an email filing is associated with the correct case, the subject line of the email transmission must contain, in this order:

(a) The name of the presiding judge (use UNK if the case is not assigned or you do not know who the presiding judge is);
(b) The name of the parties (e.g., Jones v. Big Co.); (c) The OALJ case number (use TBD if this is a request for an ALJ hearing or the filing of a complaint or order of reference);
(d) If the OALJ case number is unknown or has not been assigned yet, please include the case number from the agency below (e.g., OWCP, OSHA, Wage and Hour);
(e) A short description of the nature of the filing.

This is an example of what the Subject line should look like:

Subject: Judge John Doe; Jones v. Big Co.; OALJ No. 2020-BLA-05555; Motion for Continuance

Email addresses of representatives of other parties

If you know the email addresses of the representatives of the other parties to the case, you should include them in the cc line of the email.

Finding the OALJ Case Number

If you do not know the OALJ case number, please note that you can look up cases by the name of parties on the OALJ Document Management System (DMS) Search Page.

If you still cannot find the OALJ case number, you should provide the case number from the agency below (e.g., OWCP, OSHA, Wage and Hour).

Which email address to use

Use the email address of the office at which the presiding judge is stationed. You can find the national and district office rosters below:

If you still cannot identify which judge or office the case is assigned to, use the general email address.

Washington, DC National and District Offices:

District Offices outside Washington, DC:

File size limitation

Attachments to emailed filings cannot exceed 50 MB. Larger attachments will need to be uploaded as zip files or broken up. If you need to break up the attachments, please indicate the sequence of the attachments in the file name (such as 1 of x).

Do not use an email filing for more than one case

In order to make it clear which case a document is being filed in, limit each email to an individual case. Make filings in for separate cases in separate email transmissions.

If you file by email, do not send a hard copy

If filing a Document by email, DO NOT file a hard (paper) copy as well. The email filing will be the official filing for the matter. You can check on whether a filing was received by using the Case Status Lookup.

Please note that it may be a few days before filings are visible on the Case Status Lookup page due to limited staffing at OALJ.

Confidential filings – redaction or encryption

If you need to include confidential information in a filing, the best approach would be to file by conventional means.

If, however, it is necessary to file a document containing confidential information with OALJ by email, such as settlement documents, your options are to redact the confidential information, or to use email encryption.

Please note that the OALJ Rule of Practice and Procedure at 29 C.F.R. § 18.31 requires the redaction of an “electronic or paper filing or exhibit that contains an individual’s social-security number, taxpayer-identification number, or birth date, the name of an individual known to be a minor, or a financial-account number. . . .”

If you need to email a filing that contains unredacted PII, protected health information [PHI], or other confidential information, either in the body of the email or in an attachment, you must encrypt the email and/or the attachment as applicable.

Although many internet-based web mail services offer methods for encryption, sending secure email using such system can require a degree of technical sophistication. An alternative way to send a secure email is by using a compression utility that allows the password-enabled encryption of email attachments and other files. OALJ does not endorse any particular compression/password-protect tools, but here is a memorandum on how the Department uses WinZip to send email securely.

The password should never be sent in the same email with the encrypted attachment. It should be provided in a separate email.

If you are uncomfortable with using email encryption tools, you may still file documents using conventional means such as U.S. Postal Service or commercial express courier. If you do so, however, please be aware that the filing may be delayed because OALJ offices at present are generally not receiving mail deliveries in a timely and reliable fashion, and/or do not have access or only limited access to their physical office space.