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Administrative Reviews

The purpose of administrative review is to provide an inexpensive, fair and impartial hearing process yielding consistent results for citizens who disagree with certain actions of the Agency.  In accordance with this aim, the Administrative Law Judge for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security handles all timely filed petitions for administrative review pursuant the provisions of the Administrative Orders and Procedures Act, codified at Indiana Code 4-21.5.

The Administrative Law Judge conducts prehearing and status conferences, presides over evidentiary hearings, and issues orders containing factual findings and legal conclusions related to the matter being reviewed.  Decisions of the Administrative Law Judge not involving emergency orders do not become final Agency actions until reviewed by the appropriate Board or Commission which may affirm, modify or reverse the findings of the Administrative Law Judge.  The Administrative Law Judge is, however, the ultimate authority for the Agency with respect to emergency orders.

The Administrative Law Judge is a full-time state employee with standard medical, insurance, leave and any other state benefits.  Please visit the Indiana State Personnel Department’s homepage for more information.  Salary and other public information for the Administrative Law Judge can be found at the Indiana Transparency Portal at https://www.in.gov/itp/1130.htm.

The Honorable Chelsea E. Smith

Chelsea E. Smith has been the Administrative Law Judge for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security since January 9, 2017. Judge Smith is authorized to preside over cases involving the administrative reviews of agency actions falling under the ultimate authority of the Department of Homeland Security, the Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission, the Board of Firefighting Personnel Standards and Education, the Emergency Medical Services Commission and the Indiana Secured Schools Safety Board.

Judge Smith is a native of Knightstown, Indiana. She graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and earned her Juris Doctor from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois. Judge Smith previously served as a Staff Attorney for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and the Indiana Office of Inspector General. She is also a graduate of the Indiana State Bar Association's Leadership Development Academy and is a member of the ISBA House of Delegates, Legal Ethics Committee and the Future of the Provision of Legal Services Committee.


Legal Decisions Search

The various commissions in IDHS which are responsible for administrative reviews have authorized the indexing of all contested cases decided since November 1, 1997. The database may be searched by name, cause number, IC or IAC code section, building or fire code section or key words and phrases. If you have difficulty viewing cases, please call (317) 232-3835. The format of the database may not be compatible with all computer systems. If any case in the database is to be cited as authority, please cite the name of the case, cause number & date of decision.

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