Overview and Administrative Law Judge
If you have received an order from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS), one of its offices, divisions, or affiliated board or commission, you may be entitled to request administrative review of the order, pursuant to the Administrative Orders and Procedures Act. The following information is meant to provide you general information about the administrative review process and other informal options that may be available, as well as information about the IDHS’s administrative law judge (ALJ) and the IDHS’s database of final orders. However, not all information contained below may apply to your specific case, and the requirements contained in your order must be followed regardless of the information contained on this page. Therefore, it is advised that you carefully read your order to be aware of what procedures must be followed. If you have any further questions, after reading your order and the information contained below, please call IDHS at (317) 232-2222.
In general, after receiving an order, the following options are available to you:
- You may comply with the order.
- You may request an informal review of the order, if the order was issued by the IDHS or a fire department.
- You may file a petition for review.
In addition to the above options, you may also:
- Request a written interpretation of a building or fire safety law, if you are in a dispute with a county or municipality regarding its interpretation.
- Request a variance or waiver from a rule. A variance or a waiver request is appropriate if you believe that the law was appropriately applied in your case, but its application causes an undue hardship and your noncompliance with the rule will not produce adverse effects.
- Information regarding variances from the Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission’s rules can be found at: https://www.in.gov/dhs/3865.htm.
- Information regarding variances from the Boiler Pressure Vessel Rules Board rules can be found at: https://www.in.gov/dhs/2378.htm.
- A request for a variance or waiver from the Board of Firefighting Personnel Standards and Education may be found at https://www.in.gov/dhs/2366.htm
- A request for a variance or waiver from the Emergency Medical Services Commission may be found at https://www.in.gov/dhs/3525.htm
IDHS Administrative Law Judge
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.
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/.
The IDHS and affiliated boards and commissions which conduct 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. 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, and date of decision.
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