How to File a Petition for Judicial Review

Written by mike broemmel
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Many governmental and regulatory issues are decided by what are known as administrative agencies. If you desire to open a business that requires a license from the state and are denied such authorisation, there is a procedure by which you may appeal that decision. The process is known as judicial review.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Call the administrative agency and ask for a final order. Although you likely presented your case before a hearing officer or administrative law judge at the governmental agency in question, you need a final order from the official in charge of that agency. The standard procedure is to appeal a decision that goes against you to the agency head, who renders a final judgment.

  2. 2

    Get a petition for judicial review form. Many county courts maintain standard form pleadings (documents used in court) for use by people bringing cases without an attorney.

  3. 3

    Draft your own petition for judicial review of the adverse decision. On the petition, list yourself as the petitioner and the head of the governmental agency in question as the respondent.

  4. 4

    Include the date of the final order issued from the administrative agency.

  5. 5

    Give the specific, legal reason you're challenging the decision and seeking judicial review. You may contend that the agency decision is not supported by facts, is counter to applicable law or that the agency acted in an "arbitrary and capricious" manner in ruling against you.

  6. 6

    Attach a copy of both the final and initial agency orders to the petition.

  7. 7

    File the petition for judicial review at county court. Laws differ slightly from state to state regarding the appropriate county in which to file for judicial review. State statutes set forth the proper venue to file the case. You can access current editions of state statutes at local public libraries or on your state legislature's website.

  8. 8

    Request that the clerk of the court direct the county sheriff to serve a copy of the petition for judicial review on the agency head or her designated agent.

Tips and warnings

  • Pursuing a judicial review involves complex legal procedures. Seriously consider hiring an administrative law attorney to represent you. The state and local bar associations maintain directories of attorneys that practice in different areas of the law, including in the arena of administrative law and judicial review of agency decisions.
  • Make certain that you file a petition for judicial review within the time frame required by law. Failure to do so will preclude you from ever appealing the decision.

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