Mechanicsburg, PA asked in Gov & Administrative Law for Pennsylvania

Q: what law takes precedence if a PA state law conflicts with a ALJ ruling

what law takes precedence if a PA state law conflicts with a ALJ ruling

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1 Lawyer Answer
Rachel Lea Hunter
Rachel Lea Hunter
  • Cary, NC
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: You do not provide enough detail. An ALJ is an administrative law judge. These usually handled federal cases, like Social Security. In such case, the ALJ would be deciding matters of federal law not state law and there would be no conflict.

ALJs are like other judges - they do not make law. PA state law is PA state law and must be followed if it applies and the law is constitutional. There are several ways to challenge this - if the ALJ's ruling was recent, then file a motion for reconsideration and request the ALJ take into consideration the alleging controlling state law. If the ALJ denies the motion for reconsideration or if none was filed, you have 30 days to appeal the decision to the appeals level. There is an appeal level - but since I don't know what kind of ALJ this is I do not know where the appeal would lie. One of your grounds for the appeal would be that the ALJ either erred by ignoring /misapplying the statute.

Federal courts have to follow PA law if the case does not involve a federal statute. Sometimes there are conflicts between federal and state law and sometimes Congress has totally pre-empted an area and state law does not apply at all and the courts have to follow federal law.

I suggest that you go and have a lawyer review this carefully - pay for the review to determine whether you really have a conflict here or not. You would need a lawyer who practices in the area with which you are dealing - if VA benefits, then a lawyer versed in VA benefit law; if SS, then a SS disability lawyer.

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