(a) The Office of Administrative Law Judge is created as an independent agency of the Executive branch of government. The head of this office shall be known as the Administrative Law Judge. In a contested case, as defined in 4.1001, or other grievance or controversy before
(b) any agency, as defined in 4.1001, the Administrative Law Judge shall conduct and
either make or recommend decisions in original proceedings, in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act 4.1025 - 4.1037. Any agency may utilize the administrative law judge to conduct or otherwise assist its authorized rule making under 4.1001 - 4.1020.
(c) The Administrative Law Judge shall be appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate for a term of six (6) years and shall serve until his successor is appointed and qualified or until reappointed for one or more terms, provided that the first Administrative Law Judge appointed pursuant to this section shall serve for a limited term commencing upon passage and approval of this act and ending on September 30, 2000. The first six-year term of office shall commence October 1, 2000. Vacancies in the office shall be filled by the Governor for the unexpired term if less than two (2) years shall remain in said term.
(d) The Administrative Law Judge shall be a qualified attorney at law, licensed to practice in the Territory with at least 6 years experience in the practice of law within the Territory and may be removed from office by the Governor only for good cause.
(e) The Administrative Law Judge shall devote full time to the performance of his duties and shall not otherwise engage in the private or public practice of law during the term of his appointment. The annual compensation of the Administrative Law Judge shall be at a rate equal to the compensation of the district court judge and shall not be reduced during the term of his appointment.
(f) The Office of Administrative Law Judge shall be staffed by career service employees including, but not limited to, hearing clerks, a hearing reporter, a translator, a secretary and marshal.
(g) The Administrative Law Judge shall adopt uniform rules governing the procedures for the operation of his office in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act.
(h) One or more attorneys at law may be designated and appointed pursuant to this section to serve as Administrative Law Judge pro tempore when so appointed by the Governor when the Administrative Law Judge is unavailable, incapacitated, or ethically unable to conduct a particular contested case or other grievance or controversy. An Administrative Law Judge pro tempore has all the powers and duties of a full-time Administrative Law Judge while sitting as assigned by the Governor.History: 1998, PL 25-37.