In law, a hearing is a proceeding before a court or other decisionmaking body or officer. A hearing is generally distinguished from a trial in that it is usually shorter and often less formal.
During a hearing the decisionmaking body typically hears evidence and or arguments.
In the United States, one aspect of the "Due Process Revolution " is that many administrative decisions that were once made much less formally must now be preceded by a hearing. An important step in this development was the Supreme Court decision in Goldberg v. Kelly, 397 U.S. 254 (1970). There the Court held that an agency could not terminate a recipient's welfare benefits without a pre-termination hearing. The decision also illustrated that what constitutes a "hearing" can depend on the context. In Goldberg, the goal of a speedy decision was held to "justify the limitation of the pre-termination hearing to minimum procedural safeguards," which included such basic matters as the right to appear and to cross-examine witnesses, but did not include "a complete record and a comprehensive opinion".
Last updated: 05-07-2005 16:13:42
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04