administrative law

An Overview of Administrative Law in California: Understanding its Significance

Administrative law refers to the statutes, regulations, and legal processes of the executive branch and its agencies. These agencies are established by state and federal legislatures through “enabling legislation,” and they are authorized to create regulations with the same authority as statutory law. As a result, these agencies can impact various social issues, such as telecommunications, racial discrimination, financial markets, or in the case of our office – professional and occupational license defense.

However, to better understand the significance of administrative law, the guide below provides an overview of what administrative law in California entails, the California administrative decision-making process, and how administrative law can impact you. 

What Is California Administrative Law?

California administrative law refers to the laws that are created by the governor of California and the state’s administrative agencies. These laws include the following:

  • Guidance: These are rules established by administrative agencies without following the process for creating regulations (e.g. advice or opinion letters).
  • Regulations: Regulations refer to the laws that are passed by agencies to implement statutes that are passed by the legislature. 
  • Administrative decisions: These decisions refer to cases decided by the agency’s staff instead of the court.
  • Executive orders: Ceremonial statements and orders which are issued by the governor of California.

The California Administrative Decision-Making Process

Although administrative decisions are similar to court decisions, these decisions are made by agencies instead of the court. As a result, there are some key points to keep in mind regarding these decisions and the process involved:

  • The administrative decision-making process in California can range from formal hearings resulting in written opinions to informal meetings that involve agency staff and short statements regarding the decisions they make.
  • Most administrative agencies in California will not systematically publish their decisions. However, there are some exceptions to this.
  • Most administrative decisions in California do not create a binding precedent in the same way that courts do.

The Importance of Administrative Law

Administrative law directly impacts our daily lives as we interact with administrative agencies or are affected by the regulations that these agencies execute and enforce. For instance, everyday activities such as receiving parking tickets and taxes are all linked to a government entity exerting some influence over you under its legal administrative authority.

In addition, from a professional perspective, administrative law has a significant reach. It affects several areas, including food safety, public health services, national security, financial markets, drugs and healthcare services, and consumer protection, to name a few. That is why it is critical that professionals have a comprehensive understanding of how the government works and the fundamental principles of how regulations are enacted, implemented, and enforced, as these agencies can substantially impact a person’s profession and livelihood.

Contact Gould, Hahn, & Reinhardt Today

If you have questions about administrative law in California or how administrative agencies can impact your license, profession, or business contact Gould, Hahn, & Reinhardt online or call us at 800-428-2297 today. Our California business and administrative law firm is here to help get you the answers you need and guide you through your legal issues.