The following words and phrases when used in this chapter shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this section, except when the context otherwise requires:
(1) AGENCY. Every board, bureau, commission, department, officer, or other administrative office or unit of the state, including the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, other than the Legislature and its agencies, the Alabama State Port Authority, the courts, the Alabama Public Service Commission, or the State Banking Department, whose administrative procedures are governed by Sections 5-2A-8 and 5-2A-9. The term does not include boards of trustees of postsecondary institutions, boards of plans administered by public pension systems, counties, municipalities, or any agencies of local governmental units, unless they are expressly made subject to this chapter by general or special law.
(2) COMMITTEE. The Joint Committee on Administrative Rule Review, comprised of the members of the Legislative Council, or any successor of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rule Review.
(3) CONTESTED CASE. A proceeding, including but not restricted to ratemaking, price fixing, and licensing, in which the legal rights, duties, or privileges of a party are required by law to be determined by an agency after an opportunity for hearing. The term does not include intra-agency personnel actions; and does not include those hearings or proceedings in which the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles considers the granting or denial of pardons, paroles, restoration of civil and political rights, or remission of fines and forfeitures.
(4) LICENSE. The whole or part of any agency franchise, permit, certificate, approval, registration, charter, or similar form of permission required by law, but not a license required solely for revenue purposes when issuance of the license is merely a ministerial act.
(5) LICENSING. The agency process respecting the grant, denial, renewal, revocation, suspension, annulment, withdrawal, or amendment of a license or imposition of terms for the exercise of a license.
(6) PARTY. Each person or agency named or admitted as a party or properly seeking and entitled as a matter of right, whether established by constitution, statute, or agency regulation or otherwise, to be admitted as a party, or admitted as an intervenor under Section 41-22-14. The term includes any limited form of participation in agency proceedings authorized by agency rule for persons who are not eligible to become parties.
(7) PERSON. Any individual, partnership, corporation, association, governmental subdivision, or public or private organization of any character other than an agency.
(8) QUORUM. No less than a majority of the members of a multimember agency shall constitute a quorum authorized to act in the name of the agency, unless provided otherwise by statute.
(9) RULE. Each agency rule, regulation, standard, or statement of general applicability that implements, interprets, or prescribes law or policy, or that describes the organization, procedure, or practice requirements of any agency and includes any form which imposes any requirement or solicits any information not specifically required by statute or by an existing rule or by federal statute or by federal rule or regulation; provided, however, all forms shall be filed with the secretary of the agency and with the Legislative Services Agency, Legal Division, and all forms, except intergovernmental, interagency, and intra-agency forms which do not affect the rights of the public and emergency forms adopted pursuant to Section 41-22-5, shall be published in the Agency Administrative Code. The term includes the amendment or repeal of all existing rules, but does not include any of the following:
a. Statements concerning only the internal management of an agency and not affecting private rights or procedures available to the public.
b. Declaratory rulings issued pursuant to Section 41-22-11.
c. Intergovernmental, interagency, and intra-agency memoranda, directives, manuals, or other communications which do not substantially affect the legal rights of, or procedures available to, the public or any segment thereof.
d. Determinations, decisions, orders, statements of policy, and interpretations that are made in contested cases.
e. An order which is directed to a specifically named person or to a group of specifically named persons which does not constitute a general class, and the order is served on the person or persons to whom it is directed by the appropriate means applicable thereto. The fact that the named person who is being regulated serves a group of unnamed persons who will be affected does not make the order a rule.
f. An order which applies to a specifically described tract of real estate.
g. Any rules or actions relating to any of the following:
1. The conduct of inmates of public institutions and prisoners on parole.
2. The curriculum of public educational institutions or the admission, conduct, discipline, or graduation of students of the institutions; provided, however, that this exception shall not extend to rules or actions of the State Department of Education.
3. Opinions issued by the Attorney General of the State of Alabama.
4. The conduct of commissioned officers, warrant officers, and enlisted persons in the military service.
5. Advisory opinions issued by the Alabama Ethics Commission.
6. Hunting and fishing seasons or bag or creel limits adopted by the Commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
h. Standards, specifications, codes, plans, manuals, and publications used in the design, construction, repair, and maintenance of highways, roads, and bridges under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation.
Last modified: May 3, 2021