There are three main stages to an FAA Enforcement Action of which every airman, mechanic, air-traffic controller, or any other certificate holder should be aware. An aviation attorney routinely handle cases in various stages of NTSB appeal litigation.
In the first stage of an FAA Enforcement Action, the airman will have his case heard before an FAA administrative law judge. During the first stage of an enforcement action, the attorney for the FAA and the attorney for the certificate holder present a case-in-chief or defense by oral or documentary evidence. The certificate holder’s attorney may cross-examine the FAA’s witnesses and submit evidence for rebuttal to ensure that the certificate holder has a fair hearing. Anyone facing an administrative law judge in an enforcement action should be aware that the judge works for the FAA.
If the airman, mechanic, or other certificate holder loses his case in front of the FAA’s administrative law judge, the certificate holder may appeal his case to the NTSB in the second stage of an FAA Enforcement Action. The NTSB only considers a handful of issues on appeal. These questions include looking at whether the administrative law judge committed any errors in his decision making, whether the judge’s decision was made in accordance with the law, whether the findings of fact are supported by the evidence, and whether there are substantial questions on appeal. In addition to other time sensitive deadlines, the certificate holder’s aviation attorney must file a notice of appeal within 10 days after the oral or written decision has been rendered by the administrative law judge.
The third stage to an FAA Enforcement Action appeal, involves petitioning an United States Court District Court or United States Court of Appeals for an appeal of the NTSB’s decision. The court may affirm, amend, modify, or set aside any part of the order. In addition, the court may order the NTSB or the Administrator to conduct further proceedings. This is the final stage in the appeal process. As such, the findings at this stage of an FAA Enforcement Action are final.
The Ison Law Firm handles all stages of a FAA Enforcement Action, including NTSB and U.S. District/Appellate Court appeal litigation.

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