Policy 2-8 APPEAL PROCESS AND PROCEDURE UNDER THE UNIFORM RELOCATION ACT

2-8    APPEAL PROCESS AND PROCEDURE UNDER THE UNIFORM
RELOCATION ACT


DISTRIBUTION    :    Mayor and City Council
                All Departments

SUBJECT        :    Appeal process and procedure under the Uniform
Relocation Act

PURPOSE        :    To establish a policy on the process and procedure of initiating an appeal under the Uniform Relocation Act (“URA”).

BACKGROUND    :    The City of Lawton is involved in acquiring real property for various projects.  Under certain restrictions, i.e. using federal funds in connection with a project, the URA is required to be followed.  Under the URA, an appeal process is referenced and this policy will clarify the process and procedure to be followed by the City of Lawton.

POLICY/
PROCEDURES    :    1.  The City of Lawton shall review all written appeals after receipt in accordance with applicable laws, regulations and the following policy.  The City of Lawton shall consider a written appeal regardless of form.  A person may file an appeal with the City of Lawton in any case in which the person believes that the City of Lawton has failed to:

                    a) Properly determine that the person qualifies, or will qualify (upon moving), as a displaced person who is eligible for relocation assistance;

b)  Properly determine the amount of any relocation payment required by HUD Handbook 1378 or a payment required under 49 CFR 24.106 or 49 CFR 24.107.  A person's acceptance of a payment that is less than the full amount claimed does not limit the person's right to appeal.;

c) Provide appropriate referrals to comparable replacement dwellings or inspect the replacement dwelling in a timely manner; or

d) Waive the time limit for (1) the filing of a claim or an appeal or (2) purchasing, renting or occupying a replacement dwelling.

                2.  The time limit for a person to file an appeal is 60 days after the person received a written notification of the City of Lawton’s determination on the person’s claim.  On a case-by-case basis, for good cause, the City of Lawton can extend such time limit.

                3.  A person has a right to be represented by legal counsel or other representative in connection with his or her appeal, but solely at the person’s own expense.

                4.  The City of Lawton shall permit a person to inspect and copy all materials pertinent to his or her appeal, except materials which the City of Lawton determines may not be disclosed to the person for reasons of confidentiality. The City of Lawton may, however, impose reasonable conditions on the person's right to inspect, consistent with applicable laws.

                5.  In deciding an appeal, the City of Lawton shall consider all pertinent justification and other materials submitted by the person and all other available information that is needed to ensure a fair and full review of the appeal.

                6.  The City Manager or his authorized designee will be the official to conduct the review of the appeal.  The reviewing official shall not have been directly involved in the action appealed.

                7.  Within thirty (30) days after receipt of all information submitted by a person in support of an appeal, the City of Lawton shall make a written determination on the appeal, including an explanation of the basis on which the decision was made, and furnish the person a copy. If the full relief requested is not granted, the City of Lawton shall advise the person of his or her right to seek judicial review and, where applicable (see paragraph 8 hereinafter) the right to ask the HUD Field Office or State to review the City of Lawton’s determination on the appeal.

8.  Under certain HUD program regulations a person (often limited to a lower-income person as defined in HUD Handbook 1378, paragraph 1-16) who is dissatisfied with the determination of the grantee (includes State recipient) on the person's appeal, may submit a written request for review of that decision to the HUD Field Office that administers URA requirements for HUD-assisted programs in the jurisdiction or, in the case of a State recipient, to the State.  See Chapter 8 of HUD Handbook 1378 for additional details relating to this process.

                9.  Nothing in this policy shall in any way preclude or limit a person from seeking judicial review of the person’s appeal on its merits after the person exhausts the administrative remedies described herein.

REFERENCES    :    49 CFR 24.10; HUD Handbook 1378

EFFECTIVE DATE/
RESCISSION    :    This policy shall be effective on and after the _______ day of July, 2001.


RESPONSIBLE
DEPARTMENT    :    Legal Services



_______________________________
CECIL E. POWELL
MAYOR
July 11, 2001


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Council Policy 2-8
Page 2 OF 3

(CP 2-8, Added, 07/11/2001)