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Hearing and Prehearing Procedures

Notice of Appearance

File the Notice of Appearance as soon as possible after you receive a case and remember to keep the Notice current. If you have a change of mailing address, e-mail address, or telephone number while your case is pending, file a new Notice. SERB goes by the Notice of Appearance most recently filed by a party for sending notices of hearing and other case-related documents.  

Important Information about filing documents with SERB:  

Ohio Administrative Code Rule 4117-1-02 provides that all documents shall be filed electronically in a read-only format except for:  

  • Unfair labor practice charges.  
  • Requests for recognition with showing of interest.  
  • Petitions for representation election with showing of interest.
  • Petitions for decertification election with showing of interest.  


  • The Charging Party is not automatically a party before SERB when a Complaint is issued. A Charging Party who does not formally intervene has no right to participate in the hearing (i.e. to call witnesses, to cross-examine witnesses called by another party, to file briefs, to file exceptions, et cetera).  
  • O.A.C. Rule 4117-1-07:  
    • General Rule: A Motion to Intervene must be made at or before the time of the hearing. The ALJ may shorten this time period. To intervene, a party must have a “significant interest” in a proceeding. The ALJ may grant a motion to intervene and allow intervention to such extent and upon such terms as may be deemed proper. For maximum participation, a motion to intervene should be filed before the prehearing.  

Hearing Preparation Procedures  

  • When an Unfair Labor Practice case is ready to proceed to hearing, SERB directs the case to hearing and issues a Complaint.
  • The Complaint is accompanied by the Notice of Hearing and Prehearing Order.
  • The Notice and Order contains scheduling instructions and procedural instructions regarding both the prehearing and the hearing.
  • The purpose of the prehearing is to identify and discuss the documents that may be presented at the hearing, to identify and discuss the witness testimony that may be presented at the hearing, and to review the legal authorities upon which each party will rely at the hearing. 
  • During the prehearing, the ALJ who hears the case explains the hearing procedures to the parties and counsel, rules on any outstanding motions, and may explore whether the parties have an interest in pursuing or continuing to pursue mediation.
  • If the parties are able to reach a settlement at the prehearing, then their settlement agreement is submitted to the SERB Board for review and the scheduled hearing date is vacated.