As more people rely on SNAP benefits to buy groceries, numerous businesses have come to rely on these customers to provide them with a large portion of their business. Thus, when the state decides to come along and accuse your business of violating SNAP rules and regulations, it can be a serious matter. Along with the possible legal implications, losing the ability to accept SNAP payments could put your entire business in jeopardy. When this occurs, you will need the expertise of an attorney who specializes in handling snap appeals, and who is not afraid to take on the federal government on your behalf.
Based on federal law, you will have the right to a judicial review regarding the allegations made against you. In fact, when the government decides to suspend the ability of your business to participate in the snap program, it is imperative you waste little time in hiring the services of a skilled attorney who understands these cases and how they can impact you and your business.
Do Not Hesitate
Once these allegations are made against you and your business is suspended from participating in snap, act as fast as possible. To begin with, the judicial review itself can begin only after an administrative review is completed. As the business owner, it will be up to you to decide if you wish to pursue a judicial review. Should you decide to do so, you will only have 30 days to file this after a decision is given by the administrative reviewer. If you fail to meet this deadline, you immediately lose all legal rights granted you to bring this case. Since you will undoubtedly have many questions, contact a SNAP judicial appeals lawyer at once.
Filing Your Judicial Review
When filing your judicial review, certain steps must be taken. To begin with, your attorney will file the case in U.S. District Court, and the opponent will be the United States. While this may sound intimidating, do not let this stop you. By having a skilled attorney on your side, you can trust their judgment and ability to get your case resolved in a satisfactory manner.
De Novo Hearing
Once your appeal makes it to the courtroom, the process will be known as a de novo hearing. This means the judge presiding over your case will render a decision without taking anything that happened in the administrative review into consideration. Since this can be either good or bad depending upon your individual circumstances, it will be very important for your attorney to prepare a case that includes as much evidence as possible to back up your claims. In addition, your attorney will also be able to take advantage of the discovery process, file motions against certain evidence being introduced into court, and conduct depositions of witnesses prior to the trial.
Before your snap trial gets underway, your attorney will have the opportunity to conduct settlement negotiations with government counsel. During this time, it may be possible for your attorney to convince the government enough evidence exists to turn the case in your favor. If they are successful, you may find the charges against you being suddenly dismissed and you be given the authority yet again to return to business as usual. However, since this is not a common occurrence, never assume the charges against you will be dropped.
If an out-of-court settlement is not reached, your case will proceed to trial. In these situations, you do not have the right to a trial by jury. Instead, the judge alone will render the decision. In addition, you may be called upon to testify in court. Since this is a possibility, work closely with your attorney to better understand the questions that will be asked of you and how you should respond. The more prepared you are entering the trial, the better chance you will have of seeing the case resolved in your favor.
Asking for a Stay
If you do not want the decision of the administrative reviewer to go into effect prior to your trial, your attorney will need to request a stay be granted by the judge. For this to be granted, your attorney must be able to demonstrate to the court that based on the merits of your case, you are likely to come out a winner in court. Along with this, they must also show the court that failing to grant a stay could do irreparable harm to your business.
In these situations, the court may choose to uphold the administrative reviewer’s decision, vacate it altogether, or do something entirely different. Whatever the case may be, you and your attorney must clearly spell out to the court what you are asking of them when arguing your case.
Can I Appeal this Verdict?
If you do not like the judge’s decision in your case, you have the right to appeal to the U.S. Circuit Court. If you do, these judges will review the ruling of the district court before making a decision. In some circumstances, you could even appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. But before making this move, it is best to listen to the advice of your experienced and knowledgeable snap appeals lawyer.
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