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Using The Departmental Appeals Board
Electronic Filing System ("DAB E-File") In Cases Filed With The DAB's Appellate Division

Introduction

This page contains instructions for using DAB E-File to file, respond to, and manage an appeal with the DAB's Appellate Division, which provides support for the five-member Departmental Appeals Board. (A separate set of instructions exists for cases that are brought before the DAB's Civil Remedies Division.)

Electronic filing using DAB E-File is available for appeals of adverse ALJ decisions and for appeals in most other types of cases handled by the Appellate Division.  If the final agency determination you are appealing does not state that you may use DAB E-File to file your appeal, please call the Appellate Division at 202-565-0208 to find out if DAB E-File is available. 

If DAB E-File is available, a non-federal party may still choose to use an acceptable paper-filing method for its initial appeal submission.  (Instructions for non-electronic filing can be found in the applicable Appellate Division Guidelines or in the Appellate Division Practice Manual.) However, you will generally be required to use DAB E-File for all subsequent submissions unless you are unable to file documents electronically and obtain a waiver from the Appellate Division. To obtain a waiver, you must call or e-mail the Appellate Division. The Appellate Division will provide contact information for that purpose in the acknowledgment letter (described below).

After completing a brief registration process (described below), a party may use DAB E-File to file any document that would ordinarily be sent to the Appellate Division using a postal or commercial delivery service. So, for example, a party may use DAB E-File to electronically:

A federal party is deemed to have consented to electronic service of all documents filed using DAB E-File. A non-federal party is deemed to have consented to electronic service of all documents filed by DAB E-File except a federal party’s initial appeal submission, unless the Appellate Division waives the e-filing requirement for the non-federal party.

Sending a document to the Appellate Division as an e-mail attachment is not a permitted method of electronic filing. Electronic filing must be performed using DAB E-File.

For each docketed appeal, DAB E-File generates a docket sheet that chronologically lists all documents submitted by the parties and issued by the Appellate Division in that appeal. The parties to the appeal may view and download these documents from the docket sheet.

E-File Registration

In order for a party to use DAB E-File, the party's representative must become a registered user. (If the party is a person who is representing himself or herself in the appeal, then that person should register as a DAB E-File user.)

To register, click "Register" on the bottom of the DAB E-File homepage, enter the information requested on the "Register New Account" form, then click "Register Account" at the bottom of that form. (If you are the representative of a federal party, you must instead obtain a registration link from that federal party’s e-filling administrators in order to begin the registration process.)

As part of the registration process, the registrant will be asked to provide an e-mail address and choose a password. Confirmation of registration will be sent to the e-mail address provided. The e-mail address and password provided during registration must be entered on the DAB E-File login screen in order to access DAB E-File. The registrant's e-mail address will also be the place to which DAB E-File sends notice of filings by the opposing party and notice of Appellate Division issuances.

A registered user of DAB E-File may electronically file and manage any number of appeals for which he or she is a party representative. A non-federal party registered user's access to DAB E-File is restricted to the appeals for which he or she is the party's representative.

A registered user must promptly update his or her DAB E-File registration to reflect changes in the user's telephone number, e-mail address, or postal mailing address. To update this information, log in to DAB E-File, click the "Manage Account" menu button on the left side of the screen, enter the changes on the "Update Account Information" form, then click "Update Account" at the bottom of that form.

To reset a forgotten password, click the "Forgot Password" link on the DAB E-File login screen, enter the registered user's e-mail address on the "Password Reset" screen, then click the "Reset Password" button. Instructions to reset the password will be e-mailed to the user. After the user resets the password, notice of the reset password will be e-mailed to the user.

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Using DAB E-File to Initiate an Appellate Division Proceeding

A party may use DAB E-File to send any of the following three types of initial appeal submissions to the Appellate Division:

To make an initial appeal submission using DAB E-File:

The following are additional instructions for completing the "File New Appeal - Appellate Division" form:

When the File New Appeal Form is submitted, DAB E-File will automatically assign a "tracking number" to the filing and generate a docket sheet that shows the tracking number, summarizes the information provided by the party who made the submission, identifies the documents uploaded, and specifies the date and time of the submission.

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Special Instructions for Initial Appeal Submissions Filed by a Federal Party

If the federal party is the appealing party, it should use DAB E-File to file the initial appeal submission but serve that submission on the non-federal party by a postal or commercial delivery service. The federal party should use DAB E-File to serve any future appeal-related submissions on the non-federal party unless the Appellate Division waives the e-filing requirement for the non-federal party. In the event of a waiver, the federal party should continue to submit appeal-related documents to the Appellate Division using DAB E-File but serve those documents on the non-federal party by a postal or commercial delivery service.

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Content Requirements and Filing Deadlines for Initial Appeal Submissions

Federal regulations establish the deadlines for filing various types of appeals with the Appellate Division (which is referred to in the regulations as "DAB" or "Board"). The Appellate Division Guidelines and Appellate Division Practice Manual may contain additional requirements and instructions concerning the content and organization of appeal submissions. These requirements and instructions apply equally to submissions filed using DAB E-File and paper-filed submissions.

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Date of Filing and Receipt

A document filed using DAB E-File will be deemed to have been filed with the Appellate Division on a given day if it is uploaded to DAB E-File on or before 11:59 p.m. eastern time of that day. A party is deemed to have received a document filed or issued using DAB E-File on that day except in the situations described below or unless it is a non-federal party for whom the Appellate Division has waived the e-filing requirement.

If an initial appeal submission filed by a non-federal party is not docketed by the Appellate Division until after the date filed, the federal party is deemed to have received that submission on the date it was docketed by the Appellate Division. DAB E-File automatically e-mails notice of docketing to the federal party’s e-filing administrators (or, in some cases, other individuals designated by the federal party for that purpose).

If an initial appeal submission is filed by a federal party, the non-federal party is generally deemed to have received that submission when it receives the submission from the federal party via a postal or commercial delivery service unless a different date is specified in the Appellate Division’s acknowledgment letter.

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Appellate Division's Acknowledgment and Docketing of an Initial Appeal Submission

When the initial appeal submission is e-filed, the Appellate Division will in most cases assign a docket number to the submission and within 10 days issue a letter that acknowledges receipt of the submission, informs the parties about the next steps, and addresses other related matters requiring immediate attention.

The Appellate Division will send its acknowledgment letter to both parties using DAB E-File unless the non-federal party paper-filed the initial appeal submission or the federal party filed the initial appeal submission. In the two latter situations, the Appellate Division will send its letter to the non-federal party by postal mail.

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Electronic Filing of a Response to an Initial Appeal Submission

If the non-federal party uses DAB E-File to file an initial appeal submission, then the federal party should use DAB E-File to file and serve its response to the submission and all subsequent documents.

If the non-federal party paper-files an initial appeal submission, the Appellate Division will upload that submission to DAB E-File. The federal party should then use DAB E-File to file and serve its documents unless the Appellate Division waives the e-filing requirement for the non-federal party. In the event of a waiver, the federal party should serve the non-federal party by a postal or commercial delivery service.

If the initial appeal submission was filed by the federal party, the non-federal party should use DAB E-File to file its response and all subsequent documents unless the Appellate Division waives the e-filing requirement for the non-federal party.

To use DAB E-File where the federal party filed the initial appeal submission, the non-federal party or that party's representative must first register for DAB E-File, then request access to the appeal's electronic docket. To request access, log in to DAB E-File, then click the "Request Access to Case" link just below the page heading on the "Manage Existing Appeals" page or click "Request Access" on the menu on the left side of that page. In either case, you will then be directed to a new screen which will require you to enter your case's docket number and, if appropriate, to upload a notice of appearance.

After access is granted, log in to DAB E-File and click the appropriate docket number on the "Manage Existing Appeals" screen or use "Search Docket Number" at the top of the screen. The docket sheet for the appeal will then appear. On the docket sheet, click the "Upload New Document" link just below the case information box, complete the form on the "Upload New Documents" screen by selecting or describing the "document type" and using the "Browse" button select the appropriate document for uploading. When the form is complete, click the "Continue" button on the bottom right of the screen. You will then be able to preview and change the information on the form before submitting the form.

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Electronic Signatures

The use of DAB E-File to file a document fulfills any signature requirement applicable to the party or party representative who makes the filing.

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Substitution of a Representative

If a non-federal party wishes to change its representative at any time during the appeal process, the party's current representative must notify the Appellate Division of the substitution using DAB E-File, or a postal or commercial delivery service if the party is a non-federal party that has obtained a waiver of the e-filing requirement, and include with that notice a signed and dated notice of appearance from the new representative. The new representative must register to use DAB E-File and request access to the case's electronic docket unless the new representative has obtained a waiver of the e-filing requirement for non-federal parties.

If a federal party wishes to change its representative at any time during the appeal process, the new representative must file a signed and dated notice of appearance using DAB E-File and, if the Appellate Division has waived the e-filing requirement for the non-federal party, send the notice of appearance to the non-federal party by a postal or commercial delivery service. DAB E-File will continue to e-mail notice of all issuances and submissions to the federal party’s former representative until the federal party’s e-filing administrators re-assign the case to the new representative.

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Document Formats Permitted

DAB E-File accepts numerous electronic formats, including word-processing and spreadsheet formats (e.g., Word and Excel files), Portable Document Format (PDF), image files (files created by scanning), audio and video files. The Appellate Division prefers that documents be submitted in PDF. All electronic documents must be formatted so that they will print on standard 8.5 x 11 inch paper. A document's file size should not exceed 50 MB.

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Electronic Filing of Documentary Evidence

If a party files documentary evidence, the party should assign each document a unique exhibit number and upload it to DAB E-File using a file name that includes the exhibit number.

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Accessing the Docket Sheet; Viewing and Downloading Documents

To access an appeal's docket sheet, log in to DAB E-File, then click the appropriate docket number on the "Manage Existing Appeals" screen or use "Search Docket Number" at the top of the screen. A party may view or download any appeal-related document by clicking on the docket sheet's link to that document.

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How the Appellate Division Will Use DAB E-File

The Appellate Division will use DAB E-File to send both parties any appeal-related notice, order, ruling, or decision except the first communication to a non-federal party that has paper-filed its initial appeal submission, unless the Appellate Division waives the e-filing requirement for the non-federal party.

When the Appellate Division issues a document using DAB E-File, the document is added to the relevant appeal's electronic docket sheet. Notice of all issuances and submissions is automatically e-mailed by DAB E-File to the parties’ representatives. If the federal party’s e-filing administrators have not yet assigned the case to a representative, notice will be e-mailed to the e-filing administrators.

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Problems with Delivery of E-mail Notifications

Registered users are responsible for ensuring that e-mail notifications from DAB E-File (notifications@dab.efile.hhs.gov) are not blocked by spam or other filters.

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Regulation of E-Filing

The DAB reserves the right to require the parties to revert to traditional (i.e., non-electronic) methods of filing and service when circumstances require.

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Technical Assistance

If you are experiencing technical problems with or have questions about DAB E-File, please contact DAB E-File System Support at OSDABImmediateOffice@hhs.gov. Please send an e-mail describing, in as much detail as possible, the nature of the problem and, if possible, provide documentation of the problem, such as a website error message.

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Last updated November 19, 2015