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Using the Departmental Appeals Board Electronic Filing System ("DAB E-File") For Cases Before the Civil Remedies Division

This page contains instructions about how to use the Departmental Appeals Board electronic filing system ("DAB E-File") to file, respond to, and manage a case electronically before an administrative law judge of the Civil Remedies Division ("CRD").

Before a party can submit or receive appeal-related documents electronically using DAB E-File, the party (if pro se) or party's representative (whether an employee, outside attorney, or some other non-employee representative) must become a registered user of DAB E-File. See the following section entitled "E-File Registration."

Electronic filing of a document does not relieve the filer of the obligation to serve that document on other parties. In addition, sending a document to CRD as an e-mail attachment is not a permitted method of electronic filing in CRD cases, as electronic filing must be performed using DAB E-File.

The Civil Remedies Division recommends that parties with the capability to file documents electronically utilize DAB E-File. However, paper filing of documents in cases where electronic filing is allowed remains available for parties unable to file electronically. If a party is unable to use DAB E-File, it must send appeal-related documents to CRD using a postal or commercial delivery service at the following address:

Department of Health and Human Services
Departmental Appeals Board, MS 6132
Civil Remedies Division
330 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Cohen Building — Room G-644
Washington, D.C. 20201

If a party files its request for hearing using DAB E-File, then both parties should make all future submissions by that method, and CRD will issue all documents electronically using DAB E-File. In cases where the non-federal party is unable to use DAB E-File, CRD will allow the federal party to file documents electronically. However, that party must serve a paper copy of its filing upon the opposing party on or by the filing due date. In this instance, CRD will issue documents electronically using DAB E-File, and CRD will provide paper copies to the party that is unable to use DAB E-File.

DAB E-File will notify both parties by e-mail (addressed to the parties' representatives) whenever a party files, or the Administrative Law Judge issues, a document via DAB E-File. The e-mailed notice will contain a link to the DAB E-File login screen. Upon login, the party will be directed to the relevant appeal's docket page, from where the newly filed or issued document may be viewed or downloaded.

A party that files a request for hearing via DAB E-File will be deemed to have consented to accept electronic service of appeal-related documents that CMS or OIG files, or CRD issues on behalf of the Administrative Law Judge, via DAB E-File. Correspondingly, CMS or OIG will also be deemed to have consented to electronic service.

At all times, a litigant filing electronically assumes the risk of all errors not solely attributable to an E-Filing system malfunction that may result in the inability to complete an electronic filing. If the filer experiences problems with the E-Filing system before 4:00 P.M. Eastern Time, please contact e-File System Support at OSDABImmediateOffice@hhs.gov. After 4:00 P.M. Eastern Time, the filer should notify DAB on the next business day and provide, in as much detail as possible, the nature of the problem and, if possible, supporting documentation or evidence of the problem, such as copy of an error message or screen print of an error page.

E-Filing Registration

To register as a user of DAB E-File, click "Register" on the DAB E-File home page, enter the information requested on the "Register New Account" form, then click "Register Account" at the bottom of the form.

As part of the registration process, the party or party's representative will be asked to provide an e-mail address and choose a password. Confirmation of the registration will be sent to the e-mail address that the registrant provided. DAB E-File will send notice to the registrant's e-mail address of electronic filing (by all parties, including the registrant) or posting (by CRD) of appeal-related documents. See the section below entitled "How the Civil Remedies Division Will Use DAB E-File." A Registered User may file any number of appeals on behalf of one or more of the parties that it represents.

The e-mail address and password provided during registration must be entered on the login screen to access DAB E-File. A Registered User's access to DAB E-File is restricted to the appeals for which he or she is a party or authorized representative.

If a party has more than one representative, each representative must register separately to use DAB E-File on the party's behalf. In such instance, the lead representative (or attorney), when filing an appeal at the File a New Appeal page, shall specify that another representative (or co-counsel) will also handle the case on behalf of the party. The lead representative (or attorney) shall indicate if the other representative (or counsel) has also registered an account. If the other representative (or counsel) has already registered an account, the System Administrator will confirm the registration and link that representative (or counsel) to the filed request for hearing. If the other representative (or counsel) does not have a registered account, the lead representative should input the name and e-mail address of the other representative (or counsel), when filing the appeal at the File a New Appeal page. The other representative (or counsel) will receive an e-mail with a link to the registration page, once the appeal is filed.

A Registered User must promptly update its DAB E-File account 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 from the system's home page, then click the "Manage Account" button on the left side of the screen.

To reset a forgotten password, click the "Forgot Password" link on the login page at https://dab.efile.hhs.gov/login, then enter the Registered User's e-mail address. The user's current password will be reset, and the new password will be sent to the user's e-mail address.

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Filing the Request for Hearing and Supporting Documentation

A party files a request for hearing and supporting documentation by:

If DAB E-File accepts the request for hearing and supporting documentation, the system will assign a "tracking number" to the filing and generate a confirmation page that provides the tracking number, summarizes the information that the party or its representative provided about the appeal, identifies the documents uploaded, and specifies the date and time of filing. The party should print the confirmation page for its records. The system will also automatically send e-mail confirmation of the filing to the party's representative(s) (or counsel) and to CMS or OIG.

Date of Filing

Any document, including a request for hearing, will be deemed to have been filed on a given day, if it is uploaded to DAB E-File on or before 11:59 p.m. Eastern time of that day.

CRD's Acknowledgment and Docketing of the Appeal

Promptly after the request for hearing is submitted, CRD will assign a docket number to the request for hearing, if CRD deems the request acceptable, and notify the Petitioner and CMS or OIG (via DAB E-File) of the appeal's docket number. With the e-mail that dockets the request for hearing, CRD will also attach either an Acknowledgement Order or letter that acknowledges receipt of the appeal, assigns an Administrative Law Judge and Staff Attorney to the case, informs the parties about the next steps in the appeal process, such as briefing dates or an initial telephone call, and relevant CRD procedures, and discusses any other matter requiring attention of CRD or the parties.

Content requirements and filing deadlines

CMS and OIG regulations establish the deadline for filing a request for hearing. In addition, the regulations contain additional requirements and instructions concerning the content and organization of the request for hearing and supporting documentation and the submission of supporting documentation after the filing of the request for hearing. These filing and content requirements apply equally to electronically filed and non-electronically filed appeals.

At minimum, CRD requires a party to file a signed request for hearing and the underlying notice letter from CMS or the OIG that sets forth the action taken and the party's appeal rights. The E-Filing System accepts Portable Document Format (PDF), image, audio and video files.

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Response to a Request for Hearing

As noted earlier, if the party files a request for hearing via DAB E-File, CMS or OIG should file its response in the same manner (and is deemed to consent to electronic service). To file the response (or any other appeal-related document), CMS's or OIG's attorneys must log in to DAB E-File, click the appropriate docket number on the "Manage Existing Appeals" page, then click "Upload New Document" and enter the requested information and upload document.

CMS or OIG may use DAB E-File to file its response, and other appeal-related documents, even if the party did not file the request for hearing electronically. However, in that circumstance, CMS or OIG must also send a copy of its submission to the party by postal mail, personal delivery service, or commercial delivery service.

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Exhibits

In a case in which the Administrative Law Judge has either scheduled an in-person hearing or ordered that a decision will based be upon the written record, the Administrative Law Judge will order a variety of documents to be filed and exchanged with the opposing party. Documents that are intended to prove facts as alleged by a party must be offered as exhibits.

Parties that submit exhibits must submit them as individual or separate electronic files. In other words, the party must upload each exhibit individually. Each exhibit must be marked with an abbreviated designation for the party offering the exhibit (followed by the abbreviation "Ex." for exhibit). For example, the designation "P" for Petitioner is generally used for non-federal parties. "CMS" is used for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as party, and "IG" is used for the Inspector General of HHS as a party. Thus, when uploading exhibits, they should be titled "P Ex. ___," or "CMS or IG Ex. ___."

Exhibits must be marked with the docket number of the case. These designations are followed by a whole number (one not used previously by the offering party), not a letter, not a mixture of numbers and letters, and not a number with a decimal point. Pursuant to CRD procedures, the exhibit in PDF format, should contain the following notations when uploaded:

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Substitution of a Representative

If a party wishes to change its representative, the party's current representative must notify CRD and the Administrative Law Judge of the substitution via DAB E-File. The party must include a signed letter of appearance from the new representative with the notice of substitution. The new representative must register to use DAB E-File, and the letter of appearance must be signed and dated. The letter also must contain the e-mail address that was used (or will be used) by the new representative in the registration process.

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Document Formats Permitted

The E-Filing System accepts numerous electronic formats including Portable Document Format (PDF), image, audio and video files. All electronic documents must be formatted so that they will print on standard 8.5 x 11 inch paper.

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How CRD Will Use the E-Filing System

When a party has filed its request for hearing via DAB E-File, CRD will use that system to issue and serve upon the parties any notice, order, ruling, or decision. CRD will not mail paper copies to the parties in that circumstance.

When CRD issues a document via DAB E-File, the document is posted to the relevant appeal's docket sheet. Simultaneously, an e-mail is sent to all parties, or parties' representatives, notifying them of the document's issuance.

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Date of Receipt of CRD Documents

Absent notice to CRD of circumstances that precluded or delayed e-mail delivery, the parties are deemed to have received a notice, order, or other document that CRD served on the parties using DAB E-File on the date the document is posted to DAB E-File.

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Electronic Docket Sheet: Viewing and Downloading Appeal Documents

For each docketed appeal, DAB E-File generates a "docket sheet" that lists, by filing date and time, all documents submitted by the parties and all documents that CRD issued for that appeal. 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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Problems with E-mail Delivery

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

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CRD Regulation of E-Filing

CRD 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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Electronic Signature

The use of DAB E-File to file a document fulfills any signature requirement applicable to the party representative who made the filing. (The e-mail address and password used by the representative to access DAB E-File will serve as the filer's electronic signature on documents that would ordinarily contain or are required to contain the filer's signature.) The electronic copy of a document authored by a person other that the party's representative — for example, a witness affidavit or declaration — must be in an electronic format (typically, PDF) that captures the actual physical signature.

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Technical Assistance

If you experience problems with, or have questions about DAB E-File, please contact e-File System Support at OSDABImmediateOffice@hhs.gov. The filer should provide, in as much detail as possible, the nature of the problem and, if possible, supporting documentation or evidence of the problem, such as copy of an error message or screen print of an error page.

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