Security Clearance DOHA Claims
The Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA) is the largest part of the Defense Legal Services Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).
Among its security tasks, DOHA:
- Holds hearings and makes decisions for contractors who are doing classified work for all DoD components and 20 other Federal Agencies and Departments
- Conducts personal appearances and issues decisions in security clearance situations for DoD civilian employees and military personnel
The first step in applying for a national security position is to be conditionally hired by the national security employer wishing to hire you. You cannot apply for a security clearance yourself. You must be sponsored by your potential employer. Once your application (Standard Form 86 (SF 86) is completed and submitted and the extensive investigative examination of your background is finished, you will be approved or denied a security clearance.
If you are denied a security clearance or your clearance is revoked you will receive a Statement of Reasons (SOR) from the government department handling your case. This is a central part of the appeals process, since it is up to you to appeal and rebut the reasons given for your being denied security clearance.
Appealing the Statement of Reasons
The first step in the appeals process is to submit a Notice of Appeal, which tells the Appeal Board you plan to appeal the decision. You have to submit this appeal within 15 days from the date the judge handed down the decision. Besides giving your name and address and other identifying information, you must say whether you will be represented. If you are being represented, you should provide your lawyer’s name and address.
The reply to the Statement of Reasons is a critical part of the appeals process. It is a good time to hire a lawyer, if you haven’t already done so. This is the time you need to get your appeal down pat. A lawyer can help you with your written reply to the Statement of Reasons, called the Appeal Brief.
The Appeal Brief, the crucial step in the appeals process, must be filed within 45 days from the date of the Judge’s decision. In the brief you need to state what the judge said that was wrong. However, no new evidence may be submitted.
The Reply Brief is next and is an optional step. The non-appealing party receives the Appeal Brief from the Appeal Board and must file the reply, if any, in 20 days to the Board.
Finally, the Hearing Office Administrative Judge, after reviewing the file, the Appeal Brief and a Reply Brief, if there is one, renders a written decision.
Contact a National Security Clearance Attorney for Help
Our national security clearance lawyers can help you with the appeals process of you are denied clearance. To learn more, contact us today. We can help you with any stage of the process.