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Narrative Describing How ISDA Cases are Reported on this Website



25 C.F.R. 900.169 requires the coordinated publication of final decisions issued under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, 25 U.S.C. 450-450n. These cases are also known as "ISDA cases," in reference to the acronym for the Act, and as "638 cases," in reference to the Act's public law number. Final decisions are issued by Administrative Law Judges in the Department of the Interior, the Interior Board of Indian Appeals, and the Departmental Appeals Board of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The normal way of publishing decisions from these three entities differs. Therefore, this website provides the name of the decision, the level at which the decision was rendered, all identifying docket numbers and citations for the decision, and the date of the decision.

The following abbreviations are used for the level of the decision:

  • "ALJ" identifies a decision issued by an Administrative Law Judge in the Department of the Interior,

  • "IBIA" identifies a decision issued by the Interior Board of Indian Appeals, and

  • "HHS" identifies a decision issued by the Departmental Appeals Board of the Department of Health and Human Services.

In some instances, the name used for a case changed as the case progressed through the review process. Despite these changes, all cases involving the same appeal are grouped together by date.

In order to provide a complete picture of the decision-making process, recommended Administrative Law Judge decisions which were appealed to either the Interior Board of Indian Appeals or the Departmental Appeals Board of the Department of Health and Human Services may also be included even though the final decision in the matter was rendered by the appellate board.

Decisions of the HHS Departmental Appeals Board may be found at the HHS website, www.hhs.gov/dab.