Office of Hearings and Appeals Search Database
This website uses Perceptive Enterprise Search (formerly ISYS Query) indexing software that assists you in searching for cases decided by the Office of Hearings and Appeals and other Department of the Interior authorities. Perceptive Enterprise Search displays a decision in portable document format (PDF).
How Are Decisions Organized?
Decisions are grouped into databases, e.g., "A" and "M" Decisions (1920-1970), IBIA Decisions (1970-Present), and IBLA Decisions (1970-Present). Each search page has a list showing the different databases available. The decisions in these databases are further described at https://www.doi.gov/library/collections/law/decisions.
Note that while the decisions in most of the databases are precedential and may be cited as authority in future cases, decisions of the Hearings Division and IBLA Final Orders are not.
What Are My Search Options?
There are four ways to search a database. The most basic is the Quick Search option on the right hand side of this page. Simply enter the term you wish to search for, select the database you wish to search from the drop-down list, and hit the "Enter" key or "Search" button on your keyboard. Note that if you search on the term mining claim (without quotation marks), Perceptive Enterprise Search will find any case that contains the word mining and also the word claim, whether the two words are together or not. If you search on the term "mining claim" (with quotation marks), Perceptive Enterprise Search will find any case that contains the phrase mining claim.
Three other search options are available. The most user friendly is the Menu Assisted query. This query page combines most of the Perceptive Enterprise Search query tools on one easy-to-use page. The Natural Language query, as its name implies, uses a simple statement or sentence as a platform to query and retrieve database matches. The Advanced Search query allows users who are familiar with Perceptive Enterprise Search search language to customize individual searches. To assist users with the different Perceptive Enterprise Search query tools, Help pages are provided on the right hand side of this page.
May I Search More Than One Database Simultaneously?
Yes. The Advanced Search query, Menu Assisted query, and Natural Language query options allow you to search multiple databases at the same time by checking the box next to each database that you wish to search. However, due to formatting differences among the databases, the display of search results may be more useful if you run your search separately for each database. "Entire Site" Search option can be used to search all the indexes.
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