How do I appeal a security clearance revocation or denial?
CAN I APPEAL A SECURITY CLEARANCE OR REVOCATION?
Yes. If your clearance has been denied or revoked, you may submit a Reconsideration Package which must be endorsed by the Commanding Officer or Contractor Authority to have your eligibility reinstated.
Contractor applicants are limited to submitting a written appeal to the Personal Security Appeals Board (PSAB), but the PSAB will not consider any new evidence. The appeal must be based on procedural error(s) by the Administrative Judge (AJ). In industrial cases the DoD Department Counsel can appeal the favorable decision of an AJ. The PSAB issues a written decision addressing the material issues raised on appeal and a copy is sent to both parties. The PSAB can affirm, reverse, or remand a case to the original AJ with instructions for further review. The decision of the PSAB is final.
DOD Civilian and Active Duty Military Personnel
DoD civilian employees and military personnel have the choice of submitting a written appeal with supporting documents directly to their PSAB or requesting a “personal appearance” before an AJ. In either case new evidence can be submitted. Those who choose to appear before an AJ are permitted to explain their case (with an attorney, if desired), submit supporting documents, and present witnesses. Although a personal appearance is very similar to a hearing; there is usually no opposing counsel. The AJ evaluates all the information and makes a written clearance recommendation to the PSAB. The PSAB is not required to follow the recommendation of the AJ.
The PSAB notifies the applicant of their final decision and includes reasons for their decision.
Applicants who are denied a clearance with or without an appeal are barred from applying for a security clearance for a period of one year.
SHOULD I HIRE EXPERIENCED MILITARY LAWYER TO ASSIST ME WITH MY APPEAL?
You should certainly consider it. A review of 500 cases decided by Administrative Judges (AJs) at the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA) found that applicants with attorneys were granted clearances 60% more often than those who represented themselves. An attorney who has experience representing clients in security clearance matters can help you navigate the pitfalls of the process as well as help ensure your appeal is as strong as possible. At King Military Law, we've worked security clearance issues from both sides of the fence, building comprehensive insight into the process. We know what works, what doesn't, and why. Please reach out if you think we can help.
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