Exhaustion of Remedies
The first principle of agency law is that you have to exhaust the procedures provided by the agency before you can go to court. This preserves an orderly review process, allows the agency to resolve the problem, and, if the court eventually does review the action, gives the agency a chance to develop a record that will aid the court in its deliberations. In most cases, if a court action is filed before all the agency remedies have been tried, the court will dismiss the case. Even if the court hears the case, it may find that the regulated entity waived critical rights by not presenting evidence at the agency level. The courts will consider an action against an agency without first exhausting the agency remedies if the claim is that the agency is exceeding its legal powers, if action raises only questions of law, rather than agency expertise, or if the agency proceedings do not provide an adequate remedy.