The Office of Administrative Hearings, initially named the Office of Hearing Examiners, was created in 1975 (Laws 1975, Ch. 380, Sec. 16-18) as part of broader administrative procedures legislation. Minnesota was the second state to create a central administrative hearing office, following California. The Office was established formally on July 1, 1975, but was not permitted to conduct administrative law hearings until January 1, 1976.
A 2006 Bench and Bar article provides details about OAH's history:
"In January of 1976, when Wendell Anderson was governor, Robert J. Sheran was chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, and Butch Wynegar was an All-Star for the Minnesota Twins, the Office of Hearing Examiners began with Duane Harves as its first chief hearing examiner. The first significant expansion of OAH responsibilities after its creation was in 1981, when legislation transferred all workers' compensation hearing functions and the compensation judges who were performing those functions from the Department of Labor and Industry to the now renamed Office of Administrative Hearings. While OAH took on this high-volume caseload, the Department of Labor and Industry retained, for the time, the alternative dispute resolution functions and the quasijudicial settlement function. The Department of Labor and Industry continued to employ a cadre of compensation judges, known as "settlement judges," who presided over settlement conferences and certain other related prehearing proceedings. The two quasijudicial functions continued to be done in the two different state agencies until 1997, when the Legislature created a Settlement Division within OAH and transferred all of the settlement functions to OAH, along with the settlement judges who had been performing those functions."
The Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) is a quasi-judicial agency in the Executive Branch.