An Order to Show Cause is the DEA’s initiation of an administrative proceeding to revoke or suspend a DEA registration. To comply with the procedural due process, the DEA must provide you with notice of their intent to revoke or suspend your registration, and an opportunity for a hearing. So the DEA will issue an Order to Show Cause, which explains their reason for revoking your registration and informs you of your right to challenge that decision. You will likely receive this in the form of a certified letter to your registered address.
From this point, there are several options available to DEA registrants.
First, you may request a hearing before one of DEA’s administrative law judges (ALJs). To preserve your right to a hearing, you must file a request for a hearing with DEA’s Office of Administrative Law Judges within 30 days of service of the Order to Show Cause.
Second, you may waive your right to a hearing and simultaneously file a written statement of why your registration should not be revoked, again within 30 days of service of the Order to Show Cause.
Finally, a third option is to ignore the Order to Show Cause, in which case DEA will request a final order based only on DEA’s evidence, usually resulting in a revocation of your DEA registration.
The option that is best for you is a decision that is best made after consulting with experienced DEA order to show cause attorney. Due to the requirements for filing an appropriate response, it is imperative that you retain legal counsel as soon as possible.