Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Accardi Doctrine Definition:

An agency must abide by its own regulations.

USA flagNamed after the Supreme Court decision from which the doctrine was developed, US ex rel Accardi.

In Nader, Justice of the United States Court of Appeal, 4th District, wrote:

"[T]he Accardi doctrine ... provides that when an agency fails to follow its own procedures or regulations, that agency's actions are generally invalid."

In Richardson, Justice Smith wrote:

"The Accardi doctrine stands for the unremarkable proposition that an agency must abide by its own regulations. Thus, an agency's failure to afford an individual procedural safeguards required under its own regulations may result in the invalidation of the ultimate administrative determination."


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