Applicants whose clearance eligibility comes into question will receive a Statement of Reasons (SOR) that provides information about the reasons why the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA) intends to deny or revoke their clearance. The SOR will also include information about applicants' rights to submit a written response and to request a hearing. If you wish to rebut the SOR, a written response must be received by the DOHA within 20 days of the date that you receive the SOR. Your response can be made with or without a request for a hearing. In some cases, you can also request an extension to submit a SOR response, but the reasons must be legitimate.
Essentially, your response to the SOR will provide information that refutes, explains, or mitigates any allegations you face, which may include claims of foreign allegiance, drug involvement, criminal history, questionable personal conduct, and others. Once the DOHA has received your response, they will send you a File of Relevant Materials (FORM). You will have 30 days to submit a response to the FORM, stating your case in response to the findings therein. If your response to the SOR and / or FORM highlights sufficient support on your behalf, clearance may be granted. If they do not, an administrative judge will make a final decision by reviewing the FORM or conducting a hearing.
At McCormack & McCormack, our security clearance attorneys are here to guide you through every step of your clearance process. Our legal team is prepared to assist you in creating SOR and FORM responses and can ensure that all procedural deadlines are met. Additionally, we can provide support and representation during any additional security clearance hearing or appeal, should the need arise.
Having worked with numerous clients throughout the years, our legal team is familiar with many of the allegations that applicants receive on their SOR. This experience affords our firm with the versatility to handle a variety of cases and to develop effective legal solutions tailored precisely to your situation and your needs.
If you wish to discuss SOR responses or if you would like to discuss your case, do not hesitate to contact a security clearance attorney from McCormack & McCormack.