Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 5. Corporations
Agency 5. State Corporation Commission, Clerk's Office
Chapter 20. State Corporation Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure

5VAC5-20-280. Discovery applicable only to 5VAC5-20-90 proceedings.

This rule applies only to a proceeding in which a defendant is subject to a monetary penalty or injunction, or revocation, cancellation, or curtailment of a license, certificate of authority, registration, or similar authority previously issued by the commission to the defendant:

1. Discovery of material in possession of the commission staff. Upon written motion of the defendant, the commission shall permit the defendant to inspect and, at the defendant's expense, copy or photograph (exclusive of investigative notes): (i) any relevant written or recorded statements, the existence of which is known, after reasonable inquiry, by the commission staff counsel assigned to the matter to be within the custody, possession, or control of commission staff, made by (a) the defendant, or representatives or agents of the defendant if the defendant is other than an individual, or (b) any witness whom the commission staff intends, or does not intend, to call to testify at the hearing, to a commission staff member or law enforcement officer; (ii) designated books, tangible objects, papers, documents, or copies or portions thereof, that are within the custody, possession, or control of commission staff and that commission staff intends to introduce into evidence at the hearing or that the commission staff obtained for the purpose of the instant proceeding; and (iii) the list of the witnesses that commission staff intends to call to testify at the hearing. Upon good cause shown to protect the identity of persons not named as a defendant, the commission or hearing examiner may direct the commission staff to withhold disclosure of material requested under this rule. The term "statement" as used in relation to any witness (other than a defendant) described in clause (i) of this subdivision includes a written statement made by said witness and signed or otherwise adopted or approved by him, and verbatim transcriptions or recordings of a witness' statement that are made contemporaneously with the statement by the witness.

A motion by the defendant or staff under this rule shall be filed and served at least 30 days before the hearing date. The motion shall include all relief sought. A subsequent motion may be made only upon a showing of cause as to why the motion would be in the interest of justice. An order or ruling granting relief under this rule shall specify the time, place, and manner of making discovery and inspection permitted, and may prescribe such terms and conditions as the commission may determine.

Upon written motion of the commission staff, staff may also obtain the list of witnesses that the defendant intends to call to testify at the hearing, and inspect, copy, and photograph, at commission staff's expense, the evidence that the defendant intends to introduce into evidence at the hearing.

The commission staff and the defendant shall be required to produce the information described above as directed by the commission or hearing examiner, but not later than 10 days prior to the scheduled hearing; and the admission of any additional evidence not provided in accordance herewith shall not be denied solely on the basis that it was not produced timely, provided the additional evidence was produced to commission staff or the defendant as soon as practicable prior to the hearing, or prior to the introduction of such evidence at the hearing. The requirement to produce the information described in this section shall be in addition to any requirement by commission staff or the defendant to timely respond to an interrogatory or document request made pursuant to 5VAC5-20-260.

Nothing in this rule shall require the disclosure of any information, the disclosure of which is prohibited by statute or other legal privilege. The disclosure of the results of a commission staff investigation or work product of commission staff counsel shall not be required.

2. Depositions. After commencement of a proceeding to which this rule applies, the commission staff or a party may take the testimony of (i) a party, or (ii) a person not a party for good cause shown to the commission or hearing examiner, other than a member of the commission staff, by deposition on oral examination or by written questions. Depositions may be used for any purpose for which they may be used in the courts of record of the Commonwealth. Except where the commission or hearing examiner finds that an emergency exists, no deposition may be taken later than 10 days in advance of the formal hearing. The attendance of witnesses at depositions may be compelled by subpoena. Examination and cross-examination of the witness shall be as at hearing. Depositions may be taken in the City of Richmond or in the town, city, or county in which the deposed person resides, is employed, or does business. The parties and the commission staff, by agreement, may designate another place for the taking of the deposition. Reasonable notice of the intent to take a deposition must be given in writing to the commission staff counsel and to each party to the action, stating the time and place where the deposition is to be taken. A deposition may be taken before any person (the "officer") authorized to administer oaths by the laws of the jurisdiction in which the deposition is to be taken. The officer shall certify his authorization in writing, administer the oath to the deponent, record or cause to be recorded the testimony given, and note any objections raised. In lieu of participating in the oral examination, a party or the commission staff may deliver sealed written questions to the officer, who shall propound the questions to the witness. The officer may terminate the deposition if convinced that the examination is being conducted in bad faith or in an unreasonable manner. Costs of the deposition shall be borne by the party noticing the deposition, unless otherwise ordered by the commission.

3. Requests for admissions. The commission staff or a party to a proceeding may serve upon a party written requests for admission. Each matter on which an admission is requested shall be stated separately. A matter shall be deemed admitted unless within 21 days of the service of the request, or some other period the commission may designate, the party to whom the request is directed serves upon the requesting party a written answer addressing or objecting to the request. The response shall set forth in specific terms a denial of the matter set forth or an explanation as to the reasons the responding party cannot truthfully admit or deny the matter set forth. Requests for admission shall be filed with the Clerk of the Commission and simultaneously served on commission staff counsel and on all parties to the proceeding.

Statutory Authority

§ 12.1-13 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 18, eff. June 1, 2001; amended, Virginia Register Volume 25, Issue 14, eff. March 11, 2009; Volume 27, Issue 26, eff. September 1, 2011.

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