Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 5. Corporations
Agency 5. State Corporation Commission, Clerk's Office
7/10/2020

Chapter 20. State Corporation Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure

Part I
General Provisions

5VAC5-20-10. Applicability.

The State Corporation Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure are promulgated pursuant to the authority of § 12.1-25 of the Code of Virginia and are applicable to the regulatory and adjudicatory proceedings of the State Corporation Commission except where superseded by more specific rules for particular types of cases or proceedings. When necessary to serve the ends of justice in a particular case, the commission may grant, upon motion or its own initiative, a waiver or modification of any of the provisions of these rules, except 5VAC5-20-220, under terms and conditions and to the extent it deems appropriate. These rules do not apply to the internal administration or organization of the commission in matters such as the procurement of goods and services, personnel actions, and similar issues, nor to matters that are being handled administratively by a division or bureau of the commission.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 12.1-25 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.

5VAC5-20-20. Good faith pleading and practice.

Every pleading, written motion, or other document presented for filing by a party represented by an attorney shall be signed by at least one attorney of record in the attorney's individual name, and the attorney's mailing address and telephone number, and where available, telefax number and email address, shall be stated. An individual not represented by an attorney shall sign the individual's pleading, motion, or other document, and shall state the individual's mailing address and telephone number. A partnership not represented by an attorney shall have a partner sign the partnership's pleading, motion, or other document, and shall state the partnership's mailing address and telephone number. A nonlawyer may only represent the interests of another before the commission in the presentation of facts, figures, or factual conclusions, as distinguished from legal arguments or conclusions. In the case of an individual or entity not represented by counsel, each signature shall be that of the individual or a qualified officer or agent of the entity. Documents signed pursuant to this rule need not be under oath unless so required by statute.

The commission allows electronic filing. Before filing electronically, the filer shall complete an electronic document filing authorization form, establish a filer authentication password with the Clerk of the State Corporation Commission and otherwise comply with the electronic filing procedures adopted by the commission. Upon establishment of a filer authentication password, a filer may make electronic filings in any case. All documents submitted electronically must be capable of being printed as paper documents without loss of content or appearance.

The signature of an attorney or party constitutes a certification that (i) the attorney or party has read the pleading, motion, or other document; (ii) to the best of the attorney's or party's knowledge, information, and belief formed after reasonable inquiry, the pleading, motion or other document is well grounded in fact and is warranted by existing law or a good faith argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law; and (iii) the pleading, motion or other document is not interposed for any improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation. A pleading, written motion, or other document will not be accepted for filing by the Clerk of the Commission if it is not signed.

An oral motion made by an attorney or party in a commission proceeding constitutes a representation that the motion (i) is well grounded in fact and is warranted by existing law or a good faith argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law; and (ii) is not interposed for any improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 12.1-25 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 18, eff. June 1, 2001; amended, Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 11, eff. February 15, 2008; Volume 25, Issue 14, eff. March 11, 2009.

5VAC5-20-30. Counsel.

Except as otherwise provided in 5VAC5-20-20, no person other than a properly licensed attorney at law shall file pleadings or papers or appear at a hearing to represent the interests of another person or entity before the commission. An attorney admitted to practice in another jurisdiction, but not licensed in Virginia, may be permitted to appear in a particular proceeding pending before the commission in association with a member of the Virginia State Bar. The Virginia State Bar member will be counsel of record for every purpose related to the conduct and disposition of the proceeding.

In all appropriate proceedings before the commission, the Division of Consumer Counsel, Office of the Attorney General, may appear and represent and be heard on behalf of consumers' interests, and investigate matters relating to such appearance, and otherwise may participate to the extent reasonably necessary to discharge its statutory duties.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 12.1-25 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 18, eff. June 1, 2001.

5VAC5-20-40. Photographs and broadcasting of proceedings.

Electronic media and still photography coverage of commission hearings will be allowed at the discretion of the commission.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 12.1-25 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 18, eff. June 1, 2001.

5VAC5-20-50. Consultation by parties with commissioners and hearing examiners.

No commissioner or hearing examiner shall consult with any party or any person acting on behalf of any party with respect to a pending formal proceeding without giving adequate notice and opportunity for all parties to participate.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 12.1-25 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 18, eff. June 1, 2001.

5VAC5-20-60. Commission staff.

The commissioners and hearing examiners shall be free at all times to confer with any member of the commission staff. However, no facts or legal arguments likely to influence a pending formal proceeding and not of record in that proceeding shall be furnished ex parte to any commissioner or hearing examiner by any member of the commission staff.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 12.1-25 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 18, eff. June 1, 2001.

5VAC5-20-70. Informal complaints.

All correspondence and informal complaints shall be referred to the appropriate division or bureau of the commission. The head of the division or bureau receiving this correspondence or complaint shall attempt to resolve the matter presented. Matters not resolved to the satisfaction of all participating parties by the informal process may be reviewed by the full commission upon the proper filing of a formal proceeding in accordance with the rules by any party to the informal process.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 12.1-25 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 18, eff. June 1, 2001.

Part II
Commencement of Formal Proceedings

5VAC5-20-80. Regulatory proceedings.

A. Application. Except where otherwise provided by statute, rule or commission order, a person or entity seeking to engage in an industry or business subject to the commission's regulatory authority, or to make changes in any previously authorized service, rate, facility, or other aspect of such industry or business that, by statute or rule, must be approved by the commission, shall file an application requesting authority to do so. The application shall contain (i) a specific statement of the action sought; (ii) a statement of the facts that the applicant is prepared to prove that would warrant the action sought; (iii) a statement of the legal basis for such action; and (iv) any other information required by law or regulation. Any person or entity filing an application shall be a party to that proceeding.

B. Participation as a respondent. A notice of participation as a respondent is the proper initial response to an application. A notice of participation shall be filed within the time prescribed by the commission and shall contain (i) a precise statement of the interest of the respondent; (ii) a statement of the specific action sought to the extent then known; and (iii) the factual and legal basis for the action. Any person or entity filing a notice of participation as a respondent shall be a party to that proceeding.

C. Public witnesses. Any person or entity not participating in a matter pursuant to subsection A or B of this section may make known their position in any regulatory proceeding by filing written comments in advance of the hearing if provided for by commission order or by attending the hearing, noting an appearance in the manner prescribed by the commission, and giving oral testimony. Public witnesses may not otherwise participate in the proceeding, be included in the service list, or be considered a party to the proceeding.

D. Commission staff. The commission staff may appear and participate in any proceeding in order to see that pertinent issues on behalf of the general public interest are clearly presented to the commission. The staff may, inter alia, conduct investigations and discovery, evaluate the issues raised, testify and offer exhibits, file briefs and make argument, and be subject to cross-examination when testifying. Neither the commission staff collectively nor any individual member of the commission staff shall be considered a party to the case for any purpose by virtue of participation in a proceeding.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 12.1-25 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.

5VAC5-20-90. Adjudicatory proceedings.

A. Initiation of proceedings. Investigative, disciplinary, penal, and other adjudicatory proceedings may be initiated by motion of the commission staff or upon the commission's own motion. Further proceedings shall be controlled by the issuance of a rule to show cause, which shall give notice to the defendant, state the allegations against the defendant, provide for a response from the defendant and, where appropriate, set the matter for hearing. A rule to show cause shall be served in the manner provided by § 12.1-19.1 or § 12.1-29 of the Code of Virginia. The commission staff shall prove the case by clear and convincing evidence.

B. Answer. An answer or other responsive pleading shall be filed within 21 days of service of the rule to show cause, unless the commission shall order otherwise. The answer shall state, in narrative form, each defendant's responses to the allegations in the rule to show cause and any affirmative defenses asserted by the defendant. Failure to file a timely answer or other responsive pleading may result in the entry of judgment by default against the party failing to respond.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 12.1-25 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.

5VAC5-20-100. Other proceedings.

A. Promulgation of general orders, rules, or regulations. Before promulgating a general order, rule, or regulation, the commission shall, by order upon an application or upon its own motion, require reasonable notice of the contents of the proposed general order, rule, or regulation, including publication in the Virginia Register of Regulations, and afford interested persons an opportunity to comment, present evidence, and be heard. A copy of each general order, rule, and regulation adopted in final form by the commission shall be filed with the Registrar of Regulations for publication in the Virginia Register of Regulations.

B. Petitions in other matters. Persons having a cause before the commission, whether by statute, rule, regulation, or otherwise, against a defendant, including the commission, a commission bureau, or a commission division, shall proceed by filing a written petition containing (i) the identity of the parties; (ii) a statement of the action sought and the legal basis for the commission's jurisdiction to take the action sought; (iii) a statement of the facts, proof of which would warrant the action sought; (iv) a statement of the legal basis for the action; and (v) a certificate showing service upon the defendant.

Within 21 days of service of a petition under this rule, the defendant shall file an answer or other responsive pleading containing, in narrative form, (i) a response to each allegation of the petition and (ii) a statement of each affirmative defense asserted by the defendant. Failure to file a timely answer may result in entry of judgment by default against the defendant failing to respond. Upon order of the commission, the commission staff may participate in any proceeding under this rule in which it is not a defendant to the same extent as permitted by 5VAC5-20-80 D.

C. Declaratory judgments. Persons having no other adequate remedy may petition the commission for a declaratory judgment. The petition shall meet the requirements of subsection B of this section and, in addition, contain a statement of the basis for concluding that an actual controversy exists. In the proceeding, the commission shall by order provide for the necessary notice, responsive pleadings, and participation by interested parties and the commission staff.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 12.1-25 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.

Part III
Procedure in Formal Proceedings

5VAC5-20-110. Motions.

Motions may be filed for the same purposes recognized by the courts of record in the Commonwealth. Unless otherwise ordered by the commission, any response to a motion must be filed within 14 days of the filing of the motion, and any reply by the moving party must be filed within 10 days of the filing of the response.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 12.1-25 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 18, eff. June 1, 2001.

5VAC5-20-120. Procedure before hearing examiners.

A. Assignment. The commission may, by order, assign a matter pending before it to a hearing examiner. Unless otherwise ordered, the hearing examiner shall conduct all further proceedings in the matter on behalf of the commission in accordance with these rules. In the discharge of his duties, the hearing examiner shall exercise all the adjudicatory powers possessed by the commission including, inter alia, the power to administer oaths; require the attendance of witnesses and parties; require the production of documents; schedule and conduct pre-hearing conferences; admit or exclude evidence; grant or deny continuances; and rule on motions, matters of law, and procedural questions. The hearing examiner shall, upon conclusion of all assigned duties, issue a written final report and recommendation to the commission at the conclusion of the proceedings.

B. Objections and certification of issues. An objection to a ruling by the hearing examiner during a hearing shall be stated with the reasons therefor at the time of the ruling. Any objection to a hearing examiner's ruling may be argued to the commission as part of a response to the hearing examiner's report. A ruling by the hearing examiner that denies further participation by a party in interest or the commission staff in a proceeding that has not been concluded may be immediately appealed to the commission by filing a written motion with the commission for review. Upon the motion of any party or the staff, or upon the hearing examiner's own initiative, the hearing examiner may certify any other material issue to the commission for its consideration and resolution. Pending resolution by the commission of a ruling appealed or certified, the hearing examiner shall retain procedural control of the proceeding.

C. Responses to hearing examiner reports. Unless otherwise ordered by the hearing examiner, responses supporting or objecting to the hearing examiner's final report must be filed within 21 days of the issuance of the report. A reply to a response to the hearing examiner's report may only be filed with leave of the commission. The commission may accept, modify, or reject the hearing examiner's recommendations in any manner consistent with law and the evidence, notwithstanding an absence of objections to the hearing examiner's report.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 12.1-25 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.

5VAC5-20-130. Amendment of pleadings.

No amendment shall be made to any pleading after it is filed except by leave of the commission, which leave shall be liberally granted in the furtherance of justice. The commission shall make such provision for notice and for opportunity to respond to the amended pleadings as it may deem necessary and proper.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 12.1-25 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.

5VAC5-20-140. Filing and service.

A pleading or other document shall be considered filed with the commission upon receipt of the original and required copies by the Clerk of the Commission no later than the time established for the closing of business of the clerk's office on the day the item is due. The original and copies shall be stamped by the Clerk to show the time and date of receipt.

Electronic filings may be submitted at any time and will be deemed filed on the date and at the time the electronic document is received by the commission's database; provided, that if a document is received when the clerk's office is not open for public business, the document shall be deemed filed on the next regular business day. A filer will receive an electronic notification identifying the date and time the document was received by the commission's database. An electronic document may be rejected if it is not submitted in compliance with these rules.

When a filing would otherwise be due on a day when the clerk's office is not open for public business during all or part of a business day, the filing will be timely if made on the next regular business day that the office is open to the public. Except as otherwise ordered by the commission, when a period of 15 days or fewer is permitted to make a filing or take other action pursuant to commission rule or order, intervening weekends or holidays shall not be counted in determining the due date.

Service of a pleading, brief, or other document filed with the commission required to be served on the parties to a proceeding or upon the commission staff, shall be effected by delivery of a true copy to the party or staff, or by deposit of a true copy into the United States mail or overnight express mail delivery service properly addressed and postage prepaid, or via hand-delivery, on or before the date of filing. Service on a party may be made by service on the party's counsel. Alternatively, electronic service shall be permitted on parties or staff in cases where all parties and staff have agreed to such service, or where the commission has provided for such service by order. At the foot of a formal pleading, brief, or other document required to be served, the party making service shall append a certificate of counsel of record that copies were mailed or delivered as required. Notices, findings of fact, opinions, decisions, orders, or other documents to be served by the commission may be served by United States mail. However, all writs, processes, and orders of the commission, when acting in conformity with § 12.1-27 of the Code of Virginia, shall be attested by the Clerk of the Commission and served in compliance with § 12.1-19.1 or 12.1-29 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 12.1-25 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 18, eff. June 1, 2001; amended, Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 11, eff. February 15, 2008; Volume 25, Issue 14, eff. March 11, 2009.

5VAC5-20-150. Copies and format.

Applications, petitions, motions, responsive pleadings, briefs, and other documents filed by parties must be filed in an original and 15 copies unless otherwise directed by the commission. Except as otherwise stated in these rules, submissions filed electronically are exempt from the copy requirement. One copy of each responsive pleading or brief must be served on each party and the commission staff counsel assigned to the matter, or, if no counsel has been assigned, on the general counsel.

Each document must be filed on standard size white opaque paper, 8-1/2 by 11 inches in dimension, must be capable of being reproduced in copies of archival quality, and only one side of the paper may be used. Submissions filed electronically shall be made in portable document format (PDF).

Each document shall be bound or attached on the left side and contain adequate margins. Each page following the first page shall be numbered. If necessary, a document may be filed in consecutively numbered volumes, each of which may not exceed three inches in thickness. Submissions filed electronically may not exceed 100 pages of printed text of 8-1/2 by 11 inches.

Each document containing more than one exhibit should have dividers separating each exhibit and should contain an index. Exhibits such as maps, plats, and photographs not easily reduced to standard size may be filed in a different size, as necessary. Submissions filed electronically that otherwise would incorporate large exhibits impractical for conversion to electronic format shall be identified in the filing and include a statement that the exhibit was filed in hardcopy and is available for viewing at the commission or that a copy may be obtained from the filing party. Such exhibit shall be filed in an original and 15 copies.

All filed documents shall be fully collated and assembled into complete and proper sets ready for distribution and use, without the need for further assembly, sorting, or rearrangement.

The Clerk of the Commission may reject the filing of any document not conforming to the requirements of this rule.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 12.1-25 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 18, eff. June 1, 2001; amended, Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 11, eff. February 15, 2008; Volume 25, Issue 14, eff. March 11, 2009.

5VAC5-20-160. Memorandum of completeness.

With respect to the filing of a rate application or an application seeking actions, that by statute or rule must be completed within a certain number of days, a memorandum shall be filed by an appropriate member of the commission staff within 10 days of the filing of the application stating whether all necessary requirements imposed by statute or rule for filing the application have been met and all required information has been filed. If the requirements have not been met, the memorandum shall state with specificity the remaining items to be filed. The Clerk of the Commission immediately shall serve a copy of the memorandum on the filing party. The first day of the period within which action on the application must be concluded shall be set forth in the memorandum and shall be the initial date of filing of applications that are found to be complete upon filing. Applications found to require supplementation shall be complete upon the date of filing of the last item identified in the staff memorandum. Applications shall be deemed complete upon filing if the memorandum of completeness is not timely filed.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 12.1-25 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 18, eff. June 1, 2001.

5VAC5-20-170. Confidential information.

A person who proposes in good faith in a formal proceeding that information to be filed with or delivered to the commission be withheld from public disclosure on the ground that it contains trade secrets, privileged, or confidential commercial or financial information shall file this information under seal with the Clerk of the Commission, or otherwise deliver the information under seal to the commission staff, or both, as may be required. Items filed or delivered under seal shall be securely sealed in an opaque container that is clearly labeled "UNDER SEAL," and, if filed, shall meet the other requirements for filing contained in these rules. An original and 15 copies of all such information shall be filed with the clerk. One additional copy of all such information shall also be delivered under seal to the commission staff counsel assigned to the matter, or, where no counsel has been assigned, to the general counsel who, until ordered otherwise by the commission, shall disclose the information only to the members of the commission staff directly assigned to the matter as necessary in the discharge of their duties. Staff counsel and all members of the commission staff, until otherwise ordered by the commission, shall maintain the information in strict confidence and shall not disclose its contents to members of the public, or to other staff members not assigned to the matter. The commission staff or any party may object to the proposed withholding of the information.

When an application (including supporting documents and prefiled testimony) contains information that the applicant claims to be confidential, the filing shall be made under seal and accompanied by a motion for protective order or other confidential treatment. The provision to a party of information claimed to be trade secrets, privileged, or confidential commercial or financial information shall be governed by a protective order or other individual arrangements for confidential treatment.

On every document filed or delivered under seal, the producing party shall mark each individual page of the document that contains confidential information, and on each such page shall clearly indicate the specific information requested to be treated as confidential by use of highlighting, underscoring, bracketing or other appropriate marking. All remaining materials on each page of the document shall be treated as nonconfidential and available for public use and review. If an entire document is confidential, or if all information provided in electronic format under Part IV (5VAC5-20-240 et seq.) of these rules is confidential, a marking prominently displayed on the first page of such document or at the beginning of any information provided in electronic format, indicating that the entire document is confidential shall suffice.

Upon challenge, the information shall be treated as confidential pursuant to these rules only where the party requesting confidential treatment can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the commission that the risk of harm of publicly disclosing the information outweighs the presumption in favor of public disclosure. If the commission determines that the information should be withheld from public disclosure, it may nevertheless require the information to be disclosed to parties to a proceeding under appropriate protective order.

Whenever a document is filed with the clerk under seal, an original and one copy of an expurgated or redacted version of the document deemed by the filing party or determined by the commission to be confidential shall be filed with the clerk for use and review by the public. A document containing confidential information shall not be submitted electronically. An expurgated or redacted version of the document may be filed electronically. Documents containing confidential information must be filed in hardcopy and in accordance with all requirements of these rules. Upon a determination by the commission or a hearing examiner that all or portions of any materials filed under seal are not entitled to confidential treatment, the filing party shall file one original and one copy of the expurgated or redacted version of the document reflecting the ruling.

When the information at issue is not required to be filed or made a part of the record, a party who wishes to withhold confidential information from filing or production may move the commission for a protective order without filing the materials. In considering such a motion, the commission may require production of the confidential materials for inspection in camera, if necessary.

A party may request additional protection for extraordinarily sensitive information by motion filed pursuant to 5VAC5-20-110, and filing the information with the Clerk of the Commission under seal and delivering a copy of the information to commission staff counsel under seal as directed above. Whenever such treatment has been requested under Part IV of these rules, the commission may make such orders as necessary to permit parties to challenge the requested additional protection.

The commission, hearing examiners, any party and the commission staff may make use of confidential material in orders, filing pleadings, testimony, or other documents, as directed by order of the commission. When a party or commission staff uses confidential material in a filed pleading, testimony, or other document, the party or commission staff must file both confidential and nonconfidential versions of the pleading, testimony, or other document. Confidential versions of filed pleadings, testimony, or other documents shall clearly indicate the confidential material contained within by highlighting, underscoring, bracketing or other appropriate marking. When filing confidential pleadings, testimony, or other documents, parties must submit the confidential version to the Clerk of the Commission securely sealed in an opaque container that is clearly labeled "UNDER SEAL." Nonconfidential versions of filed pleadings, testimony, or other documents shall expurgate, redact, or otherwise omit all references to confidential material.

The commission may issue such order as it deems necessary to prevent the use of confidentiality claims for the purpose of delay or obstruction of the proceeding.

A person who proposes in good faith that information to be delivered to the commission staff outside of a formal proceeding be withheld from public disclosure on the ground that it contains trade secrets, privileged, or confidential commercial or financial information may deliver the information under seal to the commission staff, subject to the same protections afforded confidential information in formal proceedings.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 12.1-25 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 18, eff. June 1, 2001; amended, Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 11, eff. February 15, 2008; Volume 25, Issue 14, eff. March 11, 2009.

5VAC5-20-180. Official transcript of hearing.

The official transcript of a hearing before the commission or a hearing examiner shall be that prepared by the court reporters retained by the commission and certified by the court reporter as a true and correct transcript of the proceeding. Transcripts of proceedings shall not be prepared except in cases assigned to a hearing examiner, when directed by the commission, or when requested by a party desiring to purchase a copy. Parties desiring to purchase copies of the transcript shall make arrangement for purchase with the court reporter. When a transcript is prepared, a copy thereof shall be made available for public inspection in the clerk's office. If the transcript includes confidential information, an expurgated or redacted version of the transcript shall be made available for public inspection in the clerk's office. Only the parties who have executed an agreement to adhere to a protective order or other arrangement for access to confidential treatment in such proceeding and the commission staff shall be entitled to access to an unexpurgated or unredacted version of the transcript. By agreement of the parties, or as the commission may by order provide, corrections may be made to the transcript.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 12.1-25 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.

5VAC5-20-190. Rules of evidence.

In proceedings under 5VAC5-20-90, and all other proceedings in which the commission shall be called upon to decide or render judgment only in its capacity as a court of record, the common law and statutory rules of evidence shall be as observed and administered by the courts of record of the Commonwealth. In other proceedings, evidentiary rules shall not be unreasonably used to prevent the receipt of evidence having substantial probative effect.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 12.1-25 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 18, eff. June 1, 2001.

5VAC5-20-200. Briefs.

Written briefs may be authorized at the discretion of the commission, except in proceedings under 5VAC5-20-100 A, where briefs may be filed by right. The time for filing briefs and reply briefs, if authorized, shall be set at the time they are authorized. The commission may limit the length of a brief. The commission may by order provide for the electronic filing or service of briefs.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 12.1-25 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 18, eff. June 1, 2001.

5VAC5-20-210. Oral argument.

The commission may authorize oral argument, limited as the commission may direct, on any pertinent matter at any time during the course of the proceeding.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 12.1-25 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 18, eff. June 1, 2001.

5VAC5-20-220. Petition for rehearing or reconsideration.

Final judgments, orders, and decrees of the commission, except judgments prescribed by § 12.1-36 of the Code of Virginia, and except as provided in §§ 13.1-614 and 13.1-813 of the Code of Virginia, shall remain under the control of the commission and subject to modification or vacation for 21 days after the date of entry. Except for good cause shown, a petition for rehearing or reconsideration must be filed not later than 20 days after the date of entry of the judgment, order, or decree. The filing of a petition will not suspend the execution of the judgment, order, or decree, nor extend the time for taking an appeal, unless the commission, within the 21-day period following entry of the final judgment, order or decree, shall provide for a suspension in an order or decree granting the petition. A petition for rehearing or reconsideration must be served on all parties and delivered to commission staff counsel on or before the day on which it is filed. The commission will not entertain responses to, or requests for oral argument on, a petition. An order granting a rehearing or reconsideration will be served on all parties and commission staff counsel by the Clerk of the Commission.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 12.1-25 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 18, eff. June 1, 2001.

5VAC5-20-230. Extension of time.

The commission may, at its discretion, grant a continuance, postponement, or extension of time for the filing of a document or the taking of an action required or permitted by these rules, except for petitions for rehearing or reconsideration filed pursuant to 5VAC5-20-220. Except for good cause shown, motions for extensions shall be made in writing, served on all parties and commission staff counsel, and filed with the commission at least three days prior to the date the action sought to be extended is due.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 12.1-25 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 18, eff. June 1, 2001.

Part IV
Discovery and Hearing Preparation Procedures

5VAC5-20-240. Prepared testimony and exhibits.

Following the filing of an application dependent upon complicated or technical proof, the commission may direct the applicant to prepare and file the testimony and exhibits by which the applicant expects to establish its case. In all proceedings in which an applicant is required to file testimony, respondents shall be permitted and may be directed by the commission or hearing examiner to file, on or before a date certain, testimony and exhibits by which they expect to establish their case. Any respondent that chooses not to file testimony and exhibits by that date may not thereafter present testimony or exhibits except by leave of the commission, but may otherwise fully participate in the proceeding and engage in cross-examination of the testimony and exhibits of commission staff and other parties. The commission staff also shall file testimony and exhibits when directed to do so by the commission. Failure to comply with the directions of the commission, without good cause shown, may result in rejection of the testimony and exhibits by the commission. With leave of the commission and unless a timely objection is made, the commission staff or a party may correct or supplement any prepared testimony and exhibits before or during the hearing. In all proceedings, all evidence must be verified by the witness before introduction into the record, and the admissibility of the evidence shall be subject to the same standards as if the testimony were offered orally at hearing, unless, with the consent of the commission, the staff and all parties stipulate the introduction of testimony without need for verification. An original and 15 copies of prepared testimony and exhibits shall be filed unless otherwise specified in the commission's scheduling order and public notice, or unless the testimony and exhibits are filed electronically and otherwise comply with these rules. Documents of unusual bulk or weight and physical exhibits other than documents need not be filed in advance, but shall be described and made available for pretrial examination.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 12.1-25 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 18, eff. June 1, 2001; amended, Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 11, eff. February 15, 2008; Volume 25, Issue 14, eff. March 11, 2009.

5VAC5-20-250. Process, witnesses, and production of documents and things.

A. Subpoenas. Commission staff and any party to a proceeding shall be entitled to process, to convene parties, to compel the attendance of witnesses, and to compel the production of books, papers, documents, or things provided in this rule.

B. Commission issuance and enforcement of other regulatory agency subpoenas. Upon motion by commission staff counsel, the commission may issue and enforce subpoenas at the request of a regulatory agency of another jurisdiction if the activity for which the information is sought by the other agency, if occurring in the Commonwealth, would be a violation of the laws of the Commonwealth that are administered by the commission.

A motion requesting the issuance of a commission subpoena shall include:

1. A copy of the original subpoena issued by the regulatory agency to the named defendant;

2. An affidavit of the requesting agency administrator stating the basis for the issuance of the subpoena under that state's laws; and

3. A memorandum from the commission's corresponding division director providing the basis for the issuance of the commission subpoena.

C. Document subpoenas. In a pending proceeding, at the request of commission staff or any party, the Clerk of the Commission shall issue a subpoena. When a matter is under investigation by commission staff, before a formal proceeding has been established, whenever it appears to the commission by affidavit filed with the Clerk of the Commission by the commission staff or an individual, that a book, writing, document, or thing sufficiently described in the affidavit, is in the possession, or under the control, of an identified person and is material and proper to be produced, the commission may order the Clerk of the Commission to issue a subpoena and to have the subpoena duly served, together with an attested copy of the commission's order compelling production at a reasonable place and time as described in the commission's order.

D. Witness subpoenas. In a pending proceeding, at the request of commission staff or any party, the Clerk of the Commission shall issue a subpoena.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 12.1-25 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.

5VAC5-20-260. Interrogatories or requests for production of documents and things.

The commission staff and any party in a formal proceeding before the commission, other than a proceeding under 5VAC5-20-100 A, may serve written interrogatories or requests for production of documents upon a party, to be answered by the party served, or if the party served is an entity, by an officer or agent of the entity, who shall furnish to the staff or requesting party information as is known. Interrogatories or requests for production of documents, including workpapers pursuant to 5VAC5-20-270, that cannot be timely answered before the scheduled hearing date may be served only with leave of the commission for good cause shown and upon such conditions as the commission may prescribe. Such otherwise untimely interrogatories or requests for production of documents, including workpapers pursuant to 5VAC5-20-270, may not be served until such leave is granted. Interrogatories or requests for production of documents may be served upon a member of the commission staff, or an expert or consultant filing testimony on behalf of the commission staff, in a proceeding under 5VAC5-20-80 to discover: (i) factual information that supports the workpapers submitted by the staff pursuant to 5VAC5-20-270, including electronic spreadsheets that include underlying formulas and assumptions; (ii) any other documents relied upon as a basis for recommendations or assertions in prefiled testimony, staff reports or exhibits filed by staff, or by an expert or consultant filing testimony on behalf of the staff; or (iii) the identity of other formal proceedings in which an expert or consultant filing testimony on behalf of the staff testified regarding the same or a substantially similar subject matter. The disclosure of communications within the commission shall not be required and, except for good cause shown, no interrogatories or requests for production of documents may be served upon a member of the commission staff, or an expert or consultant filing testimony on behalf of the staff, prior to the filing of staff's testimony. All interrogatories and requests for production of documents shall be filed with the Clerk of the Commission. Responses to interrogatories and requests for production of documents shall not be filed with the Clerk of the Commission.

The response to each interrogatory or document request shall identify by name the person making the response. Any objection to an interrogatory or document request shall identify the interrogatory or document request to which the objection is raised, and shall state with specificity the basis and supporting legal theory for the objection. Objections shall be served with the list of responses or in such manner as the commission may designate by order. Responses and objections to interrogatories or requests for production of documents shall be served within 10 days of receipt, unless otherwise ordered by the commission. Upon motion promptly made and accompanied by a copy of the interrogatory or document request and the response or objection that is subject to the motion, the commission will rule upon the validity of the objection; the objection otherwise will be considered sustained.

Interrogatories or requests for production of documents may relate to any matter not privileged, which is relevant to the subject matter involved, including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any books, documents, or other tangible things, and the identity and location of persons having knowledge of evidentiary value. It is not grounds for objection that the information sought will be inadmissible at the hearing if the information appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

Where the response to an interrogatory or document request may only be derived or ascertained from the business records of the party questioned, from an examination, audit, or inspection of business records, or from a compilation, abstract, or summary of business records, and the burden of deriving or ascertaining the response is substantially the same for one entity as for the other, a response is sufficient if it (i) identifies by name and location all records from which the response may be derived or ascertained; and (ii) tenders to the inquiring party reasonable opportunity to examine, audit, or inspect the records subject to objection as to their proprietary or confidential nature. The inquiring party bears the expense of making copies, compilations, abstracts, or summaries.

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.

5VAC5-20-270. Hearing preparation.

In a formal proceeding, a party or the commission staff may serve on a party a request to examine the workpapers supporting the testimony or exhibits of a witness whose prepared testimony has been filed in accordance with 5VAC5-20-240. The movant may request abstracts or summaries of the workpapers, and may request copies of the workpapers upon payment of the reasonable cost of duplication or reproduction. Copies requested by the commission staff shall be furnished without payment of copying costs. In actions pursuant to 5VAC5-20-80 A, the commission staff shall, upon the filing of its testimony, exhibits, or report, provide (in either paper or electronic format) a copy of any workpapers that support the recommendations made in its testimony or report to any party upon request and may additionally file a copy of such workpapers with the Clerk of the Commission. The Clerk of the Commission shall make any filed workpapers available for public inspection and copying during regular business hours.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 12.1-25 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.

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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