Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 12.1. State Corporation Commission
10/19/2020

Chapter 3. Powers and Duties of the Commission.

§ 12.1-12. Powers and duties generally.

A. Subject to such requirements as may be prescribed by law, the Commission shall be the department of government through which shall be issued all charters, and amendments or extensions thereof, of domestic corporations and all licenses of foreign corporations to do business in this Commonwealth. Except as may be otherwise prescribed by law, the Commission shall be charged with the duty of administering the laws made for the regulation and control of corporations doing business in this Commonwealth. Subject to such criteria and other requirements as may be prescribed by law, the Commission shall have the power and be charged with the duty of regulating the rates, charges, services, and facilities of all public service companies as defined in § 56-1. The Commission shall in proceedings before it insure that the interests of the consumers of the Commonwealth are represented, unless the General Assembly otherwise provides for representation of such interests. The Commission may appoint such clerical force as may be deemed necessary to the efficiency of its office, but the aggregate amount paid such clerks shall not exceed the sum provided by law; and it may expend for the contingent expenses of its office such sums as may be provided by law. The Commission shall have such other powers and duties as may be prescribed by law.

B. 1. Upon request, the Commission may require any business (i) to disclose whether it is an out-of-state business as defined in subsection A of § 44-146.28:2 and (ii) if the business states that it is such, to provide a statement that includes the business's name, state of domicile, principal business address, federal tax identification number, date of entry into the Commonwealth, local contact information, and contact information for any affiliate of such business that has obtained from the Commission a certificate of authority or registration to transact business in the Commonwealth.

2. Upon request, the Commission may require any business entity that has obtained from the Commission a certificate of authority or registration to transact business in the Commonwealth to provide the information required in clause (ii) of subdivision 1 for any affiliate that is an out-of-state business as defined in subsection A of § 44-146.28:2.

3. The Commission shall maintain a record of such disclosures, statements, and information and shall make the record available to the public.

Code 1950, §§ 12-14, 14-11, 14-25; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-13; 1970, c. 260; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 157; 1998, c. 872; 2015, c. 595.

§ 12.1-13. Commission to have powers of court of record; rules and regulations; fines.

In all matters within the jurisdiction of the Commission, it shall have the powers of a court of record to administer oaths, to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents, to punish for contempt, and to enforce compliance with its lawful orders or requirements by adjudging and enforcing by its own appropriate process such fines or other penalties as may be prescribed or authorized by law.

In the administration and enforcement of all laws within its jurisdiction, the Commission shall have the power to promulgate rules and regulations, to impose and collect such fines or other penalties as are provided by law, to enter appropriate orders, and to issue temporary and permanent injunctions. The Commission is empowered to suspend or revoke any Commission-issued license, certificate, registration, permit, or any other Commission-issued authority of any person who fails to satisfy any fine or penalty imposed by an order of the Commission.

Whenever no fine or other penalty is specifically imposed by statute for the failure of any such individual or business conducted by any entity other than an individual to comply with any provision of law or with any valid rule, regulation, or order of the Commission, the Commission may impose and collect from such individual or business conducted by any entity other than an individual a fine in an amount not to exceed $5,000 in the case of an individual, and in the case of a business conducted by any entity other than an individual not to exceed $10,000.

Code 1950, § 12-14; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 157; 1992, c. 11; 2000, c. 986.

§ 12.1-14. Commission's power to impose penalties does not relieve from other penalties.

The penalties which the Commission is authorized by law to impose on any person shall not be construed to relieve such person from any other penalties which may be authorized by law.

Code 1950, § 12-19; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 157.

§ 12.1-15. Power to compromise and settle; power to waive penalties and charge off delinquent taxes, etc.

The Commission shall have power and authority in any matter, claim, or charge within its jurisdiction, under any provision of law heretofore or hereafter enacted, to compromise or settle any matter, claim, or charge, either by or in a formal proceeding, or informally, whether any proceeding shall have been instituted or not. The Commission shall have the power and authority to dismiss any proceeding which is pending and in which a compromise or settlement is effected without making a formal record of such compromise or settlement, in its sound judicial discretion. Any compromise or settlement may include provisions for reimbursement to the Commission to defray the costs, or a portion thereof, of any audit, investigation, or examination conducted.

The power and authority of the Commission to make compromises and settlements hereby conferred shall extend to its jurisdiction to impose fines and penalties under any provision of law heretofore or hereafter enacted.

Nothing herein contained, however, shall be construed to authorize or empower the Commission to effect any compromise or settlement involving the payment of money into the treasury without some record or memorandum of such compromise or settlement in the clerk's office of the Commission.

The Commission shall have power and authority to waive the assessment of any penalty or interest upon any tax or fee assessed by the Commission, and to abate and exonerate any such penalty or interest, whether heretofore or hereafter assessed, for providential or other good cause shown to the satisfaction of the Commission, or in cases where the collection thereof cannot be economically effected because the cost of collection exceeds the amount recoverable.

The Commission shall have power and authority to charge off delinquent taxes and registration fees on its books when the claims therefor are worthless or cannot be economically collected, and shall notify the State Tax Commissioner and the Comptroller of such action in such detail and at such times as they may require. The Commission shall maintain records which indicate the reason for the charge off for a period of three years.

Code 1950, § 12-20; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 157; 1975, c. 236; 1991, c. 128.

§ 12.1-15.1. Power to employ counsel for and indemnify employees.

The Commission shall have the power to retain counsel for and to indemnify its employees and agents who were or are parties or are threatened to be made parties to any threatened, pending or completed action, suit or proceeding whether civil, criminal, administrative, arbitrative or investigative, by reason of the fact that they are or were employees or agents of the Commission or are or were serving at the request of the Commission as directors, officers, employees or agents of another entity, against expenses, including attorney's fees, reasonably incurred by them in connection with such action, suit or proceeding if the Commission or any court of record to whom the matter shall be submitted shall find the employees or agents acting in good faith and in a manner they reasonably believe to be in the best interest of the duties assigned to them by law or the Commission.

1976, c. 341.

§ 12.1-16. Delegation to employees and agents; Commissioner of Financial Institutions and Commissioner of Insurance.

In the exercise of the powers and in the performance of the duties imposed by law upon the Commission with respect to insurance and banking, the Commission may delegate to such employees and agents as it may deem proper such powers and require of them, or any of them, the performance of such duties as it may deem proper. The employee or agent who is placed by the Commission at the head of the bureau or division through which it administers the banking laws shall be designated "Commissioner of Financial Institutions," and the employee or agent who is placed by the Commission at the head of the bureau or division through which it administers the insurance laws shall be designated "Commissioner of Insurance," and they and all deputies, agents, and employees used in such bureau or division shall be appointed by the Commission.

Code 1950, § 12-16; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 157; 1978, c. 14.

§ 12.1-17. Deposits of funds; means of payment; dishonored payments; receipts for payment.

A. All funds received by the Commission in the course of its duties shall be paid promptly to the State Treasurer or deposited promptly in banks designated by the State Treasurer to the credit of the State Treasurer.

B. The Commission may accept payment of any amount due by any means acceptable to the Commission, including by check, credit card, debit card, and electronic funds transfer. The Commission may add to any amount due a sum, not to exceed the amount charged to the Commission, for acceptance of any payment by a means that incurs a charge to the Commission, or it may absorb a portion or all of the cost of such charge.

C. If any check or other means of payment is dishonored, declined, refused, reversed, charged back to the Commission, returned to the Commission unpaid, or otherwise rejected for any reason by a financial institution or other third party, the amount of the check or other means of payment shall be charged to the person on whose account it was received and his liability and that of his sureties shall be as if payment had never been made. A penalty of $35 or the amount of any cost incurred by the Commission, whichever is greater, shall be added to such amount. This penalty shall be in addition to any other penalty provided by law, except the penalty imposed by § 58.1-12 shall not apply. Any penalties received by the Commission under this section shall be set aside and paid into the special fund (i) created under § 13.1-775.1, in the case of penalties received by the clerk's office, or (ii) into which the payment that caused the penalty was to be deposited, in the case of penalties otherwise received by the Commission.

D. The Commission shall issue receipts for all currency received for payments in the course of its duties.

Code 1950, §§ 12-24, 12-25; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 157; 1986, c. 15; 1995, c. 238; 2002, c. 719; 2013, c. 21; 2017, c. 486.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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