Part II - Commencement of Formal Proceedings
5 VAC 5-20-80. 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. ]
5 VAC 5-20-90. 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.
5 VAC 5-20-100. 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 5 VAC 5-20-80 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.
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