Participating in SCC Cases
Most SCC hearings are held in a courtroom in its downtown Richmond office. However, the SCC may schedule hearings around the state to provide greater access to those most interested in a particular case. SCC hearings are always conducted in a professional manner, and follow courtroom procedures and protocol.
Participating as a Public Witness
The SCC encourages public participation in all cases. Because of its wide-ranging regulatory authority, SCC decisions often impact residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia. All hearings are conducted by the Commissioners or a hearing examiner, and are always transcribed by a court reporter. Before a hearing, you may call either the bailiff in the Clerk's Office at (804) 371-9739 or the SCC at (804) 371-9141 to be sure the case is proceeding as scheduled.
Appearing as a public witness requires no pre-filing of comments before the hearing. Participants need only appear 15 minutes before the event, and should notify the SCC bailiff of the desire to testify. When called, participants take an oath to affirm that all testimony is truthful.
For hearings held in an SCC courtroom, witnesses will be subjected to prescreening security procedures. Please review the SCC Visitor Security Guidelines for more information.
The SCC generally sets no time limits for public witnesses. However, comments should be concise, on point, not repetitive, and courteous of others waiting to speak. If you have prepared statements, several copies would be helpful and can be handed to the bailiff. Additionally, you may be asked questions by the Commissioners, the hearing examiner, or participating attorneys. For additional public witness tips, please visit Public Witness Tips.
The SCC provides audio and video capabilities for hearings within its courtrooms. If you are participating in an SCC hearing as an involved party, company, witness or legal counsel, you may plan presentation of information accordingly. Please review Courtroom Equipment Capabilities.
Transition to Evidentiary Hearing
Once all public witnesses have been heard, the hearing becomes an evidentiary proceeding. During this phase, case participants (usually represented by legal counsel) present expert testimony, offer supporting exhibits, raise objections, file briefs, and present legal arguments. Public witnesses may observe but may not participate in this phase of an SCC proceeding.
If you are unable to attend a hearing, written comments are welcome and usually must be filed a week in advance of a scheduled hearing.
When public notice is provided prior to the event, the Commission accepts electronic filing of comments from the public. Such comments must refer to the proper case number.
You may access current case information through the Commission's online Docket Search feature. To obtain official copies of documents, contact the Document Control Center of the Clerk's Office at (804-371-9838) where you may order documents for a fee. You may also visit the SCC to review documents on site. The SCC is located at 1300 E. Main St., Richmond, Virginia 23219.
Cases in which there is wide public interest are broadcast over the Internet via a Commission webcast. A list of cases scheduled for webcast, along with information on how to listen is available.