Part I - General Provisions
5 VAC 5-20-10. 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and are applicable to the regulatory and adjudicatory proceedings of the State Corporation Commission except where superseded by more specific rules for particular types of cases or proceedings.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 5 VAC 5-20-220, 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.
5 VAC 5-20-20. 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.
5 VAC 5-20-30. Counsel.
Except as otherwise provided in 5 VAC 5-20-20, 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.
5 VAC 5-20-40. Photographs and broadcasting of proceedings.
Electronic media and still photography coverage of commission hearings will be allowed at the discretion of the commission.
5 VAC 5-20-50. 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.
5 VAC 5-20-60. 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 nor 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.
5 VAC 5-20-70. 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.
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