Participating in SCC Cases
Most SCC hearings are held in an SCC courtroom in downtown Richmond. However, the SCC may schedule local hearings for the convenience of those who might be most interested in a particular case. Regardless of the venue for the hearing, the SCC proceeding is conducted in a courtroom-like atmosphere.
Participating as a Public Witness
The SCC encourages public participation in cases before it. Because of its wide-ranging regulatory authority, SCC decisions often impact residents of the Commonwealth. 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. You need only appear 15 minutes before the hearing and notify the SCC bailiff that you wish to testify. When called, you will take an oath to affirm that your testimony is truthful.
For hearings held in the SCC Tyler Building, you will be subjected to prescreening security procedures. Please review the SCC Visitor Security Guidelines.
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 Tyler Building, 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.