§ 35.35. Answers to complaints and petitions.
Answers to complaints and petitions, other than petitions to intervene and petitions of appeal from delegated actions of subordinate officers, shall be filed with the agency within 20 days after the date of service, unless for cause the agency with or without motion shall prescribe a different time, but in no case may an answer be required in less than 10 days after the date of service. Answers to petitions of appeal from delegated actions of subordinate officers shall be filed with the agency within 10 days after the date of service. A respondent failing to file an answer within the applicable period shall be deemed in default, and relevant basic facts stated in the complaint or petition may be deemed admitted. Answers shall be in writing, and so drawn as fully and completely to advise the parties and the agency as to the nature of the defense. They shall admit or deny specifically and in detail each material allegation of the pleading answered, and state clearly and concisely the facts and matters of law relied upon.
Notes of Decisions
When taxi company was advised by letter that failure to file a responsive pleading within the prescribed time period could result in Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissions deeming all allegations against taxi company to be admitted, companys failure to respond prevented it from raising issue of improper muzzling of guide dog as defense against handicapped persons charge of unlawfully refusing service under 52 Pa. Code § 29.102. Metro Transportation Company v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 525 A.2d 24 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1987).
An order conditioning the reinstatement of a cancelled certificate was affirmed where that order merely affirmed an earlier order cancelling the certificate and added conditions for its reinstatement, and where the certificate holder had not timely answered a complaint based upon her failure to provide evidence of insurance and failure to file an annual report, so the facts in that complaint were deemed admitted. De Gregorio v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 481 A.2d 1241 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1984).
A notice by the agency that accompanies the copy of the complaint and which concerns requirements for an answer need not specifically state that the answer must be in writing if the respondents were supplied with a copy of the set of procedures for pleadings. Fusaro v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 382 A.2d 794 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1978).
An administrative agency may not enter default judgments without notice and hearing on those complaints to which answers have been filed. Bates Taxi, Inc. v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 381 A.2d 1328 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1978).
This section cited in 1 Pa. Code § 35.9 (relating to formal complaints generally); 4 Pa. Code § 60.6 (relating to procedure); 12 Pa. Code § 11.9 (relating to answers to complaints and petitions); 25 Pa. Code § 1021.74 (relating to answers to complaints); 34 Pa. Code § 111.15 (relating to no other pleadings allowed); 34 Pa. Code § 111.23 (relating to answers); 34 Pa. Code § 111.34 (relating to answers to petitions); 34 Pa. Code § 131.33 (relating to answers except to answers for joinder and challenge proceedings); 34 Pa. Code § 131.36 (relating to joinder); 34 Pa. Code § 131.121 (relating to penalty proceedings initiated by a party); 37 Pa. Code § 171.44 (relating to supporting legal authority); 37 Pa. Code § 197.11a (relating to motions and petitions); 40 Pa. Code § 17.13 (relating to protests/intervention procedure); 49 Pa. Code § 19.35 (relating to subsequent pleadings); 52 Pa. Code § 5.61 (relating to answers to complaints, petitions, motions and preliminary objections); 52 Pa. Code § 5.405 (relating to effect of pleadings); 52 Pa. Code § 1005.41 (relating to answers to complaints, petitions, motions and other filings requiring a response); 52 Pa. Code § 1005.145 (relating to effect of pleadings); 55 Pa. Code § 41.71 (relating to answers generally); 58 Pa. Code § 493a.5 (relating to answers to complaints, petitions, motions and other filings requiring a response); and 67 Pa. Code § 491.6 (relating to notice and conduct of hearing).
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