Subchapter A. GENERAL PROVISIONS


Sec.


1.1.    Scope of subpart.
1.2.    Liberal construction.
1.3.    Information and special instructions.
1.4.    Filing generally.
1.5.    Amendment to rules.
1.6.    Commission office hours.
1.7.    Sessions of the Commission.
1.8.    Definitions.
1.9.    [Reserved].

§ 1.1. Scope of subpart.

 (a)  This subpart governs the practice and procedure before the Commission.

 (b)  This subpart is intended to supersede the applicability of 1 Pa. Code Part II (relating to general rules of administrative practice and procedure) to practice and procedure before the Commission.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  1.1 amended under the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § §  501, 504—506, 1301 and 1501.

Source

   The provisions of this §  1.1 amended October 12, 1984, effective January 1, 1985, 14 Pa.B. 3819; amended January 24, 1997, effective January 25, 1997, 27 Pa.B. 414. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (222423).

§ 1.2. Liberal construction.

 (a)  This subpart shall be liberally construed to secure the just, speedy and inexpensive determination of every action or proceeding to which it is applicable. The Commission or presiding officer at any stage of an action or proceeding may disregard an error or defect of procedure which does not affect the substantive rights of the parties.

 (b)  The singular includes the plural, and the plural, the singular. Words used in the masculine gender include the feminine and neuter. Words used in the past or present tense include the future.

 (c)  The Commission or presiding officer at any stage of an action or proceeding may waive a requirement of this subpart when necessary or appropriate, if the waiver does not adversely affect a substantive right of a party.

 (d)  These liberal construction provisions apply with particularity in proceedings involving pro se litigants.

 (e)  Subsection (a) supersedes 1 Pa. Code §  31.2 (relating to liberal construction).

Authority

   The provisions of this §  1.2 amended under the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § §  309—311, 315, 331—335, 501, 504—506, 701—703, 1101—1103, 1301 and 1501.

Source

   The provisions of this §  1.2 adopted October 12, 1984, effective January 1, 1985, 14 Pa.B. 3819; amended December 3, 1988, effective January 31, 1989, 18 Pa.B. 5451; amended April 28, 2006, effective April 29, 2006, 36 Pa.B. 2097. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (225547) to (225548).

Notes of Decisions

   Appeals

   The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission could properly entertain exceptions to a decision of an administrative law judge filed 1 day late absent a showing of prejudice by the company. AT & T Communication of Pennsylvania v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 568 A.2d 1362 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1990).

   Discretion

   The administrative law judge’s discretion was not abused by accepting and considering the utility’s initial brief. Before the administrative law judge’s initial decision, the township did not move to strike the utility’s initial brief nor file a reply brief to respond to the utility’s brief. Therefore, because the Public Utility Commission’s decision was amply supported by the evidence in the record, the judge’s acceptance and consideration of the utility’s initial brief did not affect the township’s substantive rights asserted in the complaint. Springfield Township v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 676 A.2d 304 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1996).

   Jurisdiction

   It is clear that the remedial and enforcement powers vested in the Public Utility Commission by the Utility Code were designed to allow the Commission to enforce its orders and regulations, but not to empower the Commission to award damages or to litigate a private action for damages on behalf of a complainant. Poorbaugh v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 666 A.2d 744 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1995); appeal denied 698 A.2d 69 (Pa. 1995).

   Where the essence of plaintiff’s underlying claim is that the utility service failed to prevent an overvoltage from its power lines which permitted a dangerous amount of electricity to surge into plaintiff’s barn following a power outage and which resulted in a fire that destroyed the barn, the claim belonged in the judicial system and not before the Public Utility Commission. Poorbaugh v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 666 A.2d 744 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1995).

   Procedure

   There was no abuse of discretion when the administrative law judge accepted and considered a party’s initial brief even though it was filed in violation of the briefing order. Springfield Township v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 676 A.2d 304 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1996).

   The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has authority to waive procedural defects when they do not affect the substantive rights of the parties. Info Connections, Inc. v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 630 A.2d 498 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1993).

§ 1.3. Information and special instructions.

 (a)  Information as to procedures under this subpart, and instructions supplementing this subpart in special instances, will be furnished upon application to:

   (1)  By first-class mail:

 Secretary
Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission
Post Office Box 3265
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17105-3265

   (2)  In person or by mail other than first-class:

 Secretary
Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission
Commonwealth Keystone Building
400 North Street
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120

 (b)  Subsection (a) is identical to 1 Pa. Code §  31.4 (relating to information and special instructions).

Authority

   The provisions of this §  1.3 amended under the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § §  501, 504—506, 1301 and 1501.

Source

   The provisions of this §  1.3 adopted October 12, 1984, effective January 1, 1985, 14 Pa.B. 3819; amended January 24, 1997, effective January 25, 1997, 27 Pa.B. 414; amended April 28, 2006, effective April 29, 2006, 36 Pa.B. 2097. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (225548) to (225549).

§ 1.4. Filing generally.

 (a)  Submittals, pleadings and other documents filed with the Commission should be submitted in one of the following manners:

   (1)  By first-class mail:

 Secretary
Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission
Post Office Box 3265
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17105-3265

   (2)  In person or by mail other than first-class:

 Secretary
Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission
Commonwealth Keystone Building
400 North Street
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120

   (3)  Electronically on the Commission’s electronic filing system if the document is a qualified document.

 (b)  Submittals, pleadings and other documents filed with the Commission should clearly designate the docket number or similar identifying symbols, if any, employed by the Commission, and should set forth a short title. The identity of the individual making the submission, including name, mailing address and status (for example, party, attorney for a party, and the like) must appear on the document, along with any special instructions for communication by other than first class mail.

 (c)  Submittals and pleadings, including documents filed under Chapter 5 (relating to formal proceedings) must also comply with Subchapter D (relating to documentary filings).

 (d)  In a proceeding when, upon inspection, the Commission is of the opinion that a submittal or pleading tendered for filing does not comply with this subpart or this title or, if it is an application or similar document, does not sufficiently set forth required material or is otherwise insufficient, the Commission may decline to accept the document for filing and may return it unfiled, or the Commission may accept it for filing and advise the person tendering it of the deficiency and require that the deficiency be corrected.

 (e)  The Commission may order redundant, immaterial, impertinent or scandalous matter stricken from documents filed with it.

 (f)  Subsections (a)—(e) are identical to 1 Pa. Code §  31.5 (relating to communications and filings generally).

Authority

   The provisions of this §  1.4 amended under the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § §  501, 504—506, 1301 and 1501.

Source

   The provisions of this §  1.4 adopted October 12, 1984, effective January 1, 1985, 14 Pa.B. 3819; amended January 24, 1997, effective January 25, 1997, 27 Pa.B. 414; amended April 28, 2006, effective April 29, 2006, 36 Pa.B. 2097; amended September 26, 2008, effective September 27, 2008, 38 Pa.B. 5303. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (319035) to (319036).

Cross References

   This section cited in 52 Pa. Code §  1.91 (relating to applications for waiver of formal requirements); 52 Pa. Code §  5.502 (relating to filing and service of briefs); and 52 Pa. Code §  5.533 (relating to procedure to except to initial, tentative and recommended decisions).

§ 1.5. Amendment to rules.

 (a)  Persons may file an application under § §  5.1 and 5.11 (relating to pleadings allowed; and applications generally) requesting a general and permanent change in this subpart.

 (b)  Subsection (a) supersedes 1 Pa. Code §  31.6 (relating to amendments to rules).

Authority

   The provisions of this §  1.5 amended under the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § §  501, 504—506, 1301 and 1501.

Source

   The provisions of this §  1.5 adopted October 12, 1984, effective January 1, 1985, 14 Pa.B. 3819; amended January 24, 1997, effective January 25, 1997, 27 Pa.B. 414. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (222425) to (222426).

§ 1.6. Commission office hours.

 Unless otherwise directed by the Governor, the Commission offices will be open from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on business days except Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays.

Source

   The provisions of this §  1.6 adopted October 12, 1984, effective January 1, 1985, 14 Pa.B. 3819.

§ 1.7. Sessions of the Commission.

 Public meetings of the Commission ordinarily will be held in its offices in the Commonwealth Keystone Building, Harrisburg. Schedules for public meetings can be obtained from the Commission Secretary or viewed on the Commission’s website.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  1.7 amended under the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § §  501, 504—506, 1301 and 1501.

Source

   The provisions of this §  1.7 adopted October 12, 1984, effective January 1, 1985, 14 Pa.B. 3819; amended April 28, 2006, effective April 29, 2006, 36 Pa.B. 2097. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (225550).

§ 1.8. Definitions.

 (a)  Subject to additional definitions contained in subsequent sections which are applicable to specific chapters or subchapters, the following words and terms, when used in this subpart, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   Act—66 Pa.C.S. § §  101—3315 (relating to the Public Utility Code).

   Adjudication—An order, decree, decision, determination or ruling by the Commission affecting personal or property rights, privileges, immunities, duties, liabilities or obligations of the parties to the proceeding in which the adjudication is made.

   Applicants—In proceedings involving applications for permission or authorization which the Commission may give under statutory or other authority delegated to it, the parties on whose behalf the applications are made.

   Adversarial proceeding—A proceeding initiated by a person to seek authority, approvals, tariff changes, enforcement, fines, remedies or other relief from the Commission which is contested by one or more other persons and which will be decided on the basis of a formal record.

   Authorized agent—A person with permission to legally act on behalf of the filing user.

   Confirmation of receipt—A notification generated by the electronic filing system upon receipt of a filing.

   Electronic filing or filed electronically—Filing by means of the Commission’s electronic filing system.

   Electronic filing system—The Commission’s automated system that receives and stores documents filed in electronic form. This system is part of the Commission’s Information Management and Access Project.

   Electronic mail—A means of dispatching or receiving a submittal in relation to a Commission matter through electronic means.

   Filing user—A person who has registered to use the electronic filing system in accordance with the registration instructions available on the Commission’s web site at http://www.puc.state.pa.us/ and who has obtained a user ID and password.

   Filing user ID—The distinct code assigned by the Commission to an individual for use in the Commission’s electronic filing system and deemed to be the individual’s signature.

   Formal complaint—A verified written document filed with the Commission under 66 Pa.C.S. §  701 (relating to complaints) requesting a legal proceeding before a presiding officer or a mediator.

   Formal investigation—A matter initiated by the Commission or Commission staff that results in a formal record.

   Formal proceeding—A matter intended to produce a formal record.

   Formal record—The pleadings and submittals in a matter or proceeding, a notice or Commission order initiating the matter or proceeding, and if a hearing is held, the following: the designation of the presiding officer, transcript of hearing, exhibits received in evidence, offers of proof, motions, stipulations, subpoenas, proofs of service, references to the Commission and determinations made by the Commission thereon, certifications to the Commission, and anything else upon which action of the presiding officer or the Commission may be based.

   Friendly cross-examination—Cross-examination of a witness by a party who does not disagree with the witness’ position on an issue.

   Individual—A natural person.

   Informal complaint—A document or communication to the Commission seeking action on a matter that lacks the legal or other requirements of a formal complaint under 66 Pa.C.S. §  701 and does not involve a legal proceeding before a presiding officer or mediator.

   Informal investigation—A matter initiated by the Commission staff that may result in a formal complaint, a settlement or other resolution of the matter or termination by letter.

   Informal proceeding—A matter not intended to produce a formal record.

   Initial decision—A decision by a presiding officer which becomes final unless timely exceptions are filed by a participant, the Commission requests review upon its own motion or as otherwise established by the act.

   Intervenor—A person intervening or petitioning to intervene as a party as provided by § §  5.71—5.76 (relating to intervention).

   Mediation—An informal, nonadjudicative Commission process through which a Commission-designated mediator assists the parties in an attempt to reach a mutually acceptable resolution.

   Mediator—An individual designated to conduct a mediation.

   Nonadversarial proceeding—A proceeding initiated by a person which is not contested or a proceeding initiated by the Commission or at the request of a person to develop regulations, policies, procedures, technical rules or interpretations of law.

   Notarial officer—An officer authorized under §  5.346 (relating to persons before whom depositions may be taken) to take depositions for use before the Commission or presiding officer.

   PDF—Portable Document Format.

   Party—A person who appears in a proceeding before the Commission.

   Person—Except as otherwise provided in this subpart or in the act, the term includes individuals, corporations, partnerships, associations, joint ventures, other business organizations, trusts, trustees, legal representatives, receivers, agencies, governmental entities, municipalities, municipal corporations or other political subdivisions.

   Petitioners—Persons seeking relief, not otherwise designated in this section.

   Pleading—An application, complaint, petition, answer, motion, preliminary objection, protest, reply, order to show cause, new matter and reply to new matter or other similar document filed in a formal proceeding.

   Presiding officer—A person designated by the Commission to preside over a matter.

   Principal—A party with power to authorize its counsel to enter into stipulations or settlement agreements.

   Proof of service—A certificate of service which complies with § §  1.57 and 1.58 (relating to proof of service; and form of certificate of service).

   Protestants—Persons objecting on the ground of private or public interest to the approval of an application or other matter which the Commission may have under consideration.

   Qualified document—A document that is listed in the categories of documents that are permitted to be filed electronically in accordance with the instructions on the Commission’s web site at http://www.puc.state.pa.us/ and that complies with the filing requirements and restrictions in §  1.32(b) (relating to filing specifications).

   Rate proceeding—An on the record proceeding brought by or before the Commission, the purpose of which is to determine the justness and reasonableness of a proposed or present rate for utility service, including, but not limited to, proceedings initiated under sections 1307, 1308, 1310 and 1312 of the act.

   Recommended decision—An opinion and order submitted for the approval of the Commission by the presiding officer.

   Respondents—Persons subject to a statute or other delegated authority administered by the Commission, who are required to respond to an order or notice issued by the Commission instituting a proceeding or investigation on its own initiative or otherwise.

   Secretary—The Secretary of the Commission, who is the Commission officer with whom pleadings and other documents are filed and by whom official records are kept.

   Staff—The Commission’s Office of Trial Staff prosecutor or Law Bureau staff counsel and other Commission employees participating in a proceeding before the agency.

   Statutory advocate—The Office of Trial Staff, the Office of Consumer Advocate and the Office of Small Business Advocate.

   Submittal—An application, amendment, exhibit or similar document involving matters filed in an adversarial or nonadversarial proceeding.

   Telefacsimile transmittal—A means of dispatching or receiving a submittal in a Commission matter through electronic means that prints a hard copy facsimile of a document in a legible form at the recipient’s machine.

   Tentative decision—An order of the Commission which becomes final unless exceptions are filed by a party within the time period specified by statute or as set forth in the order.

   Trade secret—A private formula, pattern, device, cost study or compilation of information which is used in a business and which, if disclosed, would provide the opportunity to obtain an advantage over competitors who do not know or use it.

   Verification—When used in reference to a written statement of fact by the signer, means supported by oath or affirmation or made subject to the penalties of 18 Pa.C.S. §  4904 (relating to unsworn falsification to authorities).

   Writing or written—Applies to documents filed in paper form and documents filed electronically.

 (b)  Subsection (a) supersedes 1 Pa. Code §  31.3 (relating to definitions).

Authority

   The provisions of this §  1.8 amended under the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § §  309—311, 315, 331—335, 501, 504—506, 523, 701—703, 1101—1103, 1301, 1501 and 1504.

Source

   The provisions of this §  1.8 adopted October 12, 1984, effective January 1, 1985, 14 Pa.B. 3819; amended December 2, 1988, effective January 3, 1989, 18 Pa.B. 5451; amended January 24, 1997, effective January 25, 1997, 25 Pa.B. 414; amended April 28, 2006, effective April 29, 2006, 36 Pa.B. 2097; amended September 26, 2008, effective September 27, 2008, 38 Pa.B. 5303; amended September 20, 2013, effective September 21, 2013, 43 Pa.B. 5593. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (338435) to (338438) and (351339).

Cross References

   This section cited in 52 Pa. Code §  63.322 (relating to definitions).

Notes of Decisions

   Protestant

   Gas marketing company had standing to file a formal complaint against utility on behalf of its 150 customers who were also customers of the utility, alleging that the utility’s proposed MSSS rate would adversely affect the customers’ operating costs and would permit impermissible discrimination against some of those customers in violation of section 1304 of the Public Utility Code. Interstate Gas Marketing, Inc. v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 679 A.2d 1349 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1996); reargument denied (1996).

§ 1.9. [Reserved].


Source

   The provisions of this §  1.9 adopted February 13, 1987, effective February 14, 1987, 17 Pa.B. 719; reserved January 24, 1997, effective January 25, 1997, 27 Pa.B. 414. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (222429).



No part of the information on this site may be reproduced for profit or sold for profit.

This material has been drawn directly from the official Pennsylvania Code full text database. Due to the limitations of HTML or differences in display capabilities of different browsers, this version may differ slightly from the official printed version.