Utah Administrative Code
The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).
NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since February 1, 2015, please see the codification segue page.
NOTE TO RULEFILING AGENCIES: Use the RTF version for submitting rule changes.
R746. Public Service Commission, Administration.
Rule R746-100. Practice and Procedures Governing Formal Hearings.
As in effect on February 1, 2015
Table of Contents
- R746-100-1. General Provisions and Authorization.
- R746-100-2. Definitions.
- R746-100-3. Pleadings.
- R746-100-4. Filing and Service.
- R746-100-5. Participation.
- R746-100-6. Appearances and Representation.
- R746-100-7. Intervention and Protest.
- R746-100-8. Discovery.
- R746-100-9. Prehearing Conference and Prehearing Briefs.
- R746-100-10. Hearing Procedure.
- R746-100-11. Decisions and Orders.
- R746-100-12. Appeals.
- R746-100-13. Ex Parte Communications.
- R746-100-14. Rulemaking.
- R746-100-15. Deviation from Rules.
- R746-100-16. Use of Information Claimed to Be Confidential or Highly Confidential in Commission Proceedings.
- Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment
- Notice of Continuation
- Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law
A. Procedure Governed -- Sections 1 through 14 of this rule shall govern the formal hearing procedures before the Public Service Commission of Utah, Sections 15 and 16 shall govern rulemaking proceedings before the Commission.
B. Consumer Complaints -- Consumer complaints may be converted to informal proceedings, pursuant to Section 63G-4-202.
C. No Provision in Rules -- In situations for which there is no provision in these rules, the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure shall govern, unless the Commission considers them to be unworkable or inappropriate.
D. Words Denoting Number and Gender -- In interpreting these rules, unless the context indicates otherwise, the singular includes the plural, the plural includes the singular, the present or perfect tenses include future tenses, and the words of one gender include the other gender. Headings are for convenience only, and they shall not be used in construing any meaning.
E. Authorization -- This rule is authorized pursuant to Section 54-1-1 which requires the Commission to exercise its rulemaking powers and Subsection 54-1-2.5 which establishes the requirements for Commission procedure, including Hearings, Practice and Procedure, Chapter 7 of Title 54.
A. "Applicant" is a party applying for a license, right, or authority or requesting agency action from the Commission.
B. "Commission" is the Public Service Commission of Utah. In appropriate context, it may include administrative law judges or presiding officers designated by the Commission.
C. "Complainant" is a person who complains to the Commission of an act or omission of a person in violation of law, the rules, or an order of the Commission.
D. "Consumer complaint" is a complaint of a retail customer against a public utility.
E. "Division" is the Division of Public Utilities, State of Utah Department of Commerce.
F. "Ex Parte Communication" means an oral or written communication with a member of the Commission, administrative law judge, or Commission employee who is, or may be reasonably expected to be, involved in the decision- making process, relative to the merits of a matter under adjudication unless notice and an opportunity to be heard are given to each party. It shall not, however, include requests for status reports on a proceeding covered by these rules.
G. "Formal proceeding" is a proceeding before the Commission not designated informal by rule, pursuant to Section 63G-4-202.
H. "Informal proceeding" is a proceeding so designated by the Commission.
I. "Party" is a participant in a proceeding defined by Subsection 63G-4-103(1)(f).
J. "Interested person" is a person who may be affected by a proceeding before the Commission, but who does not seek intervention. An interested person may not participate in the proceedings except as a public witness, but shall receive copies of notices and orders in the proceeding.
K. "Intervenor" is a person permitted to intervene in a proceeding before the Commission.
L. "Office" is the Office of Consumer Services, State of Utah Department of Commerce.
M. "Person" means an individual, corporation, partnership, association, governmental subdivision, or governmental agency.
N. "Petitioner" is a person seeking relief other than the issuance of a license, right, or authority from the Commission.
O. "Presiding officer" is a person conducting an adjudicative hearing, pursuant to Subsection 63G-4- 103(1)(h)(i), and may be the entire Commission, one or more commissioners acting on the Commission's behalf, or an administrative law judge, presiding officer, or hearing officer appointed by the Commission. It may also include the Secretary of the Commission when performing duties identified in Section 54-1-7.
P. "Proceeding" or "adjudicative proceeding" is an action before the Commission initiated by a notice of agency action, or request for agency action, pursuant to Section 63G-4-201. It is not an informal or preliminary inquiry or investigation undertaken by the Commission to determine whether a proceeding is warranted; nor is it a rulemaking action pursuant to Title 63G, Chapter 3, the Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act.
Q. "Public witness" is a person expressing interest in an issue before the Commission but not entitled or not wishing to participate as a party.
R. "Respondent" is a person against whom a notice of agency action or request for agency action is directed or responding to an application, petition or other request for agency action.
A. Pleadings Enumerated -- Applications, petitions, complaints, orders to show cause, and other traditional initiatory pleadings may be filed with the Commission. Traditional pleadings will be considered requests for agency action, pursuant to Section 63G-4-201, concerning adjudicative proceedings. Answers, protests, and other traditional responsive pleadings may be filed with the Commission and will be considered responses, subject to the requirements of Section 63G-4-204.
1. The following filings are not requests for agency action or responses, pursuant to Sections 63G-4- 201 and 63G-4-204:
a. motions, oppositions, and similar filings in existing Commission proceedings;
b. informational filings which do not request or require affirmative action, such as Commission approval.
B. Docket Number and Title --
1. Docket number -- Upon the filing of an initiatory pleading, or upon initiation of a generic proceeding, the Commission shall assign a docket number to the proceeding which shall consist of the year in which the pleading was filed, a code identifying the public utility appearing as applicant, petitioner, or respondent, or generic code designation and another number showing its numerical position among the filings involving the utility or generic proceeding filed during the year.
2. Headings and titles -- Pleadings shall bear a heading substantially as follows:
TABLE Name of Attorney preparing or Signer of Pleading Address Telephone Number BEFORE THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION OF UTAH ----------------------------------------------------- In the Matter of the ) Application, petition, ) Docket Number etc.-- for complaints, ) names of both complainant ) Type of pleading and respondent should ) appear ) -----------------------------------------------------
C. Form of Pleadings -- With the exception of consumer complaints, pleadings shall be double- spaced and in a font of at least 12 points. Pleadings shall be presented for filing on paper 8-1/2 x 11 inches, shall include the docket number, if known, and shall be dated and time stamped upon receipt by the Commission. Pleadings shall also be presented as an electronic word processing document that is substantially the same as the paper version filed, and may be transmitted electronically to the e-mail address the Commission designates for such purposes or presented in electronic media (i.e., compact disc (CD)), using a Commission-approved format. Pleadings over five pages shall be double sided and three-hole punched. A filing is not complete until the original and all required copies -- both paper and electronic -- are provided to the Commission in the form described. If an electronic document is filed in Portable Document Format (PDF) and PDF is not the format of the filing party's source document:
1. the electronic document shall also be provided in its original format; and
2. the PDF document shall include footnote references describing the name and location of the source document in the filed electronic media.
D. Certificate of Service -- a Certificate of Service must be attached to all pleadings filed with the Commission, certifying that a true and correct copy of the pleading was served upon each of the parties in the manner and on the date specified. A filing is not complete without this certificate of service.
E. Pleadings Containing Confidential and Highly Confidential Information --
1. Pleadings, including all accompanying documents, containing information claimed to be confidential or highly confidential, as described in R746-100-16, shall be filed in accordance with R746-100-3(C) and shall conform to the following additional requirements:
a. The paper version of a pleading containing confidential information shall be filed on yellow paper with the confidential portion of the pleading denoted by shading, highlighting, or other readily identifiable means. Both the paper and the electronic versions presented for filing shall be designated confidential in accordance with R746-100- 16(A)(1)(b).
b. The paper version of a pleading containing highly confidential information shall be filed on pink paper with the highly confidential portions of the pleadings denoted by shading, highlighting, or other readily identifiable means. Both the paper and electronic versions presented for filing shall be designated highly confidential in accordance with R746-100-16(A)(1)(g).
c. A non-confidential version shall also be filed, in both paper and electronic form, from which all confidential and highly confidential information must be redacted. All copies of this version shall be clearly labeled as "Non-Confidential - Redacted Version."
F. Amendments to Pleadings -- The Commission may allow pleadings to be amended or corrected at any time. Initiatory pleadings may be amended without leave of the Commission at any time before a responsive pleading has been filed or the time for filing the pleading has expired. Defects in pleadings which do not affect substantial rights of the parties shall be disregarded.
G. Signing of Pleadings -- Pleadings shall be signed by the party, or by the party's attorney or other authorized representative if the party is represented by an attorney or other authorized representative, and shall show the signer's address. The signature shall be considered a certification by the signer that he has read the pleading and that, to the best of his knowledge and belief, there is good ground to support it.
H. Consumer Complaints --
1. Alternative dispute resolution, mediation procedures -- Before a proceeding on a consumer complaint is initiated before the Commission, the Commission shall try to resolve the matter through referral first to the customer relations department, if any, of the public utility complained of and then to the Division for investigation and mediation. Only after these resolution efforts have failed will the Commission entertain a proceeding on the matter.
2. Request for agency action -- Persons requesting Commission action shall be required to file a complaint in writing, requesting agency action. The Commission shall not act on illegible or incomplete complaints and shall return those complaints to the complainant with instructions for correction or completion.
3. The Division of Public Utilities may participate in a consumer complaint proceeding as determined by the Division or as requested by the Commission.
I. Content of Pleadings --
1. Pleadings filed with the Commission shall include the following information as applicable:
a. if known, the reference numbers, docket numbers, or other identifying symbols of relevant tariffs, rates, schedules, contracts, applications, rules, or similar matter or material;
b. the name of each participant for whom the filing is made or, if the filing is made for a group of participants, the name of the group, if the name of each member of the group is set forth in a previously filed document which is identified in the filing being made;
c. if statute, rule, regulation, or other authority requires the Commission to act within a specific time period for a matter at issue, a specific section of the pleading, located after the heading or caption, entitled "Proceeding Time Period," shall include: reference or citation to the statute, rule, regulation, or other authority; identification of the time period; and the expiration date of the time period identified by day, month, and year;
d. the specific authorization or relief sought;
e. copies of, or references to, tariff or rate sheets relevant to the pleading;
f. the name and address of each person against whom the complaint is directed;
g. the relevant facts, if not set forth in a previously filed document which is identified in the filing being made;
h. the position taken by the participant filing a pleading, to the extent known when the pleading is filed, and the basis in fact and law for the position;
i. the name, address, and telephone number of an individual who, with respect to a matter contained in the filing, represents the person for whom the filing is made;
j. additional information required to be included by Section 63G-4-201, concerning commencement of adjudicative proceedings, or other statute, rule, or order.
J. Motions -- Motions may be submitted for the Commission's decision on either written or oral argument, and the filing of affidavits in support or contravention of the motion is permitted. If oral argument is sought, the party seeking oral argument shall arrange a hearing date with the secretary of the Commission and provide at least five days written notice to affected parties, unless the Commission determines a shorter time period is needed.
K. Responsive Pleadings --
1. Responsive pleadings to applications, petitions, or requests for agency action shall be filed in accordance with Section 63G-4-204.
2. Response and reply pleadings may be filed to pleadings other than applications, petitions or requests for agency action.
A. Filing of Pleadings -- Pleadings shall be filed with the Commission in the format described in R746-100-3(C), and the number of original and paper copies shall be as specified at http://www.psc.utah.gov/filingrequirements.html.
B. Notice -- Notice shall be given in conformance with Section 63G-4-201.
C. Required Public Notice -- When applying for original authority or rate increase, the party seeking authority or requesting Commission action shall publish notice of the filing or action requested, in the form and within the times as the Commission may order, in a newspaper of general circulation in the area of the state in which the parties most likely to be interested are located.
D. Times for Filing -- Responsive pleadings to requests for agency action shall be filed with the Commission and served upon opposing parties within 30 days after service of the request for agency action or notice of request for agency action, which ever was first received. Motions directed toward initiatory pleadings shall be filed before a responsive pleading is due; otherwise objections shall be raised in responsive pleadings. Motions directed toward responsive pleadings shall be filed within ten days of the service of the responsive pleading. Response or reply pleadings to other than applications, petitions or requests for agency action shall be filed within 15 calendar days and 10 calendar days, respectively, of the service date of the pleading or document to which the response or reply is addressed. Absent a response or reply, the Commission may presume that there is no opposition.
E. Computation of Time -- The time within which an act shall be done shall be computed by excluding the first day and including the last, unless the last day is Saturday, Sunday, or a state holiday, and then it is excluded and the period runs until the end of the next day which is neither a Saturday, Sunday, nor a state holiday.
Parties to a proceeding before the Commission, as defined in Section 63G-4-103, may participate in a proceeding including the right to present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, make argument, written and oral, submit motions, and otherwise participate as determined by the Commission. The Division and Office shall be given full participation rights in any case.
A. Taking Appearances -- Parties shall enter their appearances at the beginning of a hearing or when designated by the presiding officer by giving their names and addresses and stating their positions or interests in the proceeding. Parties shall, in addition, fill out and submit to the Commission an appearance slip, furnished by the Commission.
B. Representation of Parties -- Parties may be represented by an attorney licensed to practice in Utah; an attorney licensed in a foreign state, when joined of record by an attorney licensed in Utah, may also represent parties before the Commission. Upon motion, reasonable notice to each party, and opportunity to be heard, the Commission may allow an attorney licensed in a foreign state to represent a party in an individual matter based upon a showing that local representation would impose an unreasonable financial or other hardship upon the party. The Commission may, if it finds an irresolvable conflict of interest, preclude an attorney or firm of attorneys, from representing more than one party in a proceeding. Individuals who are parties to a proceeding, or officers or employees of parties, may represent their principals' interests in the proceeding.
Intervention -- Persons wishing to intervene in a proceeding for any purpose, including opposition to proposed agency action or a request for agency action filed by a party to a proceeding, shall do so in conformance with Section 63G-4-207.
A. Informal discovery -- The Commission encourages parties to exchange information informally. Informational queries termed "data requests" which have been typically used by parties practicing before the Commission may include written interrogatories and requests for production as those terms are used in the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure. Informal discovery is appropriate particularly with respect to the clarification of pre-filed testimony and exhibits before hearing so as to avoid unnecessary on-the-record cross-examination. The Commission may require an informal exchange of information as it judges appropriate. The Commission, on its own motion or the motion of a party, may require the parties to participate in an informal meeting to exchange information informally and otherwise simplify issues and expedite the proceeding.
B. Formal Discovery -- Discovery shall be made in accordance with Rules 26 through 37, Utah Rules of Civil Procedure, with the following exceptions and modifications.
C. Exceptions and Modifications --
1. If no responsive pleading is required in a proceeding, parties may begin discovery immediately upon the filing and service of an initiatory pleading. If a responsive pleading is required, discovery shall not begin until ten days after the time limit for filing the responsive pleading.
2. Rule 26(a)(4), Utah Rules of Civil Procedure, restricting discovery shall not apply, and the opinions, conclusions, and data developed by experts engaged by parties shall be freely discoverable.
3. At any stage of a proceeding, the Commission may, on its own motion or that of a party, convene a conference of the parties to establish times for completion of discovery, the scope of, necessity for, and terms of, protective orders, and other matters related to discovery.
4. Formal discovery shall be initiated by an appropriate discovery request served on the party or person from whom discovery is sought. Discovery requests, regardless of how denominated, discovery responses, and transcripts of depositions shall not be filed with the Commission unless the Commission orders otherwise.
5. In the applicable Rules of Civil Procedure, reference to "the court" shall be considered reference to the Commission.
A. Prehearing Conferences -- Upon the Commission's motion or that of a party, the presiding officer may, upon written notice to parties of record, hold prehearing conferences for the following purposes:
1. formulating or simplifying the issues, including each party's position on each issue;
2. obtaining stipulations, admissions of fact, and documents which will avoid unnecessary proof;
3. arranging for the exchange of proposed exhibits or prepared expert or other testimony, including a brief description of the evidence to be presented and issues addressed by each witness;
4. determining procedures to be followed at the hearing;
5. encouraging joint pleadings, exhibits, testimony and cross-examination where parties have common interests, including designation of lead counsel where appropriate;
6. agreeing to other matters that may expedite the orderly conduct of the proceedings or of a settlement. Agreements reached during the prehearing conference shall be recorded in an appropriate order unless the participants stipulate or agree to a statement of settlement made on the record.
B. Prehearing Briefs -- The Commission may require the filing of prehearing briefs which shall conform to the format described in R746-100-3(C) and may include:
1. the issues, and positions on those issues, being raised and asserted by the parties;
2. brief summaries of evidence to be offered, including the names of witnesses, exhibit references and issues addressed by the testimony;
3. brief descriptions of lines of cross-examination to be pursued.
C. Final prehearing conferences -- After all testimony has been filed, the Commission may at any time before the hearing hold a final prehearing conference for the following purposes:
1. determine the order of witnesses and set a schedule for witnesses' appearances, including times certain for appearances of out-of-town witnesses;
2. delineate scope of cross-examination and set limits thereon if necessary;
3. identify and prenumber exhibits.
A. Time and Place -- When a matter is at issue, the Commission shall set a time and place for hearing. Notice of the hearing shall be served in conformance with Sections 63G-4-201(2)(b) and 63G-4-201(3)(e) at least five days before the date of the hearing or shorter period as determined by the Commission.
B. Continuance -- Continuances may be granted upon good cause shown. The Commission may impose the costs in connection with the continuance as it judges appropriate.
C. Failure to Appear -- A party's default shall be entered and disposed of in accordance with Section 63G-4-209.
D. Subpoenas and Attendance of Witnesses -- Commissioners, the secretary to the Commission, and administrative law judges or presiding officers employed by the Commission are delegated the authority to sign and issue subpoenas. Parties desiring the issuance of subpoenas shall submit them to the Commission. The parties at whose behest the subpoena is issued shall be responsible for service and paying the person summoned the statutory mileage and witness fees. Failure to obey the Commission's subpoena shall be considered contempt.
E. Conduct of the Hearing --
1. Generally -- Hearings may be held before the full Commission, one or more commissioners, administrative law judges or presiding officers employed by the Commission as provided by law and as the Commission shall direct. Hearings shall be open to the public, except where the Commission closes a hearing for the presentation of proprietary, trade secret or confidential material. Failure to obey the rulings and orders of the presiding officer may be considered contempt.
2. Before commissioner or administrative law judge -- When a hearing is conducted before less than the full Commission, before an administrative law judge or presiding officer, the presiding officer shall ensure that the taking of evidence and subsequent matters proceed as expeditiously as practicable. The presiding officer shall prepare and certify a recommended decision to the Commission. Except as otherwise ordered by the Commission or provided by law, the presiding officer may schedule and otherwise regulate the course of the hearing; recess, reconvene, postpone, or adjourn the hearing; administer oaths; rule on and receive evidence; cause discovery to be conducted; issue subpoenas; hold conferences of the participants; rule on, and dispose of, procedural matters, including oral or written motions; summarily dispose of a proceeding or part of a proceeding; certify a question to the Commission; permit or deny appeal of an interlocutory ruling; and separate an issue or group of issues from other issues in a proceeding and treat the issue or group of issues as a separate phase of the proceeding. The presiding officer may maintain order as follows:
a. ensure that disregard by a person of rulings on matters of order and procedure is noted on the record or, if appropriate, is made the subject of a special written report to the Commission;
b. if a person engages in disrespectful, disorderly, or contumacious language or conduct in connection with the hearing, recess the hearing for the time necessary to regain order;
c. take appropriate action, including removal from the proceeding, against a participant or counsel, if necessary to maintain order.
3. Before full Commission -- In hearings before the full Commission, the Commission shall exercise the above powers and any others available to it and convenient or necessary to an orderly, just, and expeditious hearing.
F. Evidence --
1. Generally -- The Commission is not bound by the technical rules of evidence and may receive any oral or documentary evidence; except that no finding may be predicated solely on hearsay or otherwise incompetent evidence. Further, the Commission may exclude non-probative, irrelevant, or unduly repetitious evidence. Testimony shall be under oath and subject to cross-examination. Public witnesses may elect to provide unsworn statements.
2. Exhibits --
a. Except as to oral testimony and items administratively noticed, material offered into evidence shall be in the form of an exhibit. Exhibits shall be premarked. Parties offering exhibits shall, before the hearing begins, provide copies of their exhibits to the presiding officer, other participants or their representatives, and the original to the reporter, if there is one, otherwise to the presiding officer. If documents contain information the offering participant does not wish to include, the offering party shall mark out, excise, or otherwise exclude the extraneous portion on the original. Additions to exhibits shall be dealt with in the same manner.
b. Exhibits shall be premarked, by the offering party, in the upper right corner of each page by identifying the party, the witness, docket number, and a number reflecting the order in which the offering party will introduce the exhibit.
c. Exhibits shall conform to the format described in R746-100-3(C) and be double sided and three-hole punched. They shall also be adequately footnoted and if appropriate, accompanied by either narrative or testimony which adequately explains the following: Explicit and detailed sources of the information contained in the exhibit; methods used in statistical compilations, including explanations and justifications; assumptions, estimates and judgments, together with the bases, justifications and results; formulas or algorithms used for calculations, together with explanations of inputs or variables used in the calculations. An exhibit offered by a witness shall also be presented as an electronic document, an exact copy of the paper version, using a format previously approved by the Commission.
3. Administrative notice -- The presiding officer may take administrative or official notice of a matter in conformance with Section 63G-4-206(1)(b)(iv).
4. Stipulations -- Participants in a proceeding may stipulate to relevant matters of fact or the authenticity of relevant documents. Stipulations may be received in evidence, and if received, are binding on the participants with respect to any matter stipulated. Stipulations may be written or made orally at the hearing.
5. Settlements --
a. Cases may be resolved by a settlement of the parties if approved by the Commission. Issues so resolved are not binding precedent in future cases involving similar issues.
b. Before accepting an offer of settlement, the Commission may require the parties offering the settlement to show that each party has been notified of, and allowed to participate in, settlement negotiations. Parties not adhering to settlement agreements shall be entitled to oppose the agreements in a manner directed by the Commission.
G. Prefiled Testimony -- If a witness's testimony has been reduced to writing and filed with the Commission before the hearing, in conformance with R746-100-3(C), at the discretion of the Commission, the testimony may be placed on the record without being read into the record; if adverse parties shall have been served with, or otherwise have had access to, the prefiled, written testimony for a reasonable time before it is presented. Except upon a finding of good cause, a reasonable amount of time shall be at least ten days. The testimony shall have line numbers inserted at the left margin and shall be authenticated by affidavit of the witness. To aid in the identification of text and the examination of witnesses, written testimony shall have each line of written text numbered consecutively throughout the entire written testimony. Internal charts, exhibits or other similar displays included within or attached to written testimony need not be included within the document's internal line numbering. If admitted, the testimony shall be marked and incorporated into the record as an exhibit. Parties shall have full opportunity to cross-examine the witness on the testimony. Unless the Commission orders otherwise, parties shall have witnesses present summaries of prefiled testimony orally at the hearing. Witnesses may be required to reduce their summaries to writing and either file them with their prefiled testimony or deliver them to parties of record before or at the hearing. At the hearing, witnesses shall read their summaries into the record. Opposing parties may cross-examine both on the original prefiled testimony and the summaries.
H. Joint Exhibits -- Both narrative and numerical joint exhibits, detailing each party's position on each issue, shall be filed with the Commission before the hearing. These joint exhibits shall:
a. be updated throughout the hearing;
b. depict the final positions of each party on each issue at the end of the hearing; and
c. be in conformance with R746-100-3(C).
I. Recording of Hearing and Transcript -- Hearings may be recorded by a shorthand reporter licensed in Utah; except that in non-contested matters, or by agreement of the parties, hearings may be recorded electronically.
1. Unless otherwise ordered by the Commission, scheduling conferences and technical conferences will not be recorded.
2. If a party requests that a scheduling conference or technical conference be recorded, the Commission may require that party to pay some or all of the costs associated with recording.
J. Order of Presentation of Evidence -- Unless the presiding officer orders otherwise, applicants or petitioners, including petitioners for an order to show cause, shall first present their case in chief, followed by other parties, in the order designated by the presiding officer, followed by the proposing party's rebuttal.
K. Cross-Examination -- The Commission may require written cross-examination and may limit the time given parties to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses. The presiding officer may exclude friendly cross- examination. The Commission discourages and may prohibit parties from making their cases through cross-examination.
L. Procedure at Conclusion of Hearing -- At the conclusion of proceedings, the presiding officer may direct a party to submit a written proposed order. The presiding officer may also order parties to present further matter in the form of oral argument or written memoranda.
A. Generally -- Decisions and orders may be drafted by the Commission or by parties as the Commission may direct. Draft or proposed orders shall contain a heading similar to that of pleadings and bear at the top the name, address, and telephone number of the persons preparing them. Final orders shall have a concise summary of the case containing the salient facts, the issues considered by the Commission, and the Commission's disposition of them. A short synopsis of the order, placed at the beginning of the order, shall describe the final resolutions made in the order.
B. Recommended Orders -- If a case has been heard by less than the full Commission, or by an administrative law judge, the official hearing the case shall submit to the Commission a recommended report containing proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law, and an order based thereon.
C. Final Orders of Commission -- If a case has been heard by the full Commission, it shall confer following the hearing. Upon reaching its decision, the Commission shall draft or direct the drafting of a report and order, which upon signature of at least two Commissioners shall become the order of the Commission. Dissenting and concurring opinions of individual commissioners may be filed with the order of the Commission.
D. Deliberations -- Deliberations of the Commission shall be in closed chambers.
E. Effective Date -- Copies of the Commission's final report and order shall be served upon the parties of record. Orders shall be effective the date of issuance unless otherwise stated in the order. Upon petition of a party, and for good cause shown, the Commission may extend the time for compliance fixed in an order.
F. Review or Rehearing -- Petitions for review or rehearing shall be filed within 30 days of the issuance date of the order in accordance with Section 63G-4-301 and served on other parties of record. Following the filing of a petition for review, opposing parties may file responsive memoranda or pleadings within 15 days. Proceedings on review shall be in accordance with Section 54-7-15. A petition for reconsideration pursuant to Section 63G-4-302 is not required in order for a party to exhaust its administrative remedies prior to appeal.
Appeals from final orders of the Commission shall be to a court of appropriate jurisdiction.
A. Ex Parte Communications Prohibited -- To avoid prejudice, real or perceived, to the public interest and persons involved in proceedings pending before the Commission:
B. Persons Affected -- Except as permitted in R746-100-13(C), no person who is a party, or the party's counsel, agent, or other person acting on the party's behalf, shall engage in ex parte communications with a commissioner, administrative law judge, presiding officer, or any other employee of the Commission who is, or may reasonably be expected to be, involved in the decision-making process regarding a matter pending before the Commission. No commissioner, administrative law judge, presiding officer, or other employee of the Commission who is, or may reasonably be expected to be, involved in the decision-making process shall request or entertain ex parte communications.
C. Exceptions -- The prohibitions contained in R746-100-13(B) do not apply to a communication:
1. from an interceder who is a local, state, or federal agency which has no official interest in the outcome and whose official duties are not affected by the outcome of the on-the-record proceedings before the Commission to which the communication relates;
2. from a party, or the party's counsel, agent, or other person acting on the party's behalf if the communication relates to matters of procedure only;
3. from a person when otherwise authorized by law;
4. related to routine safety, construction, and operational inspections of project works by Commission employees undertaken to investigate or study a matter pending before the Commission;
5. related to routine field audits of the accounts or the books or records of a company subject to the Commission's accounting requirements not undertaken to investigate or study a matter pending in issue before the Commission in a proceeding;
6. related solely to a request for supplemental information or data necessary for an understanding of factual materials contained in documents or other evidence filed with the Commission in a proceeding covered by these rules and which is made in the presence of or after coordination with counsel.
D. Records of Ex Parte Communications -- Written communications prohibited by R746-100-13(B), sworn statements reciting the substance of oral communications, and written responses and sworn statements reciting the substance of oral responses to prohibited communications shall be delivered to the secretary of the Commission who shall place the communication in the case file, but separate from the material upon which the Commission can rely in reaching its decision. The secretary shall serve copies of the communications upon parties to the proceeding and serve copies of the sworn statement to the communicator and allow him a reasonable time to file a response.
E. Treatment of Ex Parte Communications -- A commissioner, administrative law judge, presiding officer, or an employee of the Commission who receives an oral offer of a communication prohibited by R746-100-13(B) shall decline to hear the communication and explain that the matter is pending for determination. If unsuccessful in preventing the communication, the recipient shall advise the communicator that the communication will not be considered. The recipient shall, within two days, prepare a statement setting forth the substance of the communication and the circumstances of its receipt and deliver it to the secretary of the Commission for filing. The secretary shall forward copies of the statement to the parties.
F. Rebuttal -- Requests for an opportunity to rebut on the record matters contained in an ex parte communication which the secretary has associated with the record may be filed in writing with the Commission. The Commission may grant the requests only if it determines that fairness so requires. If the communication contains assertions of fact not a part of the record and of which the Commission cannot take administrative notice, the Commission, in lieu of receiving rebuttal material, normally will direct that the alleged factual assertion on proposed rebuttal be disregarded in arriving at a decision. The Commission will not normally permit a rebuttal of ex parte endorsements or oppositions by civic or other organizations by the submission of counter endorsements or oppositions.
G. Sanctions -- Upon receipt of a communication knowingly made in violation of R746-100-13(B), the presiding officer may require the communicator, to the extent consistent with the public interest, to show cause why the communicator's interest in the proceeding should not be dismissed, denied, disregarded, or otherwise adversely affected because of the violation.
H. Time When Prohibitions Apply -- The prohibitions contained in this rule shall apply from the time at which a proceeding is noticed for hearing or the person responsible for the communication has knowledge that it will be noticed for hearing or when a protest or a request to intervene in opposition to requested Commission action has been filed, whichever occurs first.
A. How initiated --
1. By the Commission -- When the Commission perceives the desirability or necessity of adopting a rule, it shall draft or direct the drafting of the rule. During the drafting process, the Commission may request the opinion and assistance of any appropriate person. It may also, in its discretion, conduct public hearings in connection with the drafting. When the Commission is satisfied with the draft of the proposed rule, it may formally propose it in accordance with the Utah Rulemaking Act, 63G-3-301.
2. By others -- Persons may petition the Commission for the adoption of a rule. The petitions shall be accompanied by a draft of the rule proposed. Upon receipt the Commission shall review the petition and draft and if it finds the proposed rule desirable or necessary, it shall proceed as with proposed rules initiated by the Commission, including amending or redrafting. If the Commission finds the proposal unnecessary or undesirable, it shall so notify the petitioner in writing, giving reasons for its findings. No public hearing shall be required in connection with the Commission's review of a petition for rulemaking.
B. Hearing Procedure -- Hearings conducted in connection with rulemaking shall be informal, subject to requirements of decorum and order. Absent a finding of good cause to proceed otherwise, testimony and statements shall be unsworn, and there shall be no opportunity for participants to cross-examine. The Commission shall have the right, however, to freely question witnesses. Public hearings shall be recorded by shorthand reporter or electronically, at the discretion of the Commission, and the Commission may allow or request the submission of written materials.
The Commission may order deviation from a specified rule upon notice, opportunity to be heard and a showing that the rule imposes an undue hardship which outweighs the benefits of the rule.
R746-100-16. Use of Information Claimed to Be Confidential or Highly Confidential in Commission Proceedings.
A. Information, documents and material submitted or requested in or relating to any Commission proceeding which is claimed to be confidential will be treated as follows:
1.a. Nature of Confidential Information. A person (Providing Party) required or requested to provide documents, data, information, studies, and other materials of a sensitive, proprietary or confidential nature (Confidential Information) to the Commission or to any party in connection with a Commission proceeding may request protection of such information in accordance with the terms of this rule. Confidential treatment shall be requested only to the extent a good faith reasonable basis exists for claiming that specific information constitutes a trade secret or is otherwise of such a highly-sensitive or proprietary nature that public disclosure would be inappropriate. Confidential treatment shall be requested narrowly as to only that specific information for which protection is reasonably required.
b. Identification of Confidential Information. All documents, data, information, studies and other materials filed in conjunction with a Commission proceeding, made available to proceeding participants, whether made available pursuant to interrogatories, requests for information, subpoenas, depositions, or other modes of discovery or otherwise, that are claimed to be Confidential Information, shall be furnished pursuant to the terms of this rule or any superseding Protective Order, and shall be treated by all persons accorded access thereto pursuant to this rule or Protective Order, and shall neither be used nor disclosed by any recipient thereof except for the purpose of the proceeding in which it was obtained and solely in accordance with this rule or superseding Protective Order. All material claimed to be Confidential Information shall be so marked by the person producing it by stamping or noting the same with a designation substantially as follows: "CONFIDENTIAL - - SUBJECT TO UTAH PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION RULE 746-100-16" or "CONFIDENTIAL - SUBJECT TO PROTECTIVE ORDER" or "CONFIDENTIAL - - SUBJECT TO PROTECTIVE ORDER IN DOCKET NO. XX-XXX-XX (reflecting the appropriate docket number)." All copies of documents so marked shall be made on yellow paper.
c. Line Numbering in Redacted Documents. Parties shall ensure that line numbering in any redacted version of a document shall conform to and retain the general formatting and line numbering used in the unredacted version of the document. Individuals providing electronic documents to the Commission should file both a confidential and non- confidential version each clearly marked as such. For purposes hereof, notes made pertaining to or as the result of a review of Confidential Information shall be considered Confidential Information and subject to the terms of this rule.
d. Use of Confidential Information and Persons Entitled to Review. The Commission, Division of Public Utilities, and Office of Consumer Services shall be provided with Confidential Information and may use the Confidential Information as these agencies deem necessary to perform their statutory functions, provided they shall protect the confidentiality of the information as required by Utah law. Other than these state agencies, all Confidential Information made available pursuant to this rule shall be given solely to counsel for the participants (which may include counsels' paralegals, administrative assistants and clerical staff to the extent reasonably necessary for performance of work on the matter), and shall not be used nor disclosed except for the purpose of the proceeding in which they are provided and in accordance with this rule; provided, however, that access to any specific Confidential Information may be authorized by counsel, solely for the purpose of the proceeding, to those persons indicated by the participants as being their experts in the matter (including such experts' administrative assistants and clerical staff, and persons employed by the participants, to the extent reasonably necessary for performance of work on the matter). Persons designated as experts shall not include persons employed by the participants who could use the information in their normal job functions to the competitive disadvantage of the person providing the Confidential Information. The Commission, the Division of Public Utilities, and the Office of Consumer Services, and their respective counsel and staff, pursuant to the applicable provisions of Title 54, Utah Code Ann., the Rules of Civil Procedure and the Rules of the Commission, may have access to any Confidential Information made available pursuant to this rule or Protective Order and shall be bound by the terms of this rule, except as otherwise stated herein and except for the requirement of signing a nondisclosure agreement. Further, nothing herein shall prevent disclosure as required by law pursuant to interrogatories, administrative requests for information or documents, subpoena, civil investigative demand or similar process, provided, however, that the person being required to disclose Confidential Information shall promptly give prior notice by telephone and written notice of such requirement of disclosure by electronic mail facsimile and overnight mail to the person that provided such Confidential Information, addressed to the providing person and attorneys of record for such person, so that the person that provided the Confidential Information may seek appropriate restrictions on disclosure or an appropriate protective order. The disclosing person will not oppose action by, and will cooperate with the person that provided the Confidential Information to obtain an appropriate protective order or other reliable assurance that confidential treatment will be accorded the Confidential Information.
e. Nondisclosure Agreement. Prior to giving or obtaining access to Confidential Information, as contemplated in (1)(b) above, counsel or any experts shall agree in writing to comply with and be bound by this rule and any Protective Order. Confidential Information shall not be disclosed to any person who has not signed a Nondisclosure Agreement in the form which is provided below or referenced in the Protective Order. The Nondisclosure Agreement shall require the person to whom disclosure is to be made to read a copy of this rule and any applicable Protective Order and to certify in writing that he or she has reviewed the same and has consented to be bound by the terms. The agreement shall contain the signatory's full name, permanent address and employer, and the name of the person with whom the signatory is associated. Such agreement shall be delivered to the providing person and counsel for the providing person prior to the expert gaining access to the Confidential Information.
The Nondisclosure Agreement may be in the following form:
"Nondisclosure Agreement. I have reviewed Public Service Commission of Utah Rule 746-100-16 and/or the Protective Order entered by the Public Service Commission of Utah in Docket No. XX-XXX-XX with respect to the review and use of confidential information and agree to comply with the terms and conditions of the rule and/or Protective Order." Thereafter there shall be lines upon which shall be placed the individual's signature, the typed or printed name of the individual, identification or name of the individual's employer or firm employing the individual (if any), the business address for the individual, identification or name of the party in the proceeding with which the individual is associated, and the date the nondisclosure agreement is executed by the individual.
f. Additional protective measures. To the extent a Providing Party reasonably claims that additional protective measures, beyond those required under this rule for Confidential Information, are warranted for certain highly proprietary, highly sensitive or highly confidential material (Highly Confidential Information), the Providing Party shall promptly inform the requester (Requesting Party) of the claimed highly sensitive nature of identified material and the additional protective measures requested by the Requesting Party. If the Providing Party and Requesting Party are unable to promptly reach agreement on the treatment of Highly Confidential Information, the Providing Party shall petition the Commission for an order granting additional protective measures. The Providing Party shall set forth the particular basis for: the claim, the need for the specific, additional protective measures, and the reasonableness of the requested, additional protection. A Requesting Party and any other party may respond to the petition and oppose or propose alternative protective measures to those requested by the Providing Party. Disputes between the parties shall be resolved by the Commission.
g. Identification of Highly Confidential Information. All documents, data, information, studies and other materials filed in conjunction with a Commission proceeding, made available to proceeding participants, whether made available pursuant to interrogatories, requests for information, subpoenas, depositions, or other modes of discovery or otherwise, that are claimed to be Highly Confidential, shall be furnished pursuant to the terms of this rule or any superceding Protective Order, and shall be treated by all persons accorded access thereto pursuant to this rule or Protective Order, and shall neither be used nor disclosed by any recipient thereof except for the purpose of the proceeding in which it was obtained and solely in accordance with this rule or superceding Protective Order. All material claimed to be Highly Confidential shall be so marked by the person producing it by stamping or noting the same with a designation substantially as follows: "HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL--SUBJECT OF UTAH PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION RULE 746-100-16," "HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL--SUBJECT TO PROTECTIVE ORDER," or "HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL--SUBJECT TO PROTECTIVE ORDER IN DOCKET NO. XX-XXX-XX (reflecting the appropriate docket number)." All copies of documents so marked shall be made on pink paper.
2.a. Challenge to Confidentiality or Proposed Additional Protective Measures. This rule establishes a procedure for the expeditious handling of Confidential Information; it shall not be construed as an agreement, or ruling on the confidentiality of any document.
b. In the event that persons are unable to agree that certain documents, data, information, studies, or other matters constitute Confidential Information or Highly Confidential Information referred to in (A)(1)(e) above, or in the event that persons are unable to agree on the appropriate treatment of Highly Confidential Information, the person objecting to the classification as Confidential Information or the person claiming Highly Confidential Information and the need for additional protective measures shall forthwith submit the disputes to the Commission for resolution.
c. Any person at any time upon at least ten (10) days prior notice, when practicable, may seek by appropriate pleading, to have documents that have been designated as Confidential Information or Highly Confidential Information, or which were accepted into the sealed record in accordance with this rule or a Protective Order, removed from the protective requirements of this rule or the Protective Order, or from the sealed record and placed in the public record. If the confidential, or proprietary nature of this information is challenged, resolution of the issue shall be made by the Commission after proceedings in camera which shall be conducted under circumstances such that only those persons duly authorized to have access to such confidential matter shall be present. The record of such in camera hearings shall be marked substantially as follows "CONFIDENTIAL--SUBJECT TO RULE 746-100-16" "CONFIDENTIAL--SUBJECT TO PROTECTIVE ORDER," or "CONFIDENTIAL -- SUBJECT TO PROTECTIVE ORDER IN DOCKET NO. XX-XXX-XX (reflecting the appropriate docket number)" unless the Commission determines, and so provides by order, that such marking need not occur. It shall be transcribed only upon agreement by the parties, or order of the Commission, and in that event shall be separately bound, segregated, sealed, and withheld from inspection by any person not bound by the terms of this rule or Protective Order, unless and until released from the restrictions of this rule or Protective Order, either through agreement of the parties, or after notice to the parties and hearing, pursuant to an order of the Commission. In the event the Commission should rule in response to such a pleading that any information should be removed from the protective requirements of this rule or Protective Order, or from the protection of the sealed record, such order of the Commission shall not be effective for a period of ten (10) days after entry of the order.
3.a. Receipt into Evidence. At least ten (10) days prior to the use of or substantive reference to any Confidential Information as evidence, if practicable, the person intending to use such Confidential Information shall make that intention known to the providing person. The requesting person and the providing person shall make a good faith effort to reach an agreement so that the Confidential Information can be used in a manner which will not reveal its trade secret, confidential or proprietary nature. If such efforts fail, the providing person shall separately identify, within five (5) business days, which portions, if any, of the documents to be offered or referenced on the record containing Confidential Information shall be placed in the sealed record. Only one (1) copy of documents designated by the providing person to be placed in a sealed record shall be made and only for that purpose. Otherwise, persons shall make only general references to Confidential Information in any proceedings.
b. Seal. While in the custody of the Commission, Confidential Information provided pursuant to this rule or a Protective Order shall be marked substantially as follows: "CONFIDENTIAL--SUBJECT TO PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION OF UTAH RULE 746-100-16," "CONFIDENTIAL--SUBJECT TO PROTECTIVE ORDER," or "CONFIDENTIAL--SUBJECT TO PROTECTIVE ORDER IN DOCKET NO. XX-XXX-XX (reflecting the appropriate docket number)."
c. In Camera Hearing. Any Confidential Information that must be orally disclosed to be placed in a sealed record of a proceeding shall be offered in an in camera hearing, attended only by persons authorized to have access to the Confidential Information under this rule or Protective Order. Similarly, cross-examination on or substantive reference to Confidential Information, as well as that portion of the record containing references thereto, shall be similarly marked and treated.
d. Appeal. Sealed portions of the record in any proceeding may be forwarded to any court of competent jurisdiction on appeal in accordance with applicable rules and regulations, but under seal as designated herein, for the information and use of the court.
e. Return. Unless otherwise ordered, Confidential Information, including transcripts of any depositions to which a claim of confidentiality is made, shall remain under seal, shall continue to be subject to the protective requirements of this rule or Protective Order, and shall be returned to the providing person or counsel for the providing person within 30 days after final order, settlement, or other conclusion of the matters in which they were used, including administrative or judicial review thereof. Alternatively, a person receiving Confidential Information pursuant to the terms of this rule or Protective Order may certify, within 30 days after final order, settlement, or other conclusion of the matter including administrative or judicial review thereof, that the Confidential Information has been destroyed. Counsel who are provided access to Confidential Information pursuant to the terms of this rule or Protective Order may retain the Confidential Information, their notes, work papers or other documents as their attorneys' work product created with respect to their use and access to Confidential Information in the matter. An expert witness, accorded access to Confidential Information pursuant to this rule or Protective Order, shall provide to counsel for the person on whose behalf the expert was retained or employed, the expert's notes, work papers or other documents pertaining or relating to any Confidential Information. Counsel shall retain these experts' documents with counsel's documents. In order to facilitate their ongoing responsibility, this provision shall not apply to the Commission, the Division of Public Utilities or the Office of Consumer Services, which may retain Confidential Information obtained under this rule or Protective Order subject to the other terms of this rule or Protective Order. Any party that intends to use or disclose Confidential Information obtained pursuant to this rule or a Protective Order in any subsequent Commission dockets or proceedings, shall do so in accordance with the terms of this rule or any applicable protective orders issued in such other subsequent Commission dockets or proceedings and only after providing notice of such intent to the providing person along with an identification of the original source of the Confidential Information.
4. Use in Proceedings. Where reference to Confidential Information is required in pleadings, cross- examinations, briefs, arguments, or motions, it shall be by citation of title, or exhibit number, or by some other nonconfidential description. Any further use of, or substantive references to Confidential Information shall be placed in a separate section of the pleading, brief, or document and submitted under seal. This sealed section shall be served only on counsel of record (one copy each), who have signed a Nondisclosure Agreement and counsel for the Division of Public Utilities and Office of Consumer Services. All the protections afforded in this rule apply to materials prepared and distributed under this paragraph.
5. Use in Decisions and Orders. The Commission will attempt to refer to Confidential Information in only a general, or conclusionary form and will avoid reproduction in any decision of Confidential Information to the greatest possible extent. If it is necessary for a determination in a proceeding to discuss Confidential Information other than in a general, or conclusionary form, it shall be placed in a separate section of an Order, or Decision, under seal. This sealed section shall be served only on counsel of record (one copy each) who have signed a Nondisclosure Agreement and counsel for the Division of Public Utilities and Office of Consumer Services. Counsel for other parties shall receive the cover sheet to the sealed portion and may review the sealed portion on file with the Commission once they have signed a Nondisclosure Agreement.
6. Segregation of Files. Those parts of any writing, depositions reduced to writing, written examination, interrogatories and answers thereto, or other written references to Confidential Information in the course of discovery, if filed with the Commission, will be sealed by the Commission, segregated in the files of the Commission, and withheld from inspection by any person not bound by the terms of this rule or Protective Order, unless such Confidential Information is released from the restrictions of this rule or Protective Order, either through agreement of the parties, or after notice to the parties and hearing, pursuant to an order of the Commission and/or final order of a court having jurisdiction.
7. Preservation of Confidentiality. All persons who may be entitled to receive, or who are afforded access to any Confidential Information by reason of this rule or Protective Order shall neither use, nor disclose the Confidential Information for purposes of business or competition, or any other purpose other than the purposes of preparation for and conduct of Commission proceedings, and then solely as contemplated herein, and shall take reasonable precautions to keep the Confidential Information secure in accordance with the purposes and intent of this rule or a Protective Order.
8. Reservation of Rights. Persons affected by the terms of this rule or a Protective Order retain the right to question, challenge, and object to the admissibility of any and all data, information, studies and other matters furnished under the terms of this rule or a Protective Order in response to interrogatories, requests for information, other modes of discovery, or cross-examination on the grounds of relevancy or materiality. This rule or a Protective Order shall in no way constitute any waiver of the rights of any person to contest any assertion by another person or finding by the Commission that any information is a trade secret, confidential, or privileged, and to appeal any assertion or finding.
government hearings, public utilities, rules and procedures, confidential information
July 9, 2012
November 28, 2012
54-1-1; 54-1-3; 54-1-6; 54-3-21; 54-4-1; 54-4-1.5; 54-4-2; 54-7-17; 63G-4
For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R746, please contact the promulgating agency (Public Service Commission, Administration). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.