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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 30 : Public Service

Chapter 001 : Appointment, General Powers, and Duties

(Cite as: 30 V.S.A. § 11)
  • § 11. Pleadings; rules of practice; hearings; findings of fact

    (a)(1) The forms, pleadings, and rules of practice and procedure before the Commission shall be prescribed by it.

    (2) With regard to the general procedural rules codified in Commission Rule 2.000, notwithstanding the rulemaking provisions of the Vermont Administrative Procedure Act, the Commission is empowered to prescribe and amend from time to time general rules with respect to pleadings, practice, evidence, procedure, and forms for all Commission proceedings.

    (3) The rules prescribed or amended shall not abridge, enlarge, or modify any substantive rights of any person provided by law.

    (4) The rules, when initially prescribed or any amendments to them, including any repeal, modification, or addition, shall take effect on the date provided by the Commission in its order of promulgation unless objected to by the Legislative Committee on Judicial Rules as provided in 12 V.S.A. chapter 1. If an objection is made by the Legislative Committee on Judicial Rules, the initially prescribed rules in question shall not take effect until they have been reported to the General Assembly by the Chair of the Commission at any regular, adjourned, or special session thereof, and until after the expiration of 45 legislative days of that session, including the date of the filing of the report.

    (5) The General Assembly may repeal, revise, or modify any rule or amendment, and its action shall not be abridged, enlarged, or modified by subsequent rule.

    (6) The Commission shall adopt rules that include, among other things, provisions that:

    (A) A utility whose rates are suspended under the provisions of section 226 of this title shall, within 30 days from the date of the suspension order, file with the Commission all exhibits it intends to use in the hearing thereon together with the names of witnesses it intends to produce in its direct case and a short statement of the purposes of the testimony of each witness. Except in the discretion of the Commission, a utility shall not be permitted to introduce into evidence in its direct case exhibits that are not filed in accordance with this rule.

    (B) A scheduling conference shall be ordered in every contested rate case. At such conference the Commission may require the State or any person opposing such rate increase to specify what items shown by the filed exhibits are conceded. Further proof of conceded items shall not be required.

    (b) The Commission shall allow all members of the public to attend each of its hearings unless the hearing is for the sole purpose of considering information to be treated as confidential pursuant to a protective order duly adopted by the Commission.

    (1) The Commission shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure that the location of each hearing is sufficient to accommodate all members of the public seeking to attend.

    (2) The Commission shall ensure that the public may safely attend the hearing, including obtaining such resources as may be necessary to fulfill this obligation.

    (c) The Commission shall hear all matters within its jurisdiction and make its findings of fact. It shall state its rulings of law when they are excepted to. Upon appeal to the Supreme Court, its findings of fact shall be accepted unless clearly erroneous. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 39(b), eff. March 1, 1961; 1971, No. 185 (Adj. Sess.), § 211, eff. March 29, 1972; 2013, No. 91 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2015, No. 23, § 134; 2017, No. 53, § 13a; 2019, No. 31, § 21; 2023, No. 33, § 6, eff. July 1, 2023.)