The rules of Practice and Procedure to be followed in PUCO cases are contained in Chapter 4901-1 of the Ohio Administrative Code (O.A.C.) which is available online at the LAW Writer® Ohio Laws and Rules site (http://codes.ohio.gov/oac/). To check for new or pending versions, see the Rules & Regulations of the PUCO. For information on the rules adoption procedures, see The Rule-Making Process and Pending Rule Changes.
Section 4901.10 of the Ohio Revised Code specifies that the office of the Public Utilities Commission shall be at the seat of government in Columbus. The Docketing Division is open between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday (Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays excepted).
Rule 4901-1-02, O.A.C., provides:
4901-1-02 Filing of pleadings and other documents.
(A) General provisions
(1) The official address of the commission's docketing division is: "Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, Docketing Division, 180 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215-3793."
(2) The internet address of the commission's docketing division (DIS) is http://dis.puc.state.oh.us.
(3) The docketing division is open from seven-thirty a.m. to five-thirty p.m., Monday through Friday, except on state holidays.
(4) Except as discussed in paragraph (D) of this rule, no document shall be considered filed with the commission until it is received and date-stamped by the docketing division. An application for an increase in rates filed under section 4909.18 of the Revised Code, a complaint concerning an ordinance rate filed by a public utility under section 4909.34 of the Revised Code, and a petition filed by a public utility under section 4909.35 of the Revised Code shall not be considered filed until the commission determines that the application, complaint, or petition complies with the requirements of rule 4901-7-01 of the Administrative Code.
(5) The commission reserves the right to redact any material from a filed document prior to posting the document on the docketing information system if the commission finds the material to be confidential personal information, a trade secret, or inappropriate for posting to its website.
(6) A party seeking to consolidate a new case with one or more previously filed cases shall file a motion to consolidate the cases.
(B) Paper filing
(1) All applications, complaints, reports, pleadings, or other documents to be paper filed with the commission shall be mailed or delivered to the commission's docketing division at the address shown in paragraph (A) of this rule. In addition to the original, any person paper filing a document for inclusion in a case file must submit the required number of copies of the document. Information regarding the number of copies required by the commission is available under procedural filing requirements on the docketing information system website, by calling the docketing division at 614-466-4095, or by visiting the docketing division at the offices of the commission. As an alternative, a filer may submit twenty copies of the filing. Failure to submit the required number of copies within two business days after notice by the docketing division may result in the document being stricken from the case file. An attorney examiner may require a party to provide additional paper copies of any filed document.
(2) Unless a motion for a protective order is made in accordance with rule 4901-1-24 of the Administrative Code, concurrent with or prior to receipt of the document by the docketing division, any document filed with the docketing division will be made publicly available on the docketing information system.
(C) Facsimile transmission (fax) filing A person may file documents with the commission via fax under the following conditions:
(1) The following documents may not be delivered via fax:
(a) The application, complaint, or other initial pleading that is responsible for the opening of a case.
(b) Any document for which protective or confidential treatment is requested under rule 4901-1-24 of the Administrative Code.
(c) A notice of appeal of a commission order to the Ohio supreme court filed pursuant to section 4903.13 of the Revised Code or service of that notice upon the chairman or a commissioner.
(2) All documents sent via fax must include a transmission sheet that states the case number, case title, date of transmission, number of pages, brief description of the document, and the name and telephone number of the sender.
(3) The originator of a fax document must contact the commission's docketing division at (614) 466-4095 prior to sending a fax. A person must notify the docketing division of its intent to send a document by fax by five p.m. on the date the document is to be sent. The person must be prepared to commence transmission at the time the docketing division is notified.
(4) All documents must be sent to the facsimile machine in the commission's docketing division at (614) 466-0313. If that machine is inoperable, directions for alternative arrangements will be given when the originator calls to commence a fax. Unrequested documents sent to any of the commission's other facsimile machines will not be relayed to the docketing division by commission employees.
(5) Excluding the transmission sheet, all documents transmitted by fax must be thirty pages or less.
(6) All documents must be legible when received. Illegible documents received via fax will not be filed. If the document is illegible, docketing division may attempt to contact the sender to resolve the problem. The person making a fax filing shall bear all risk of transmission, including all risk of equipment, electric, or telephonic failure or equipment overload or backup. Any document sent by fax that is received in whole or in part after five-thirty p.m. will be considered filed the next business day.
(7) No document received via fax will be given confidential treatment by the commission.
(8) If a document is delivered via fax, the party must make arrangements for the original signed document and the required number of copies of the pleading to be delivered to the commission no later than the next business day. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in the document being stricken from the case file.
(9) Because a document sent to the commission by fax will be date-stamped, and thus filed, the day it is received by the docketing division, the originator of the document shall serve copies of the document upon other parties to the case no later than the date of filing.
(D) Electronic filing (e-file) A person may e-file documents with the commission under the following conditions:
(1) All filings must comply with the electronic filing manual and technical requirements located under electronic filing information and links at the docketing information system website.
(2) The following documents shall not be delivered via e-filing:
(a) Any document for which protective or confidential treatment is requested under rule 4901-1-24 of the Administrative Code.
(b) The service of a notice of appeal of a commission order pursuant to sections 4903.13 and 4923.99 of the Revised Code upon the chairman or a commissioner.
(3) A public utility may electronically file an application to increase rates pursuant to section 4909.18 of the Revised Code except that a public utility filing an application pursuant to chapter II of the standard filing requirements in rule 4901-7-01 of the Administrative Code shall submit one complete paper copy of the application to the commission's docketing division on the same day that an e-filing of the application is made and shall contact the rate case manager of the commission's utilities department prior to the e-filing of the application to determine the number of paper copies of the application that will be required by the commission's staff.
(4) Provided that a document is not subsequently rejected by the docketing division, an e-filed document will be considered filed as of the date and time recorded on the confirmation page that is electronically inserted as the last page of the filing upon receipt by the commission, except that any e-filed document received after five-thirty p.m. shall be considered filed at seven-thirty a.m. the next business day. The docketing division may reject any filing that does not comply with the electronic filing manual and technical requirements, is unreadable, includes anything deemed inappropriate for inclusion on the commission's web site, or is submitted for filing in a closed or archived case. If an e-filing is rejected by the docketing division, an e-mail message will be sent to inform the filer of the rejection and the reason for the rejection.
(5) If an e-filing is accepted, notice of the filing will be sent via electronic mail (e-mail) to all persons who have electronically subscribed to the case, including the filer. This e-mail notice will constitute service of the e-filed document upon those persons electronically subscribed to the case. Upon receiving the e-mail notice that the e-filed document has been accepted by the commission's docketing division, the filer shall serve copies of the document in accordance with rule 4901-1-05 of the Administrative Code upon parties to the case who are not electronically subscribed to the case.
(6) The commission's docketing division closes at five-thirty p.m. To allow time for same-day review and acceptance of e-filings, persons making e-filings are encouraged to make their filings by no later than four p.m.
(7) The person making an e-filing shall bear all risk of transmitting a document including, but not limited to, all risk of equipment, electric, or internet failure.
(8) E-filed documents must be complete documents. Appendices or attachments to an e-filed document may not be filed by other methods without prior approval.
(9) Except as otherwise provided by this rule or directed by an attorney examiner, a person filing a document electronically need not submit any paper copy of an e-filed document to the commission's docketing division.
(E) The commission's docketing information system designates the status of each case under the case number and case name on the docket card. As discussed in this rule, attempts to make filings in certain designated cases will be denied.
(1) An open case is an active case in which filings may be made.
(2) A closed case is one in which no further filings may be made without the consent of the commission's legal department. When a case is closed, any person seeking to make a filing in a case must first contact the attorney examiner assigned to the case or the commission's legal director. If the attorney examiner or legal director agrees to permit the filing, the docketing division will be notified to reopen the case. If an additional filing is permitted, the case status will be changed to open and service of the filing must be made by the filer upon the parties to the case in accordance with rule 4901-1-05 of the Administrative Code.
(3) An archived case is a closed case that will not be reopened and in which no further filings will be permitted. If additional activity is thereafter required on any matter addressed in an archived case, the commission will open a new case and designate the new case as a related case. The commission's docketing information system displays for each case a related cases tab to provide a link to related cases.
(4) A reserved case is one set aside for future use. No filings should be made in the case until the party for who it was reserved makes an initial filing.
(5) A void case is one that was opened in error and no documents may be filed in it.