H. B. 4034
(By Delegate Blass)
[Introduced January 10, 1996; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section nine, article one, chapter
twenty-four of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to the public
service commission; general provisions; recommended
decisions by hearing commissioner, hearing examiner or
panel; and changing the time prescribed for filing
exceptions to recommended decisions.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section nine, article one, chapter twenty-four of the
code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS.
§24-1-9. Recommended decision by hearing commissioner, hearing
examiner or panel.
(a) Any order recommended by a single hearing commissioner,
a hearing examiner or a panel consisting of a hearing examiner
and a single commissioner with respect to any matter referred for
hearing shall be in writing and shall set forth separately
findings of fact and conclusions of law, which findings of fact
shall make specific reference to the evidence in the record which
supports such findings, and shall be filed with the commission.
A copy of such recommended order shall be served upon the
parties who have appeared in the proceeding.
(b) Before any order is recommended, the parties shall be
afforded an opportunity to submit, within the time prescribed by
the hearing commissioner, hearing examiner or panel proposed
findings of fact and conclusions of law and briefs.
(c) Within the time prescribed, the parties shall be
afforded an opportunity to file exceptions to the recommended
order and a brief in support thereof, provided the time so fixed
shall be not less than fifteen days from the date of
certified mail of receipt of such recommended order to by the
parties, which order shall be mailed by certified mail.
(d) In all proceedings in which exceptions have been filed
to a recommended order, the commission, before issuing its final
order, may afford the parties an opportunity for oral argument.
When exceptions are filed, as herein provided, it shall be the duty of the commission to consider the same and if sufficient
reason appears therefor, to grant such review or make such order
or hold or authorize such further hearing or proceeding as may be
necessary or proper to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
The commission, after review, upon the whole record, or as
supplemented by a further hearing, shall decide the matter in
controversy and make appropriate order thereon.
(e) When no exceptions are filed within the time specified,
such recommended order shall become the order of the commission
five days following the expiration of the period for filing
exceptions unless the order is stayed or postponed by the
commission: Provided, That the commission may, on its own motion
before such order becomes the order of the commission, review any
such matter and take action thereon as if exceptions thereto had
(f) The commission, a hearing commissioner, a hearing
examiner or panel to whom a matter is referred may expedite the
hearing and decision of any case if the public interest so
requires by the use of pretrial conferences, stipulations and
agreements, prepared testimony, depositions, daily transcripts of
evidence, trial briefs and oral argument in lieu of briefs, as
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to change the time for a
party to file exceptions to a recommended decision of a hearing
commissioner, hearing examiner or panel under the authority of
the Public Service Commission. The change is that the time
begins to run from the date of receipt of the recommended
decision instead of from the date the recommended decision is
mailed by certified mail.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.