• The Administrative Law Judge may ask the What happens if I don’t need a Where can I get a copy of those
Parties to file written briefs about the hearing? rules?
evidence presented at the hearing and why
If a hearing is not required because there is no A complete set of rules is available on the
the ruling should be in your favor.
disagreement about the facts of the case, the PUC’s web site at www.puc.state.tx.us. From
• The Administrative Law Judge makes a PUC’s Administrative Law Judge may ask the the site map, go to “Rules and Laws,” then
recommendation, called a Proposal for Parties to file briefs about whether the “Procedural Rules.”
Decision, to the PUC Commissioners. Commission should grant the relief you are In addition, you may purchase copies of
Parties who disagree with the requesting. The Commission will then Commission rules from Central Records (call
Administrative Law Judge’s consider a proposed order in Open Meeting. 512-936-7180), or you may come to the PUC
recommendation may file pleadings called offices to view the rules.
IMPORTANT Do I need to include a complaint
• The Commissioners discuss the case at a
public meeting and decide if the PROCEDURAL number when I file documents with HOW TO FILE
complainant has met his/her burden of the PUC?
proof. You are not required to attend the INFORMATION
When you first file your Formal Complaint,
public meeting, but are welcome to attend.
The Commissioners usually do not hear
public comment at the meeting, but may
Where do I send documents about
my Formal Complaint?
include the complaint number used during the
Informal Complaint process. After your first
ask questions. Unless you are instructed otherwise by an filing of documents for the Formal Complaint,
LIT Y C O M
Administrative Law Judge, send documents to your case will be assigned a docket number, TI
• The decision made by the Commissioners
P U B LI C
which is sometimes called a control number.
IS S I
the PUC at the following address:
is called a Final Order. Parties who are
dissatisfied with the PUC’s decision may Public Utility Commission of Texas Always include the docket number on all OF
file motions for rehearing, asking the Central Records filings with the PUC. The PUC receives
Commissioners to reconsider their Attn: Filing Clerk hundreds of filings each week, so it is Public Utility Commission
decision. 1701 N. Congress Avenue important to provide the number so your 1701 N. Congress Ave.
documents can be filed correctly. Each time P.O. Box 13326
P.O. Box 13326 Austin, TX 78711-3326
• After the Commissioners rule on the you file a document, you must submit a total
Austin, TX 78711-3326 1-888-782-8477
motion for rehearing, Parties have the of 11 sets to Central Records (10 copies plus
Remember to include the docket number on www.puc.state.tx.us
right to appeal the decision to district court the original).
in Travis County. all documents you submit.
Am I required to follow special The information in this brochure is not intended
rules? to provide a complete and comprehensive guide to
You will be required to follow certain pursuing formal complaints at the Public Utility
procedural rules if you file a formal complaint. Commission and the rights and duties of com-
plainants before the Public Utility Commission.
This brochure is not a substitute for legal advice
or the Commission’s rules.
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• Your name, address, telephone number and Do I need to hire an attorney? Next, the PUC will determine whether you and
FILING A facsimile transmission number (if a fax the service provider disagree about the facts, that
You are not required to have an attorney to par-
COMPLAINT number is available). Note: any person
ticipate in a PUC proceeding. However, you may
is, what happened to cause you to file your
representing you must provide the same complaint. If there are no factual disputes, no
Who may file a formal want to hire an attorney to help you present your
information. hearing is required and the case can be decided
complaint at the PUC? case to the PUC.
• You must submit a total of 11 sets of based on the applicable law and regulations.
If you are a customer of an electric or documents (10 copies plus the original) Will the PUC staff help me? If there are factual disputes, the PUC will refer
telecommunications service provider who filed when you file your formal complaint as well the case to the State Office of Administrative
an informal complaint with the Public Utility as each time you file a document. An Administrative Law Judge and a PUC Staff
Hearings (SOAH) for a hearing
Commission (PUC) and you are not satisfied Attorney will be assigned to your complaint.
• A description of the facts leading to the
with the resolution, you may file a formal What happens if a hearing is required?
complaint at the PUC. complaint including the amount in The Staff Attorney’s job is to represent the public
controversy, if any. interest. He or she may be able to answer The hearing is a proceeding, much like a trial.
If your complaint is with your local wires questions about PUC rules and procedures, but Testimony is presented, and the Administrative
company and you reside within the city limits, • A statement of the relief that you are
seeking. the Staff Attorney will not represent you Law Judge makes a recommendation to the PUC
you must first submit your complaint to the individually, and may ultimately take a position
city. The local wires company is the company on whether the complainant has met his/her
• The name of the electric provider or adverse to yours.
that transmits and delivers electricity to a burden of proof to show that the utility or other
telecommunications utility or other person
customer’s home or business along the poles and Do not contact the Administrative Law Judge, the entity acted in violation of any law, order, rule or
against whom you have a complaint.
wires (formerly a local electric utility). This Division Director of the Policy Development regulation administered by the PUC.
company is still responsible for maintenance • If your complaint is with a local wires Division, the Commissioners or their staff by Usually, the participants in a complaint case are
and repair of these poles and wires. You may file company, a statement indicating if the mail, telephone or email. The law does not allow the complainant, the service provider and the
a formal complaint with the PUC after the city complaint relates to service that you are
has reviewed your complaint or after 30 days if them to discuss pending cases with a Party. Their Commission staff. These participants are referred
receiving within the limits of a city. recommendations and decisions must be based on to as Parties.
the city does not act.
• If you are seeking relief against a local wires the evidence, written pleadings and arguments The basic steps of the hearing process are as
Is it always necessary to file an company within the limits of a city, a that are formally presented in the case. follows:
informal complaint first? description of any complaint proceedings • An Administrative Law Judge will set a
conducted by the city. Also include the
In almost all cases, yes. The informal process is outcome of those proceedings.
THE COMPLAINT schedule for the case. A prehearing conference
much easier for customers than pursuing a in Austin may be held for this purpose or to
formal complaint. The PUC is able to help • A statement of whether you have attempted PROCESS address other preliminary matters.
most customers who have problems by using informal resolution through the Commission • The Parties will have the opportunity to
staff. Include the date on which the
What can I expect to happen after my
the informal process. conduct discovery, that is, obtain information
informal resolution concluded, or indicate
complaint is filed?
about the case from each other.
if the time for attempting an informal The PUC will first determine whether your
What information do I need to requested relief is something that the PUC can
• The Administrative Law Judge may require
resolution has passed. the Parties to file written testimony before the
include with my formal order. The PUC can order corrective action on a
complaint? date of the hearing.
variety of complaints including adjustments to a
• A hearing is held in Austin, and witnesses
To file a formal complaint, you must file the customer’s bill. However, the Commission does
must be present to testify and be cross-
following information with the PUC’s Central not have the authority to award monetary
Records Division. damages.
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