|(a) Filing of complaint. Complaints relating to matters
within the Commission's jurisdiction shall be in writing and contain
a detailed description of the allegations against the respondent.
The complainant shall serve the complaint on the respondent and simultaneously
file it with the applicable division of the Commission. The division
receiving the complaint shall transfer it to the Hearings Division.
If the complainant amends the complaint, the complainant shall serve
the amended complaint on the respondent and simultaneously file it
with the Docket Services Section.
(b) Burden of proof. The complainant in a complaint
proceeding shall have the burden of proof which is a preponderance
of the evidence. In the interest of justice, the examiner may modify
the burden of proof pursuant to §1.110 of this title (relating
to Burden of Proof).
(c) Notice of complaint. When a complaint is filed,
the Commission shall forward the complaint to the respondent and attach
a letter stating:
(1) the respondent has 20 days from the date of the
letter to either file an answer or request a hearing to contest the
allegations of the original complaint; and
(2) that a default order may be entered against the
respondent if the respondent fails to answer, request a hearing, or
appear at the hearing, if a hearing is requested.
(d) Respondent's answer.
(1) The respondent shall answer the complaint in writing,
by either specifically denying the material allegations of the complaint
or alleging an affirmative defense. Alternatively, the respondent
may request a hearing which shall serve as a general denial of the
allegations in the original complaint.
(2) If the complaint is thereafter amended, the time
period for the filing and service of the answer shall, unless otherwise
ordered, run from the service of such amended complaint. The original
answer shall be considered as the answer to the amended complaint
unless a new answer is filed in response to the amended complaint.
(e) Default order. If the respondent fails to answer,
request a hearing, or appear at the hearing, the examiner may find
the respondent to be in default and prepare a default final order
to be presented to the Commission without further notice.
(f) Dismissal for lack of jurisdiction of Commission
or standing of complainant.
(1) If the Commission finds, either on the face of
the complaint or after motion of the respondent, that the Commission
lacks jurisdiction or the complainant lacks standing, the Hearings
Director or the Commissioners shall dismiss the complaint as to such
allegation or complainant.
(2) Any dismissal order entered by the Hearings Director
is subject to review by an appeal to the Commissioners. The appeal
shall follow the same requirements set forth in §1.38(e) of this
title (relating to Interim Rulings and Appeals of Interim Rulings).
(g) Retail customers served by a gas utility as defined
in Texas Utilities Code §§101.003(7), (8), and 121.001 -
121.006, must first attempt an informal resolution pursuant to §7.45
of this title (relating to Quality of Service) before pursuing a claim
against a gas utility under this section.