North Carolina Utilities Commission Extends Suspension of Scheduled Hearings and Waiver of Certain Filing Requirements Through April 29

  

Raleigh, N.C. – On March 10, 2020, Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order No. 116 declaring a State of Emergency in North Carolina to coordinate response and protective actions to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). In so doing, the Governor ordered all state and local governmental entities and agencies to cooperate in the implementation of the provisions of the executive order.

Through a succession of further executive orders, the Governor closed public schools, limited mass gatherings, and closed bars and restaurants to dine-in service.

On March 27, 2020, Governor Cooper issued Executive Order No. 121 taking the further step of imposing a statewide “stay at home” order restricting non-essential movement of the State’s residents until April 29, 2020, to further limit unnecessary person-to-person contact in workplaces and communities.

In response to the declared State of Emergency and consistent with the Governor’s executive orders, the Commission previously suspended scheduled hearings until April 13, 2020, to assist in preventing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The Commission also issued an order on March 27, 2020, waiving Commission Rules R1 5(g), R1-28, and other rule provisions requiring persons electronically filing certain documents with the Commission to additionally provide the Chief Clerk’s Office with paper copies of such filings.

In response to the statewide “stay at home” order provided in Executive Order No. 121, the Commission is extending its suspension of scheduled hearings through April 29, 2020. Orders will be issued in the affected dockets, and the Commission will inform parties by further order in each proceeding of new hearing dates as that information becomes available.

The Commission is also extending the effective date of its March 27, 2020 order waiving the requirement for paper copies of electronically filed documents through April 29, 2020. However, as before, the Commission remains open, and these actions suspending hearings and waiving certain rule provisions do not generally toll or waive any other filing, discovery, or notice deadlines in any proceeding before the Commission. All parties are strongly encouraged to use the Commission’s electronic filing system, and the Chief Clerk’s Office will continue to accept and process filings.

Author: Margaret Beveridge