Goto Section: 1.720 | 1.722 | Table of Contents

FCC 1.721
Revised as of September 1, 2021
Goto Year:2020 | 2022
  §  1.721   General pleading requirements.

   Formal complaint proceedings are generally resolved on a written record
   consisting of a complaint, answer, reply, and joint statement of
   stipulated facts, disputed facts and key legal issues, along with all
   associated evidence in the record. The Commission may also require or
   permit other written submissions such as briefs, proposed findings of
   fact and conclusions of law, or other supplementary documents or

   (a) All papers filed in any proceeding subject to this part must be
   drawn in conformity with the requirements of § § 1.49, 1.50, and 1.52.

   (b) Pleadings must be clear, concise, and direct. All matters
   concerning a claim, defense or requested remedy, including damages,
   should be pleaded fully and with specificity.

   (c) Pleadings must contain facts which, if true, are sufficient to
   constitute a violation of the Act or a Commission regulation or order,
   or a defense to an alleged violation.

   (d) Averred facts, claims, or defenses shall be made in numbered
   paragraphs and must be supported by relevant evidence. The contents of
   each paragraph shall be limited as far as practicable to a statement of
   a single set of circumstances. Each claim founded on a separate
   transaction or occurrence and each affirmative defense shall be
   separately stated to facilitate the clear presentation of the matters
   set forth. Assertions based on information and belief are prohibited
   unless made in good faith and accompanied by a declaration or affidavit
   explaining the basis for the party's belief and why the party could not
   reasonably ascertain the facts from any other source.

   (e) Legal arguments must be supported by appropriate statutory,
   judicial, or administrative authority.

   (f) Opposing authorities must be distinguished.

   (g) Copies must be provided of all non-Commission authorities relied
   upon which are not routinely available in national reporting systems,
   such as unpublished decisions or slip opinions of courts or
   administrative agencies. In addition, copies of state authorities
   relied upon shall be provided.

   (h) Parties are responsible for the continuing accuracy and
   completeness of all information and supporting authority furnished in a
   pending complaint proceeding. Information submitted, as well as
   relevant legal authorities, must be current and updated as necessary
   and in a timely manner before a decision is rendered on the merits of
   the complaint.

   (i) Specific reference shall be made to any tariff or contract
   provision relied on in support of a claim or defense. Copies of
   relevant tariffs, contracts, or relevant portions that are referred to
   or relied upon in a complaint, answer, or other pleading shall be
   appended to such pleading.

   (j) Pleadings shall identify the name, address, telephone number, and
   email address for either the filing party's attorney or, where a party
   is not represented by an attorney, the filing party. Pleadings may be
   signed by a party's attorney.

   (k) All attachments shall be Bates-stamped or otherwise numbered
   sequentially. Parties shall cite to Bates-stamped page numbers in their

   (l) Pleadings shall be served on all parties to the proceeding in
   accordance with § 1.734 and shall include a certificate of service.

   (m) Each pleading or other submission must contain a written
   verification that the signatory has read the submission and, to the
   best of his or her knowledge, information and belief formed after
   reasonable inquiry, it is well grounded in fact and is warranted by
   existing law or a good faith argument for the extension, modification
   or reversal of existing law; and that it is not interposed for any
   improper purpose, such as to harass, cause unnecessary delay, or
   needlessly increase the cost of the proceeding. If any pleading or
   other submission is signed in violation of this provision, the
   Commission may upon motion or upon its own initiative impose
   appropriate sanctions.

   (n) Parties may petition the staff, pursuant to § 1.3, for a waiver of
   any of the rules governing formal complaints. Such waiver may be
   granted for good cause shown.

   (o) A complaint may, on request of the filing party, be dismissed
   without prejudice as a matter of right prior to the adoption date of
   any final action taken by the Commission with respect to the complaint.
   A request for the return of an initiating document will be regarded as
   a request for dismissal.

   (p) Amendments or supplements to complaints to add new claims or
   requests for relief are prohibited.

   (q) Failure to prosecute a complaint will be cause for dismissal.

   (r) Any document purporting to be a formal complaint which does not
   state a cause of action under the Communications Act, or a Commission
   regulation or order, will be dismissed. In such case, any amendment or
   supplement to such document will be considered a new filing which must
   be made within any applicable statutory limitations of actions.

   (s) Any other pleading that does not conform with the requirements of
   the applicable rules may be deemed defective. In such case the
   Commission may strike the pleading or request that specified defects be
   corrected and that proper pleadings be filed with the Commission and
   served on all parties within a prescribed time as a condition to being
   made a part of the record in the proceeding.

   (t) Pleadings shall be construed so as to do justice.

   (u) Any party that fails to respond to official correspondence, a
   request for additional information, or an order or directive from the
   Commission may be subject to appropriate sanctions.

   [ 83 FR 44832 , Sept. 4, 2018]


Goto Section: 1.720 | 1.722

Goto Year: 2020 | 2022
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