Goto Section: 1.720 | 1.722 | Table of Contents
Revised as of November 24, 2020
Goto Year:2020 |
§ 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such as unpublished decisions or slip opinions of courts or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
(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
(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 |
CiteFind - See documents on FCC website that
cite this rule
Want to support this service?
Report errors in
this rule. Since these rules are converted to HTML by machine, it's possible errors have been made. Please
help us improve these rules by clicking the Report FCC Rule Errors link to report an error.
Helping make public information public