The simplified procedure for complaints involving small controversies is available to complainants if the amount in controversy is less than $100,000 and the impact on other entities is de minimis.
A complaint filed under this simplified procedure must contain:
- The name of the complainant;
- The name of the respondent;
- A description of the relationship to the respondent;
- The amount in controversy;
- A statement why the complaint will have a de minimis impact on other entities;
- The facts and circumstances surrounding the complaint, including the legal or regulatory obligation breached by the respondent; and
- The requested relief.
A complainant filing under this simplified procedure is required to simultaneously serve the complaint on the respondent and any other entity referenced in the complaint.
The Commission will issue a public notice of the complaint promptly, usually within two days.
An answer to a complaint filed under the simplified procedure must contain a clear and concise statement of any disputed factual allegations and any law upon which the answer relies. The answerer must, to the extent practicable, admit or deny, specifically and in detail, each material allegation of the complaint and set forth every defense relied on.
Answers, interventions, and comments must be filed within 10 days after the complaint is filed. In cases where the complainant requests privileged treatment for information in its complaint, answers, interventions, and comments must be filed within 20 days after the complaint is filed. In the event there is an objection to the protective agreement, the Commission will establish when answers, interventions, and comments are due.
If a complainant or a respondent seeks privileged treatment for any documents submitted with the complaint or the answer, they must use the procedures for seeking privileged treatment of documents described above.
Because of the less complex nature of complaints filed under the simplified procedure, it is likely that the Commission could issue an order more expeditiously than in other types of complaint cases, perhaps within as little as 30 days after an answer is filed.