How To Intervene in a Utility Case

What Does It Mean to Intervene?

Intervention is a process that allows a person who is not an original party to a case, but who will be directly and substantially affected by the outcome, to participate in the case as an interested party. A person that wants to intervene must make a request to the Commission in writing before intervention is granted. In a case that will have a hearing, the presiding Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) will issue a Procedural Order that schedules the case for hearing and includes a specific deadline by which a request to intervene must be submitted. Typically, the Procedural Order will require the utility involved to provide public notice of the hearing schedule and the deadline to request intervention. Even for cases that will not have a hearing, a person affected may request to intervene. It is recommended that an interested person file a request to intervene as quickly as possible upon being made aware of a case.

It is important to note that providing public comment is not the same thing as intervening. An intervenor is a party to a case, with all the rights and responsibilities that entails, such as providing sworn testimony and cross-examining other parties’ witnesses. A person providing public comment is not a party to a case and does not have those rights and responsibilities. Although the ALJ and Commissioners can and may consider public comment in their decision-making process, public comment does not carry the same weight as sworn testimony because public comments are not given under oath and commenters are not subject to cross examination.

How Do I Intervene?

To request intervention, except in a case concerning a Class D or E utility, you must file an original, and 13 hard copies, of a written request to intervene with Docket Control (Docket Control, 1200 West Washington, Phoenix, AZ 85007) by the deadline specified or as quickly as possible once you learn of the case. In a case concerning a Class D or E utility, only an original and 1 hard copy are required. Your request to intervene must contain the information below, and an example can be found here.

The fillable intervention request form can be found here.

  1. Your name, address, and telephone number;  
  2. The docket number for the case in which you are requesting to intervene;  
  3. A short statement explaining:  
      a. Your interest in the proceeding (e.g., a customer of the utility, a shareholder of the utility, a property owner in the proposed service area for the utility, etc.),  
      b. How you will be directly and substantially affected by the outcome of the case, and  
      c. Why your intervention will not unduly broaden the issues in the case;  
  4. If a hearing has not been scheduled, whether and why you believe a hearing is needed;  
  5. A statement certifying that you have sent a copy of your request to intervene to the utility or its attorney and to all other parties of record in the case; and  
  6. If you are not represented by an attorney who is an active member of the Arizona State Bar, and you are not representing yourself as an individual, sufficient information and any appropriate documentation to demonstrate compliance with Arizona Supreme Court Rules 31, 38, 39, and 42, as applicable. This only applies if you are NOT representing yourself and you are not a licensed attorney.  
       

You must send a copy of your request to intervene to each party of record on the service list for the case, which can be found in the Docket for the case in which you want to intervene using eDocket on the Commission website and searching for the case docket number. You must file your request to intervene with the Commission and send it to the other parties on the same day.

Intervention is not automatic. You will not be granted intervention unless you have demonstrated a direct and substantial interest in the outcome of the case and that your intervention would not unduly broaden the issues before the Commission in the case. The ALJ will not act on your request to intervene until the parties of record have had an opportunity to object to your requested intervention. You will be notified regarding the decision on your request to intervene. If you are representing only your own interests before the Commission, it is not required that you have an attorney represent you; you can represent yourself. If you are representing anyone other than yourself, and you are not an attorney, you may be required to have an attorney represent you.

Resources

Fact Sheet

Fillable residential customer intervention request

Sample Customer Intervention Request