Oregon Public Utility Commission

Rule Rule 860-001-0350
Settlements


(1)

In all Commission contested case proceedings, some or all of the parties may enter into a settlement of any or all issues at any time during the proceedings.

(2)

A settlement discussion is any communication between two or more parties for the purpose of resolving issues pending in contested case proceedings. Examples of communications not constituting settlement discussions for purposes of this rule include communications primarily for the purpose of discovery and communications occurring before initiation of docketed proceedings.

(3)

Without the written consent of all parties, any statement, admission, or offer of settlement made during settlement discussions is not admissible in any Commission proceedings, unless independently discoverable or offered for other purposes allowed under ORS 40.190 (Rule 408. Compromise and offers to compromise).

(4)

Parties may agree in writing that the information exchanged exclusively within the context of any settlement discussion is confidential.

(5)

Subject to the signing of an applicable confidentiality agreement, all parties may attend a meeting in which Staff participates to discuss settlement. Staff must provide to all parties to the proceedings reasonable prior notice of any settlement meeting in which Staff intends to participate. The notice must include the time and place of the settlement meeting, the party or parties involved, and the issues to be discussed. Once Staff has given notice of a settlement meeting involving a particular issue, additional notice of continuing settlement meetings involving the same issue need only be provided to parties attending the initial meeting or parties who request continuing notice. Persons who are not associated with a party may not attend a settlement meeting without the consent of all participating parties.

(6)

For purposes of ORS 192.502(4), the Commission obligates itself to protect from disclosure any document submitted in confidence during settlement discussions.

(7)

Settlements must be memorialized in a written stipulation signed by the settling parties and filed for review by the Commission. With the stipulation, the parties must file:

(a)

An explanatory brief or written testimony in support of the stipulation, unless waived by the Commission or ALJ; and

(b)

A motion to offer the stipulation and any testimony as evidence in the proceeding, together with witness affidavits in support of the testimony.

(8)

Within 15 days of the filing of a stipulation, a party may file written objections to the stipulation or request a hearing. Upon request or its own motion, the Commission or ALJ may set another time period for objections and request for hearing. Objections may be on the merits or based upon failure of Staff or a party to comply with this rule. The Commission or ALJ may hold a hearing to receive testimony and evidence regarding the stipulation. The Commission or ALJ may require evidence of any facts stipulated. The parties must be afforded notice and an opportunity to submit proof if such evidence is requested.

(9)

A stipulation is not binding on the Commission. The Commission may adopt or reject a stipulation, or propose that a stipulation be modified prior to approval. If the Commission proposes to modify a stipulation, the Commission must explain its decision and, if necessary, provide the parties sufficient opportunity on the record to present evidence and argument to support the stipulation. No further hearing need be held when a review hearing has already been held under section (8) of this rule and the Commission or ALJ determines that the issues were fully addressed in the prior hearing.
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Last accessed
Jun. 8, 2021