Section 4901.10 of the Ohio Revised Code specifies that the office of the Public Utilities Commission shall be at the seat of government in Columbus, and shall be open between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. throughout the year, Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays excepted.
Rule 4901-1-02, O.A.C., provides:
(A) The official address of the commission’s docketing division is:
Public Utilities Commission of Ohio
180 East Broad Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215-3793
Except as discussed in paragraph (B) of this rule, all applications, complaints, reports, pleadings or other papers to be filed with the commission shall be mailed or delivered to the commission’s docketing division at that address, together with the number of copies required by paragraph (C) of this rule. Additional copies shall be supplied to the commission or the attorney examiner assigned to the case, if requested. No pleading or other paper shall be considered filed with the commission until it is received and date-stamped by the docketing division. An application for an increase in rates filed under section 4909.18 of the Revised Code, a complaint concerning an ordinance rate filed by a public utility under section 4909.34 of the Revised Code, and a petition filed by a public utility under section 4909.35 of the Revised Code shall not be considered filed until the date, as determined by the commission, upon which the application, complaint or petition complied with the requirements of rule 4901-7-01 of the Administrative Code.
(B) A party may file documents with the commission via facsimile transmission (fax) under the following conditions:
(1) The following documents may not be delivered via facsimile transmission:
(a) The application, complaint or other initial pleading which is responsible for the opening of a case;.
(b) An application for rehearing which may be filed under section 4903.10 of the Revised Code or a memorandum contra an application for rehearing filed pursuant to rule 4901-1-35 of the Administrative Code.
(c) A notice of appeal of a commission order to the Ohio supreme court which may be filed pursuant to section 4903.13 of the Revised Code.
(2) All documents sent via facsimile transmission must include:
(a) A transmission sheet which states the date of transmission, case number, case title, brief description of the document and number of pages following the transmission sheet.
(b) The name and telephone number of the document originator and facsimile operator.
(3) The originator of the document or their facsimile transmission operator must contact the commission’s docketing division at (614) 466-4095 prior to sending a facsimile transmission. A party must notify the docketing division of its intent to send a document by facsimile transmission by four p.m. on the date the document is to be sent. The party must be prepared to commence transmission at the time the docketing division is notified.
(4) All documents must be sent to the facsimile machine in the commission’s docketing division at (614) 466-0313. If that machine is inoperable, directions for alternative arrangements will be given when the contact required under paragraph (B)(3) of this rule is made. Unrequested documents sent to any of the commission’s other facsimile machines will not be relayed to the docketing division by commission employees.
(5) Excluding the transmission sheet, all documents transmitted by facsimile transmission must be thirty pages or less.
(6) All documents must be legible when received. If the document is illegible, docketing division will contact the sender to resolve the problem. The person making a facsimile filing shall bear all risk of transmitting a document by facsimile transmission, including all risk of equipment failure.
(7) No document received via facsimile transmission will be given confidential treatment by the commission.
(8) If a document is filed via facsimile transmission, the party must make arrangements for the original signed document and the required number of copies of the pleading to be delivered to the commission no later than the next business day.
(9) Because a document sent to the commission by facsimile transmission will be date-stamped, and thus filed, the day it is received by the docketing division, the originator of the document shall serve copies of the document upon other parties to the case no later than the date of filing.
(C) In addition to the original, any person filing a pleading or other document for inclusion in a case file must submit the required number of copies of the pleading or document. Information regarding the number of copies required by the commission may be obtained by going to the commission’s web site at www.puco.ohio.gov and searching case filing requirements under the docketing information system (DIS) section, by calling the docketing division at 614-466-4095, or by visiting the docketing division at the offices of the commission. As an alternative, a filer may submit twenty copies of the filing.
(D) A failure to submit the number of copies required by paragraph (B) or (C) of this rule shall not invalidate or delay the effective date of a filing if the person making the filing submits the number of copies needed to correct any deficiency within two business days after notification of such deficiency by the docketing division.
(E) Unless a request for a protective order is made concurrently with or prior to the reception by the commission’s docketing division of any document that is case-related, the document will be considered a public record.