Southern California Edison

85 Cal. App. 4th 1086 (2000), 102 Cal. Rptr. 2d 684

The Court of Appeal (Second District, Division 3) issued a writ requiring the Commission to recognize the effective date of an advice letter to be 40 days following the filing of the advice letter pursuant to Section 455.  The Commission had instead issued a resolution (effectively reversed by the Court’s decision) approving the advice letter but delaying its effectiveness by over seven months after the passage of the 40 days set forth in the statute.  The Court held that Section 455 clearly required that the advice letter become effective in 40 days unless suspended prior to that time by the Commission.  The Court also held that the utility had not waived the statutory effective date by asking the Commission to issue a resolution approving the advice letter.  (The Court noted, but did not address, the fact that the statute actually provides that an advice letter becomes effective on 30 days’ notice; General Order 96-A, which governed filings under Section 455, stated that Section 455 filings become effective in 40 days unless first suspended.)  Undaunted, the Commission simply issued a resolution delegating to its staff the Commission’s power to suspend filings.  Edison sought review of that resolution (raising the issue of whether discretionary powers may be delegated) but the court (Second District, Division 1) denied its Petition for Writ of Review.  In January of 2005, the Commission issued D.05-01-032 setting forth the procedures for staff suspension of advice letters.  Earlier, it set forth its view on the staff exercise of delegated authority in D.02-02-049 denying rehearing of Res. M-4801.

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