Participate in a Case
All cases provide opportunities for participation. How an individual or organization participates in a proceeding depends on their interest in the issues and the type of case.
As a Member of the Public
The easier and more common way to participate in a case is as a member of the public. Any person or organization can follow a case by tracking the filings in the case, and, at the time and in the manner requested by the Commission, providing their opinion to the PSC either by attending a public hearing, or submitting a written comment.
As an Intervenor/Party to Case
Alternatively, any person or organization that meets certain criteria, may participate in a case as an intervenor. If you have substantial interests that might be affected by a case, you can request to become a party through “intervention.” You might even qualify for compensation for some costs you incur while participating.
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Participate as a Member of the Public
The PSC encourages public participation in its cases because public input is essential to reach the most fair and reasonable decision possible. There are many ways a member of the public can participate in a proceeding.
1. Follow a case by accessing the case file on the PSC’s Case Management System
Anyone may obtain details about a case through the Case Management System (CMS). CMS contains information like the docket number and title, filed documents, event schedule, and PSC staff involved.
2. Subscribe to a case file
Anyone may follow the progress of a case by accessing the public documents filed for that case through the Electronic Records Filing System (ERF). Those interested may sign up to receive e-mail notifications whenever a document is filed in a particular case.
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3. Subscribe to the contested case calendar
Anyone may stay informed about the schedule of events in a proceeding, by accessing the Contested Case Calendar. Those interested may sign up to receive e-mail notifications whenever an event is added or changed.
4. Provide a comment “for the record”
In most cases the public may submit a comment “for the record,” one that PSC will consider when making its decision. A comment may be filed by mail, or online.
File a Comment Online
In some cases, public hearings are held as an additional way for the public to comment on a case. The notice issued for each case contains instructions on how to attend a hearing, filing comments and the comment filing deadline.
5. Submit comments during other open comment periods
The PSC uses public comments to assist PSC staff to determine the potential environmental impacts of a case. PSC staff notifies the public when it is accepting such comments and how to file them. PSC staff may use these comments when conducting its environmental review, but they are not made part of the official record in the case.
6. Attend the Commission’s Open Meetings
The Commission reviews cases and makes its decisions in Open Meetings. You can check the agenda for the next Open Meeting and listen using the Event Calendar.
View Events Calendar
For an overview of systems and subscription options, see our
Stay Informed page.
Participate as an Intervenor/Party to a Case
Individuals and organizations, who meet certain criteria, may participate in some types of cases as parties by intervening in a case. Intervenors might be eligible for compensation.
1. Request to be an intervenor/party to some cases
Any person or organization whose substantial interests may be affected by the Commission’s decisions, or those who will promote the proper disposition of the issues in an investigation or proceeding, can request to intervene. A person or organization whose request to intervene is granted becomes a party to the case. A party may present evidence through witnesses, question witnesses of other parties or PSC staff, and file briefs. A person or organization that is not a party to the case may not do these things. To intervene, submit a written request to the Commission’s Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Typically, the period to file a request for intervention is 14 days after issuance of the notice that opens the docket.
2. File testimony and exhibits
An intervenor is responsible for filing written testimony and exhibits according to the formatting standards and schedule ordered in that particular case.
View an example of such an order.
Intervenors are also required to provide copies of these documents to everyone on the case’s service list and to the Commission. During the proceeding, parties receive copies of testimony and supporting documentation from the other parties. All testimony is subject to rebuttal by other parties of the case.
3. Appear at hearings, be available for cross-examination, and ask other parties questions
An intervenor must appear at the hearing set for parties and be available for cross-examination by the other parties and PSC staff. They are also allowed to ask other parties questions at the hearing and reply to rebuttal directed at their testimony. All testimony and exhibits that become part of the record are reviewed by the PSC, and can be relied upon as a basis for its decision in the case.
4. Apply for Intervenor Compensation
Each year, the PSC provides a number of different organizations and individuals with funding to help them participate in cases. The Wisconsin Administrative Code PSC Chapter 3 Intervenor Compensation sets the criteria used to evaluate applicants’ need for funding. Any intervenor interested in applying for intervenor compensation can do so by completing the Intervenor Compensation Application Form.
PSC Presentation for a more detailed background on intervention.