November 25, 2008
JACQUELINE KING, PETITIONER,
PUBLICSER VICE COMMISSION OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, RESPONDENT.
Before PRYOR, WAGNER, and KING, Senior Judges.
This case is before the court on appeal from an adverse final order from the Public Service Commission dismissing a petition for reconsideration as untimely filed. See D.C. Code § 34-604 (b) (2001). The Commission had earlier concluded that petitioner had failed to demonstrate, by a preponderance of the evidence, that she was charged excessively for electric service. Instead of filing a petition for reconsideration to seek review of the Commission's decision on the merits, as is required by statute, petitioner appealed to this court. That appeal was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. A belated petition for reconsideration was dismissed by the Commission as untimely. (A copy of the order is an appendix to this opinion.) Petitioner's request for relief from the order is the subject of this appeal.
In the area of administrative law, it is a familiar principle that an agency's interpretation of a pertinent statute or regulation is entitled to deference when reviewed by an appellate court. Genstar Stone Co. v. District of Columbia Dep't of Employment Servs., 777 A.2d 270, 272 (D.C. 2001). Thus, this court has consistently upheld the Commission's interpretation that the statutory requirement to file a petition for reconsideration from an adverse decision is jurisdictional. See Peoples' Counsel v. Public Serv. Comm'n of the District of Columbia, 414 A.2d 520, 521 n.3 (D.C. 1980); see also Moore Energy Res., Inc. v. Public Serv. Comm'n of the District of Columbia, 785 A.2d 300, 305-06 (D.C. 2001) (holding that timely filing of petition for review on appeal is jurisdictional in nature, irrespective of counsel's failure to sign petition on behalf of corporation). We therefore conclude that the Commission did not err in dismissing the instant petition as untimely.*fn1
We hereby vacate the order entered by this court on September 17, 2008, insofar as it dismisses the appeal. The order of the Commission dated October 30, 2007, is hereby affirmed.