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THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION LAW OF WEST
The annotations are intended to set forth a concise statement or a digest of the important points ruled upon or decided by the Public Service Commission in formal cases coming before it for adjudication, and in which written opinions were rendered; likewise of cases originating before the Commission, and, upon appeal from its orders, decided by the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, the Federal Court, and the United States Supreme Court, together with the cases cited by the Commission and Courts in substantiation of findings made by them, or in support of points of law upon which such findings are based.
The annotations embrace all opinions of the Commission from the time of its creation and organization up to and including Bulletin No. 44, published July 17, 1918, and the decisions of the Courts to date.
Charleston, W. Va., October 1, 1918.
Synopsis of the Law by Sections
Limited by Court decisions
Annotations to Law-Continued.
Expenses chargeable to operation or capital
As between localities
As affected by competition
As between localities ...
As between patrons of carriers
Burden of proof ..
Absence of evidence
As effected by court decisions
Different branches of same service
Methods of ascertaining value
22 22, 23
23 23 23 23 24 24
24 24, 26 24, 25 24, 25
25 25, 26
26 26 26
27 28, 29
28 28 29
29 31, 33
34 34-42 34-36
35 35, 36
36 36, 37 37-42
39 39, 40
40 40 41 41 41 41 42 42
SYNOPSIS BY SECTIONS.
SEC. 1. Public service commission created; to
consist of three members, appointed by the governor, and confirmed by the
senate; when appointed and length of term of each member; qualifications; vacancies, how filled; oath of office; governor may remove members for cause; if removed statement of charges to be filed; chairman designated by governor; concurrent judgment of two to be action of commission; members prohibited from holding relations to any public service corporations or holding stocks or bonds thereof; not to hold other public office or be a member of political committee, nor to receive any pass or other thing of value; office vacated under certain conditions; to appoint secretary; salary and duties; other employees appointed to hold at pleasure of commission; secretary may
administer oaths; salary of commissioners and how paid; general offices at capitol and office hours; hearings may be had at other places; duty of attorney general; commission may employ counsel in its
discretion; terms of public service commissioners now in office to expire May 31, 1915.
SEC. 7. Undue or unreasonable preferences or
advantages prohibited. 8. Common carriers shall afford all reason
able, etc. facilities for interchange of traffic between their lines, and for receiving, forwarding and delivering passengers and property to and from their lines and connecting lines; and shall not discriminate in rates, charges, methods or manner of service between connecting lines, but not required to give use of tracks or terminals to
another like carrier. Trunk lines in distribution of cars and
of other facilities shall treat industries and shippers on tributary lines as if located on their tracks, and shall not discriminate between such industries and those on their own tracks. Trunk lines shall pay to lateral lines reasonable arbitrary for originating and assembling freight; but no allowance to shipper
or owner for “plant facilities." 9. Rates, joint rate, fares, classifications,
charges or rental not to be changed except after thirty days' notice to commission and the public; how made; other method in lieu of written notice; changes permitted under certain conditions; hearing on changes in sched
ules; proceedings. 10. Commission to have general supervision
of persons, firms or corporations having franchises from cities, towns, county courts or other tribunals for certain purposes; authority to inspect quality of water, quantity of gas or electricity, and property, plants, fixtures, power houses and offices, and to subpoena witnesses; to appoint inspectors of gas, electric and water meters and stamp same; use of meters not inspected prohibited; except under certain conditions; provision to inspection of meter on request; action in case of inspection; commission may change or modify method of inspection.
4. Public service corporations required to
provide safety appliances; charges,
11. Complaints-how made to the
commission; action of commission thereon. 12. Public service corporations shall file
with commission and keep open to public inspection schedules of all rates, fares, charges and tolls.
5. Power of commission to investigate
methods and practices of public service corporations or other persons subject to provisions of this act; other powers to compel obedience of lawful orders; may change intra-state rate, charge or toll and prescribe other rate, fare, charge or toll, and change or prohibit practice, device or method to prevent discrimination, etc.; limitations; order to be in force until revoked or modified,
or suspended or modified by court. 6. Rebating, etc., prohibited.
13. Hearings and proceedings before com
mission; oral and documentary evidence may be required; procedure in case of disobedience to process of the commission; how such disobedience punished. Claim of witnesses that evidence required of him will tend to
criminate him, will not excuse. 14. Commission shall collect information
annually of value of all property owned or controlled by any person or public service corporation, tabulate same on or before June first for use of board of public works for assessment for taxation.
SEC. 15. Special license fee required of all public
service corporations; fee to be fixed by auditor according to property value on last preceding assessment, to produce $60,000; when to be paid; amount appropriated for use of public service commission and employes. Salaries
of members of commission, how paid. 16. Appeals may be taken to supreme court;
proceedure; hearing shall have prece
dence. 17. Penalty for violation of the provisions
of this act.
the public; how compensation shall be fixed and paid. Commission may require physical connection of telegraph and telephone companies for conveyance of messages between different localities; powers of commission in such cases;
but no order of commission shall operate to prevent such public service corporations from performing their public duties, nor that
would result in serious injury thereto. 25. Such use and connections ordered by
commission shall be permitted and made upon the terms, conditions and for the compensation named by the commission.
26, Commission may prescribe system of
accounts, etc., and prescribe the forms therefor, but such system and forms shall not be inconsistent with those prescribed by interstate commerce commission for corporations subject to the "act to regulate commerce, approved Feb. 4th, 1887; but nothing herein shall affect power of commission to prescribe forms, etc., other than those required by interstate commerce commission.
18. Claims for damages by violation of this
act by any public service commission;
procedure thereon. 19. Secretary shall keep record; seal shall
be adopted; schedule of fees to be
charged; fees, where paid. 20. To whom common carriers may give free
transportation and reduced rates, telephone, telegraph, sleeping car and express companies may make contracts with one another and with common carriers respecting exchange of service
and privileges of passes or franks. 21. The commission may require public
service corporations to furnish certain information, and their books, etc., for inspection. Form of reports required
by law. Annual reports of commission. 22. Power of commission to enforce, establish,
modify, change, adjust and promulgate tariffs, rates, joint rates, tolls and schedules for all public service corpora
tions, including municipalities. 23. Power of commission to fix other rates
in lieu of regulations, measurements, practices, acts or service found to be unjust, unreasonable, insufficient unjustly discriminatory; penalty for failure of public service corporations
to comply with order. 24. Provision as to use of conduits, subways,
poles, etc., of one public service corporation by another for convenience of
Making false entries in accounts, books
of account, records or memorandum of a public service corporation, or wilful destruction, mutilation or falsification thereof, or failure or neglect to make true entries therein of facts and transactions of such corporation, or the falsification of any statement required to be made to the commission,
a misdemeanor; penalty. 27. Violation of order or finding of com
missions, contempt; power of com
mission in such cases. 28. General penalty for failure to comply
with requirements of commission; further criminal proceedings authorized, and penalty on conviction; what constitutes a separate offense; intermediate and concurrent jurisdiction of all offenses and violations of this act.
Conflicting acts repealed.