Page images
PDF
EPUB

Statement of the Case.

Powers—Election-Term of office--Removal of.-A commission is hereby established, to be known as 'The Railroad Commission, which shall be composed of three commissioners. During the session of the general assembly which convenes in December, eighteen hundred and ninety-one, and before the first day of June, eighteen hundred and ninety-two, the governor shall appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, said three commissioners, one from each superior court district as now established, and said appointees shall take their office at the expiration of the terms of the present incumbents. The commissioners so appointed shall continue in office during the term of the present governor, and until their successors are elected and qualified. At the regular election in eigbteen hundred and ninety-five, and every four years thereafter, the commissioners shall be elected, one in each superior court district, by the qualified voters thereof, at the same time and for the same term as the governor. No person shall be eligible to said office unless he be, at the time of his election, at least thirty years of age, a citizen of Kentucky two years, and a resident of the district from which he is chosen one year, next preceding his election. Any vacancy in this office shall be filled as provided in section one hundred and fifty-two of this constitution. The general assembly may, from time to time, change said districts so as to equalize the population thereof; and may, if deemed expedient, require that the commissioners be all elected by the qualified voters of the State at large. And if so required, one commissioner shall be from each district. No person in the service of any railroad or common carrier company or corporation, or of any firm or association conducting business as a common carrier, or in any wise pecuniarily interested in such company, corporation, firm or association, or in the railroad business, or as a common carrier, shall hold such office. The powers and duties of the railroad commissioners shall be regulated by law; and until otherwise provided by law, the commission so created shall bave the same powers and jurisdiction, perform the same duties, be subject to the same reg. ulations, and receive the same compensation, as now conferred, prescribed and allowed by law to the existing railroad com

Statement of the Case.

missioners. The general assembly may, for cause, address any of said commissioners out of office by similar proceedings as in the case of judges of the Court of Appeals; and the general assembly shall enact laws to prevent the nonfeasance and misfeasance in office of said commissioners, and to impose proper penalties therefor."

"§ 218. Penalty for charging more for short than long haulPower of commission.-It shall be unlawful for any person or corporation, owning or operating a railroad in this State, or any common carrier, to charge or receive any greater compensation in the aggregate for the transportation of passengers, or of property of like kind, under substantially similar circumstances and conditions, for a shorter than for a longer distance over the same line, in the same direction, the shorter being included within the longer distance; but this shall not be construed as authorizing any common carrier, or person or corporation, owning or operating a railroad in this State, to receive as great compensation for a shorter as for a longer distance: Provided, That upon application to the railroad commission, such common carrier, or person, or corporation owning or operating a railroad in this State, may, in special cases, after investigation by the commission, be authorized to charge less for longer than for shorter distances for the transportation of passengers, or property; and the commission may, from time to time, prescribe the extent to which such common carrier, or person or corporation, owning or operating a railroad in this State, may be relieved from the operations of this section.”

The following are sections of the General Laws of Kentucky of 1894:

“$ 816. Extortion—what is.—If any railroad corporation shall charge, collect or receive more than a just and reasonable rate of toll or compensation for the transportation of passengers or freight in this State, or for the use of any railroad car upon its track, or upon any track it has control of, or the right to use in this State, it shall be guilty of extortion.

“$ 817. Discrimination—what is.—If any corporation engaged in operating a railroad in this State shall, directly or indirectly, by any special rate, rebate, drawback or other device,

Statement of the Case.

charge, demand, collect or receive from any person a greater or less compensation for any service rendered in the transportation of passengers or property than it charges, demands, collects or receives from any other person for doing for him a like and contemporaneous service in the transportation of a like kind of traffic, it shall be deemed guilty of unjust discrimination.

“S818. Preference or advantage forbidden---Rules defining same quantity of freight.-It shall be unlawful for any corporation to make or give any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage to any particular person or locality, or any particular description of traffic, in any respect whatever, in the transportation of a like kind of traffic; or to subject any particular person, company, firm, corporation or locality, or any particular description of traffic, to any undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage.

“$ 819. Penalty in damages for extortion, discrimination, preference-Jurisdiction-Duty of commission Limitation.Any railroad corporation that shall be guilty of extortion or unjust discrimination, or of giving to any person or locality, or to any description of traffic, an undue or unreasonable preference or advantage, shall, upon conviction, be fined for the first offence in

any sum not less than five hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars; and, upon a second conviction, in any sum not less than five hundred dollars nor more than two thousand dollars; and, upon a third conviction, in any sum not less than two thousand dollars nor more than five thousand dollars. The circuit court of any county into or through which the line of railroad may run, owned or operated by the corporation alleged to be guilty as aforesaid, and the Franklin circuit court, shall have jurisdiction of the offence, which shall be prosecuted by indictment, or by action in the name of the Commonwealth, upon information filed by the board of railroad commissioners; and such railroad corporation shall also be liable in damages to the party aggrieved to the amount of damages sustained, to gether with cost of suit and reasonable attorneys' fees to be fixed by the court. Indictments under this section shall be made only upon the recommendation or request of the railroad commission, filed in the court having jurisdiction of the offence:

Statement of the Case.

and all prosecutions and actions under this law shall be commenced within two years after the offence shall have been committed, or the cause of action shall have accrued.

“$ 820. Long and short haul over same road-Penalty-Jurisdiction of courts—Duty of commission.-If any person owning or operating a railroad in this State, or any common carrier, shall charge or receive any greater compensation in the aggregate for the transportation of passengers or property of like kind, under substantially similar circumstances and conditions, for a shorter than for a longer distance, over the same line in the same direction, the shorter being included within the longer distance, such person shall, for each offence, be guilty of a misdemeanor, and fined not less than one hundred nor more than five hundred dollars, to be recovered by indictment in the Franklin circuit court, or the circuit court of any county into or through which the railroad or common carrier so violating runs or carries on its business. Upon complaint made to the railroad commission that any railroad or common carrier has violated the provisions of this section, it shall be the duty of the commission to investigate the grounds of complaint, and if, after such investigation, the commission deems it proper to exonerate the railroad or common carrier from the operation of the provisions of this section, an order in writing to that effect shall be made by the commission, and a copy thereof delivered to the complainant and the railroad or common carrier, and the same shall be published as a part of the report of the commission; and after such order, the railroad or carrier shall not be prosecuted or fined on account of the complaint made. If the commission, after investigation, fails to exonerate the railroad or carrier from the operation of the provisions of this section, an order in writing to that effect shall be made by the commission, and a copy thereof delivered to the complainant, and the railroad or common carrier, and the same shall be published as a part of the report of the commission; and after such order, it shall be the duty of the commission to furnish a statement of the facts, together with a copy of its order, to the grand jury of any county, the circuit court of which has jurisdiction, in order that the railroad company or carrier may be indicted for the offence; and the commission

Statement of the Case.

[ocr errors]

shall use proper efforts to see that such company or carrier is indicted and prosecuted.

“$ 821. Three commissioners-Duties.—There is established a department in the state government to be known as the railroad commission, which shall be composed of three commissioners, one of whom shall act as chairman, and whose duty it shall be to see that the laws relating to all railroads, except street, are faithfully executed, and to exercise a general supervision over the railroads of the State. Each of said commissioners is authorized to administer oaths, and two of them shall constitute a quorum.”

“ § 826. Rates from foreign points to be examined by commission-Duty of commission.-Said commission shall examine all through freight rates from points out of this State to points into this State; and whenever they find that a through rate charge into or out of this State is excessive or unreasonable, or discriminating in its nature, they shall call the attention of the railroad officials in this State to the fact, and to urge them of the propriety of changing such freight. And when such rates are not changed, it shall be the duty of said commission to present the facts to the Interstate Commerce Commission and appeal to it for relief, and they shall receive upon application the services of the attorney general of this State and into the condition, management, and all other matters concerning the business of railroads in this state, so far as the same pertain to the relation of such railroads to the public, and whether such railroad corporations, their officers and employés, comply with the laws of the State; and whenever it shall come to their knowledge, or they shall bave reason to believe, that the laws affecting railroad corporations in their business relations to the public have been violated, they shall prosecute, or cause to be prosecuted, the corporations or persons guilty of such violation.

“§ 827. Examination of officers and employés by commission -Penalty for contempt. They shall have the power to examine, under oath, any person, or the directors, officers, agents and employés of any railroad corporation doing business in this State, concerning the management of its affairs, and to obtain information pursuant to this law; and shall have power to issue

« PreviousContinue »