Usa Alabama

USA Statutes : alabama
Title : Title 37 PUBLIC UTILITIES AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION.
Chapter : Chapter 01 PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION.
Section 37-1-1

Section 37-1-1
Commission established.

A commission to be known as the Public Service Commission, consisting of a president and two associates who shall be competent persons and qualified electors of this state, is established.



(Code 1886, §1120; Code 1896, §3481; Code 1907, §5632; Acts 1915, No. 746, p. 865; Code 1923, §9605; Code 1940, T. 48, §1.)Section 37-1-10

Section 37-1-10
Domicile of commission; jurisdiction of actions or proceedings against commission.

The domicile of the Public Service Commission is fixed at the Capitol of the state in Montgomery, Montgomery County, and no court of the state other than those of Montgomery County shall have or take jurisdiction in any civil action or proceeding brought or instituted against said commission, unless otherwise expressly authorized by this Code.



(Acts 1907, Ex. Sess., No. 15, p. 29; Code 1923, §9876; Code 1940, T. 48, §11.)Section 37-1-100

Section 37-1-100
Effective date of orders.

Unless a different time is prescribed by the commission, every order of the commission shall be effective 20 days after the service thereof, and shall be served immediately after its entry of record upon every party required to obey the same.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9806; Code 1940, T. 48, §73.)Section 37-1-101

Section 37-1-101
Modification of orders.

At any time after the entry thereof, the commission, in the manner provided for in the making thereof, may alter, amend, annul or otherwise modify any order, but no such modification shall in any way affect the validity of any act done or omitted by any utility on the faith of such order, or in pursuance of its terms, prior to notice of the modification thereof.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9807; Code 1940, T. 48, §75.)Section 37-1-102

Section 37-1-102
Record of proceedings.

A full and complete record of all proceedings before the commission on any investigation had and all testimony therein shall be taken down by the stenographer selected by the commission. A copy of such transcript shall be furnished on demand to any party to such investigation, or other person, upon the payment of the cost of transcribing the testimony, not exceeding $1.00 per folio.



(Acts 1907, Ex. Sess., No. 21, p. 43; Code 1907, §5677; Code 1923, §9660; Code 1940, T. 48, §69.)Section 37-1-103

Section 37-1-103
Substantial compliance by commission with requirements of title sufficient.

A substantial compliance by the commission with the requirements of this title shall be sufficient to give effect to all rules, orders, acts, and regulations of the commission, and they shall not be declared inoperative, illegal or void for any omission of a technical nature, in respect thereto.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9802; Code 1940, T. 48, §72.)Section 37-1-104

Section 37-1-104
Power of circuit court to compel compliance with commission orders, etc.

In case of failure or refusal on the part of any person to comply with any valid order of the commission or of any commissioner, or any subpoena, or on the refusal of any witness to testify or answer as to any matter regarding which he may be lawfully interrogated, any circuit court in this state, or any judge thereof, on application of a commissioner, may issue an attachment for such person and compel him to comply with such order, or to attend before the commission and produce such documents and give his testimony upon such matters as may be lawfully required, and the court or judge shall have power to punish for contempt as in cases of disobedience of a like order or subpoena issued by or from such court, or a refusal to testify therein.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9801; Code 1940, T. 48, §78.)Section 37-1-105

Section 37-1-105
Rehearing.

At any time after an order has been made by the commission, any person interested therein may apply for a rehearing in respect to any matter determined therein, and the commission shall grant and hold such rehearing within 60 days after the said application therefor has been filed, and such rehearing shall be subject to such rules as the commission may prescribe. Application for such a rehearing shall not excuse any utility or person from complying with or obeying an order of the commission, or operate in any manner to stay or postpone the enforcement thereof except as the commission may by order direct. Any order of the commission made after such rehearing shall have the same force and effect as an original order, but shall not affect any right, or the enforcement of any right, arising from or by virtue of compliance with the original order prior to the order made after rehearing.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9808; Code 1940, T. 48, §76.)Section 37-1-11

Section 37-1-11
Salaries and expense allowances of commissioners.

Subject to the provisions of this section, the President of the Public Service Commission and each of the Associate Commissioners of the Public Service Commission shall continue to receive the annual salary and the monthly expense allowance in the amount set by law on April 25, 1994. Effective at the beginning of the next term of office of any member of the commission, the President of the Public Service Commission shall receive a salary of seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000) per year and the Associate Commissioners of the Public Service Commission shall receive a salary of seventy thousand dollars ($70,000) per year, and shall not receive a monthly expense allowance. The president and associate commissioners shall not receive any cost-of-living salary increase granted to state officers and employees for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 1994.



(Code 1886, §1125; Code 1896, §3486; Code 1907, §5640; Acts 1919, No. 698, p. 1006; Code 1923, §9614; Acts 1933, Ex. Sess., No. 138, p. 124; Code 1940, T. 48, §12; Acts 1957, No. 572, p. 794; Acts 1966, Ex. Sess., No. 189, p. 220; Acts 1981, No. 81-773, p. 1334, §1; Acts 1983, No. 83-618, p. 958; Acts 1994, No. 94-610, p. 1125, §1.)Section 37-1-12.1

Section 37-1-12.1
Employees - Accountant, utility rates analyst, economist, etc.

The commission is hereby authorized and empowered to employ technically qualified personnel to serve as members of its staff and under its direction and supervision, including but not limited to an accountant, a utility rates analyst, an economist and such other experts as the commission may determine to be necessary in the proper discharge of the commission's duties as prescribed by law.



(Acts 1977, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 44, p. 1458, §1.)Section 37-1-12.2

Section 37-1-12.2
Employees - Stenographic and other clerical assistants; special investigators.

The commission shall employ such stenographic and other clerical assistants, and special investigators, as it may require for the performance of its duties. Such assistants and investigators shall be employed subject to the provisions of the state merit system law.



(Acts 1977, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 44, p. 1458, §2.)Section 37-1-12

Section 37-1-12
Employees - Appointment or employment; salaries; special counsel.

The commission, under the provisions of the merit system, shall have the authority to appoint or employ attorneys, officers, and such accountants, engineers, experts, inspectors, clerks and other employees as are necessary or expedient to carry out the duties conferred by law upon the commission, and the salaries therefor shall be fixed according to the provisions of the merit system. The commission shall also, by and with the approval of the Governor, have authority to employ and discharge special counsel or attorneys as it may be deemed necessary for such purpose.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Acts 1920, No. 42, p. 92; Code 1923, §9617; Code 1940, T. 48, §13.)Section 37-1-120

Section 37-1-120
Right of appeal to Circuit Court of Montgomery County - Generally.

From any final action or order of the commission in the exercise of the jurisdiction, power and authority conferred upon it by this title, an appeal therefrom shall lie to the Circuit Court of Montgomery County.



(Code 1907, §9832; Acts 1909, No. 42, p. 96; Code 1923, §9831; Acts 1932, Ex. Sess., No. 232, p. 233; Code 1940, T. 48, §79.)Section 37-1-121

Section 37-1-121
Right of appeal to Circuit Court of Montgomery County - Intervenors or interested parties.

Any intervenor or interested party may appeal from any final order of the commission within the time, in the manner and upon the conditions provided by this title for appeals from orders of the commission.



(Acts 1932, Ex. Sess., No. 232, p. 233; Acts 1935, No. 228, p. 624; Code 1940, T. 48, §80.)Section 37-1-122

Section 37-1-122
Time for appeal; how appeal perfected.

All appeals shall be taken within 30 days from the date of such action or order and shall be granted as a matter of right and be deemed perfected by filing with the Public Service Commission a bond for security of cost of said appeal, when the appellant is a utility or person, and by filing notice of an appeal when the appellant is the State of Alabama.



(Code 1907, §9832; Acts 1909, No. 42, p. 96; Code 1923, §9831; Acts 1932, Ex. Sess., No. 232, p. 233; Code 1940, T. 48, §79.)Section 37-1-123

Section 37-1-123
Record or transcript of proceedings before commission.

Within 30 days after the perfecting of the appeal and sooner if practicable, the Public Service Commission, through its president or any member thereof, or its secretary, shall certify to the appellate court under the seal of the commission a complete record or transcript of all the proceedings had before it, including all orders and pleadings together with a transcript of all oral testimony, and the original or a transcript of all documentary evidence taken in the proceeding in which the order appealed from was made. The time for certifying said transcript to said appellate court may be extended by an order of the judge thereof, for good cause shown.



(Acts 1909, No. 42, p. 96; Code 1923, §9833; Code 1940, T. 48, §83.)Section 37-1-124

Section 37-1-124
Proceedings on appeal.

The commission's order shall be taken as prima facie just and reasonable. No new or additional evidence may be introduced in the circuit court, except as to fraud or misconduct of some person engaged in the administration of this title and affecting the order, ruling or award appealed from, but the court shall otherwise hear the case upon the certified record and shall set aside the order if the court finds that:

(1) The commission erred to the prejudice of appellant's substantial rights in its application of the law; or

(2) The order, decision or award was procured by fraud or was based upon a finding of facts contrary to the substantial weight of the evidence.

However, the court may, instead of setting aside the order, remand the case to the commission for further proceedings in conformity with the direction of the court. The court may, in advance of judgment and upon a sufficient showing, remand the case to the commission for the purpose of taking additional testimony or other proceedings.



(Acts 1932, Ex. Sess., No. 232, p. 233; Code 1940, T. 48, §82.)Section 37-1-125

Section 37-1-125
Right to supersede order by giving bond.

On any such appeal any utility, interested party or intervenor may supersede any order or judgment entered by giving such supersedeas bond or bonds as may be appropriate to the proceedings as provided for in this subdivision.



(Acts 1932, Ex. Sess., No. 232, p. 233; Acts 1935, No. 228, p. 624; Code 1940, T. 48, §81.)Section 37-1-126

Section 37-1-126
Superseding order - Order of stay or supersedeas.

An appeal to the Circuit Court of Montgomery County shall not stay or supersede the order or action of the commission appealed from. Subject to the provisions of this subdivision, the circuit court may, upon hearing and notice, and after consideration of the testimony taken before the commission, stay or supersede the order or action of the commission.

(1) If the appeal to the circuit court is from an order of the commission reducing or refusing to increase rates, fares or charges, or any of them, or any schedule or part or parts of any schedule, of such rates, fares or charges, the circuit court shall not direct or order a supersedeas or stay of the action or order appealed from without requiring, as a condition precedent to the granting of such supersedeas, that the utility applying for the same shall execute and file with the clerk of said court a bond which shall be as provided in this subdivision.

(2) If the circuit court shall fail or refuse to grant such supersedeas, a utility may petition the supreme court to order a supersedeas and stay of the action or order of the commission appealed from, and any such order, if entered by the supreme court, shall likewise only be entered conditioned upon the execution and filing of the supersedeas bond as provided in this subdivision.



(Acts 1909, No. 42, p. 96; Code 1923, §9838; Code 1940, T. 48, §84.)Section 37-1-127

Section 37-1-127
Superseding order - Statement of approximate effect on revenues.

In the application for supersedeas, the utility shall, under oath, state the estimated approximate amount by which its revenues will be increased or reduced as the case may be, in six months, by reason of the increased rate sought by it or the reduced rate complained of.



(Acts 1909, No. 42, p. 96; Code 1923, §9839; Code 1940, T. 48, §85.)Section 37-1-128

Section 37-1-128
Superseding order - Amount of bond.

The bond required to be filed as provided in this subdivision in order to supersede an order of the commission shall be double the sum estimated under Section 37-1-127, with two or more sureties, to be approved by the judge, one of which may be a surety company, payable to the State of Alabama and conditioned to pay all such loss or damage as any person, firm or corporation may sustain, including all such excess rates, fares or charges as such person, firm or corporation may have paid pending the appeal to the circuit court, or any subsequent appeal to the supreme court, in the event the order or action of the commission shall be sustained.



(Acts 1909, No. 42, p. 96; Code 1923, §9840; Code 1940, T. 48, §86.)Section 37-1-129

Section 37-1-129
Superseding order - Additional bond.

An additional bond of like amount and with the same conditions shall be given at the end of each six months pending the appeal to the Circuit Court of Montgomery County and pending any subsequent appeal by any party to the supreme court.



(Acts 1909, No. 42, p. 96; Code 1923, §9841; Code 1940, T. 48, §87.)Section 37-1-13

Section 37-1-13
Employees - Penalty for divulging certain information.

Any regular or special employee of the Public Service Commission who divulges any fact or information coming to his knowledge respecting any inspection, examination or investigation of any account, record, memorandum, book or paper, or of the property and facilities of a utility, except insofar as he may be authorized by the commission or a court of competent jurisdiction, or a judge thereof, is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be fined not more than $1,000.00.



(Acts 1907, Ex. Sess., No. 15, p. 29; Acts 1920, No. 42, p. 92; Code 1923, §5388; Code 1940, T. 48, §15.)Section 37-1-130

Section 37-1-130
Superseding order - Order stayed and superseded upon giving bond; termination of stay or supersedeas.

After the required bond shall have been given, the order appealed from shall be stayed and superseded, and it shall be lawful for the utility to charge the rates, fares or charges which had been reduced by said order, or the rates, fares or charges sought to be established by its petition, until the final disposition of said case. If said utility shall fail after 30 days' written notice to give such additional bond at the end of each six months, pending any appeal, the stay or supersedeas shall terminate, and the rates, fares or charges established by statute or by the Public Service Commission or by the order or action appealed from shall be revived and shall be the lawful rates pending all further proceedings in the case.



(Acts 1909, No. 42, p. 96; Code 1923, §9842; Code 1940, T. 48, §88.)Section 37-1-131

Section 37-1-131
Rate suspension to affect only utilities giving bond.

If any rate or rates or order or orders shall, under the provisions of this chapter be suspended by the giving of any of the bonds provided for in this subdivision, the suspension shall be operative as to and shall affect only the utilities complaining and giving such bond.



(Code 1907, §5698; Code 1923, §9690; Code 1940, T. 48, §89.)Section 37-1-132

Section 37-1-132
Right of appeal to supreme court.

Any party may appeal to the Supreme Court of Alabama from the judgment of the Circuit Court of Montgomery County. In connection with any such appeal by a utility, if no supersedeas bond has been previously given to supersede the action or order of the commission, the utility appealing the judgment of the circuit court may supersede such judgment by filing a bond upon application, in such amount, and upon such condition, all as is provided in this subdivision. Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision, the appeal to the supreme court shall be taken in accordance with the Alabama Rules of Appellate Procedure.



(Code 1907, §5687; Code 1923, §9679; Code 1940, T. 48, §90.)Section 37-1-133

Section 37-1-133
Appeal by commission or State.

If the Public Service Commission or the State of Alabama shall appeal from a judgment annulling or suspending any rates or orders, it shall not be required to give any security for the costs of said appeal or any bond or undertaking to supersede the judgment. The appeal of the Public Service Commission or the State of Alabama without such bond shall have the effect of superseding the judgment and the rate or rates, or order or orders, complained of or annulled or suspended by the judgment, shall be and remain the established rates or orders and shall be so regarded and observed until the judgment shall be affirmed and the said rates or orders annulled or suspended by the supreme court unless a supersedeas bond is continued in effect.



(Code 1907, §5688; Code 1923, §9680; Code 1940, T. 48, §91.)Section 37-1-134

Section 37-1-134
Appeal by utility.

If said appeal is taken by the utility, security for the costs of the appeal shall be given as in cases of other appeals from the circuit court; except, that if a supersedeas bond had been given on appeal to the circuit court as provided for in this subdivision, then pending said appeal to the supreme court by the utility, or pending an appeal thereto by the Public Service Commission, if it should appeal, such bond shall continue in force and effect and all the conditions thereof shall be complied with, and no other supersedeas bond need be given by the utility.



(Acts 1909, No. 42, p. 96; Code 1923, §9844; Code 1940, T. 48, §92.)Section 37-1-135

Section 37-1-135
Action on bond for damages resulting from suspension of rates or orders.

Any person, firm, company, or corporation who shall sustain any loss, injury or damage by reason of the suspension of the rates or orders, or any of them, as aforesaid, may bring a civil action on the bonds in the name of the State of Alabama, for his use, and recover such damages as he may have so sustained, including any overcharge or excess rate or charge paid by him, on account of the suspension of the rates, charges, or orders. A copy of the bond, duly certified by the secretary or chief clerk or any member of the Public Service Commission under the seal of the commission, shall be received in evidence without further proof.



(Code 1907, §5697; Code 1923, §9689; Code 1940, T. 48, §93.)Section 37-1-14

Section 37-1-14
Bond of supervisor of accounts.

Before entering upon the duties of his office, the supervisor of accounts of the Public Service Commission shall execute to the State of Alabama a bond, to be approved by the Governor, in an amount to be fixed by the Public Service Commission, for the faithful performance of his duties.



(Acts 1943, No. 122, p. 123; Acts 1961, Ex. Sess., No. 208, p. 2190.)Section 37-1-140

Section 37-1-140
Direct appeal to supreme court as matter of right; preferred setting of appeals; time for taking appeals; bond required when appellant is utility or person.

In all cases involving controversies respecting rates and charges of telephone companies or public utilities, an appeal from any action or order of the Alabama Public Service Commission in the exercise of the jurisdiction, power and authority conferred upon it by this title, as amended and supplemented, shall lie directly to the Supreme Court of Alabama. All such appeals shall be given a preferred setting in the supreme court and shall be heard and determined by said court en banc. Nothing in this subdivision 2 shall be deemed to apply to any such cases other than those in which rates and charges are involved. All such appeals shall be taken within 30 days from the date of such action or order of the Alabama Public Service Commission and shall be granted as a matter of right and be deemed perfected by filing with the Public Service Commission a bond for the security of the cost of said appeal when the appellant is a utility or person, and by filing notice of an appeal when the appellant is the State of Alabama.



(Acts 1978, No. 851, p. 1274, §1.)Section 37-1-141

Section 37-1-141
Who may appeal; manner of taking appeal; application for supersedeas; supersedeas bonds; collection of denied rate increases prior to final disposition of case.

Either party or any intervenor may appeal to the supreme court from the action or order of the commission under the same rules and regulations and in the same manner and under the same conditions as are or may be provided by law for appeals from circuit courts in other public utility cases. Application for supersedeas may be made to the supreme court or a justice thereof. All supersedeas bonds required shall be in the same amount, subject to the same penalties and conditions and have the same effect as is now provided or may hereafter be provided by law in such cases.

If the appeal is by a telephone company or a public utility and supersedeas is granted, the appellant shall be entitled to collect, subject to refund with interest, any portion of the requested increase denied on any rate decrease directed by such supersedeas order from the time of taking such appeal until final disposition of the case.



(Acts 1978, No. 851, p. 1274, §2.)Section 37-1-142

Section 37-1-142
Certification to supreme court of record or transcript of proceedings before commission.

Within 30 days after the perfection of the appeal as provided in this subdivision 2, and sooner if practicable, the Public Service Commission, through its president or any member thereof or its secretary, shall certify to the supreme court under the commission's seal a complete record or transcript of all proceedings had before it, including all orders and pleadings together with a transcript of all oral testimony, and the original of or a transcript of all documentary evidence taken in any proceedings in which the order appealed from was made. The time for certifying said transcript to the supreme court may be extended by an order of the court, for good cause shown.



(Acts 1978, No. 851, p. 1274, §3.)Section 37-1-143

Section 37-1-143
Review of case to be upon certified record or transcript; remand of case to commission for additional proceedings; employment of special masters, accountants, consultants, etc., by chief justice.

The court shall review the case upon the certified record or transcript of the commission, and no new or additional evidence shall be introduced or oral testimony heard, but the court may, in advance of its judgment, remand the case to the commission for the purpose of taking additional testimony or other proceedings. In the event the court, in advance of its judgment, does not remand the case to the commission for the purpose of taking additional testimony or other proceedings, then the court shall have up to 180 days from the date the case is submitted to the court to render its judgment.

For the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this subdivision 2, the chief justice of the supreme court, with the advice and consent of the supreme court, is hereby authorized to appoint such special masters, accountants, utility rate-making consultants and such other personnel as he deems necessary to aid and assist the court in these appellate procedures. Such personnel may be appointed and employed on a part-time or full-time basis without regard to the merit system.



(Acts 1978, No. 851, p. 1274, §4.)Section 37-1-144

Section 37-1-144
Subdivision cumulative; repeal of conflicting laws.

The provisions of this subdivision 2 are cumulative and supplemental and shall be construed in pari materia with other laws regulating appeals from actions or orders of the Public Service Commission; provided, that those laws or parts of laws in direct conflict or inconsistent with this subdivision 2 are hereby repealed and superseded to the extent of such conflict or inconsistency.



(Acts 1978, No. 851, p. 1274, §6.)Section 37-1-15

Section 37-1-15
Free tickets, free passes or free transportation.

The following persons may, at the discretion of such carrier, pass free of charge on all railroads and all other common carriers and may, at the discretion of such carrier, receive free tickets, passes and transportation from such carriers: employees of railroads and any and all other common carriers and their families; widows and dependent children of deceased employees; employees who have retired from active service, by reason of age or physical infirmities, and the wives and dependent children of the latter; officers or agents, surgeons, physicians and attorneys-at-law of any such railroads and other common carriers, and the immediate families of such persons; sheriffs; ministers of religion; traveling secretaries of the Young Men's Christian Association and the Young Women's Christian Association; inmates of hospitals and charitable and eleemosynary institutions and persons exclusively engaged in charitable and eleemosynary work; indigent, destitute and homeless persons; persons transported by charitable societies and hospitals and the necessary agents employed in such transportation; widows of soldiers who served during the War Between the States; inmates of a national home or state home for disabled volunteer soldiers and the sailors' and soldiers' homes, including those persons about to enter and those returning home after discharge and boards of managers of such homes; necessary caretakers of livestock, poultry and fruit; employees on sleeping cars, express cars and buses; linemen of telegraph and telephone companies; railway mail service employees; post-office inspectors; custom inspectors; immigration inspectors; newsboys on trains; baggage agents; witnesses attending any legal investigation or civil action in which such carrier is interested; persons injured in wrecks, when being transported from the place of injury to their homes or places of treatment and physicians and nurses attending such persons. Members of the Public Service Commission and its agents and employees, when traveling on official business, may pass free of charge on all the railroads and all other common carriers and may receive free tickets, passes and transportation from such carriers. Also, all such carriers may interchange passes, free tickets and transportation for the officers, agents and employees and their immediate families of all such carriers, and all such carriers may carry passengers free with the object of providing relief in cases of general epidemic, pestilence or other calamitous visitation. Editors and publishers of newspapers in Alabama may exchange with all railroads and all other common carriers in this state advertisements and space in the columns of their newspapers for mileage issued to such editors and publishers of newspapers.



(Code 1923, §§5373, 9638; Acts 1931, No. 273, p. 303; Code 1940, T. 48, §14.)Section 37-1-150

Section 37-1-150
Bond as condition precedent to issuance of injunction or restraining order.

No judge or court shall grant any preliminary injunction or interlocutory order or process suspending or restraining any rate or order of the Public Service Commission entered pursuant to the provisions of this title without requiring as a condition precedent to the issue of such injunction, order or process, that the company, corporation or person seeking the same shall, if the injunction or restraining order applied for is for the purpose of restraining the enforcement of any such rate or order, execute and file with the clerk or register of said court a good and sufficient bond with sureties, payable to the State of Alabama, in like amount and payable as provided in respect to supersedeas bonds. The failure to give the injunction bond or subsequent bonds as provided for in this division shall immediately vacate and render null and void such injunction or restraining order.



(Code 1907, §5700; Code 1923, §9692; Code 1940, T. 48, §94.)Section 37-1-151

Section 37-1-151
Notice to commission.

No preliminary injunction or interlocutory order or process suspending or restraining or affecting the enforcement of any action, order or determination of the commission shall be granted by any judge or court, except upon hearing, after at least five days' notice to the commission.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9810; Code 1940, T. 48, §95.)Section 37-1-152

Section 37-1-152
Filing of bond; condition to pay damages.

The bonds required to be given as a condition precedent to the issue of restraining orders or injunctions shall be filed with the clerk of said court and be payable to the State of Alabama and conditioned to pay all damages that any person, firm, company, or corporation shall sustain by reason of the enjoining or restraining of the enforcement of such order or orders, in the event the injunction shall be dissolved or vacated, or for any reason cease to be operative.



(Code 1907, §5703; Code 1923, §9695; Code 1940, T. 48, §96.)Section 37-1-153

Section 37-1-153
Right to appeal.

Either party may appeal to the supreme court from the judgment of the trial court in such proceedings, such appeal to be taken within 30 days from the entry of such judgment.



(Code 1907, §5709; Acts 1909, No. 26, p. 35; Code 1923, §9701; Code 1940, T. 48, §97.)Section 37-1-154

Section 37-1-154
Bond required upon appeal by utility.

If the utility desires to take an appeal from the judgment of the trial court and to supersede the same, it shall give, in addition to security for costs, a bond with two or more individual sureties or one surety company, to be approved by the clerk or register of the court, which bond shall be in an amount and with the conditions to be prescribed by the judge, and the same shall be payable as prescribed by law.



(Code 1907, §5710; Acts 1909, No. 26, p. 35; Code 1923, §9702; Code 1940, T. 48, §98.)Section 37-1-155

Section 37-1-155
Action on bond.

Any person, firm, company or corporation, who shall sustain any loss, injury or damage by reason of such injunction or restraining order, may bring a civil action on the bond in the name of the State of Alabama for its use and recover such damages as it may have sustained, including any overcharge or excess rate or charge paid by it on account of the suspension of said rates, charges or orders.



(Code 1907, §5704; Code 1923, §9696; Code 1940, T. 48, §99.)Section 37-1-156

Section 37-1-156
Delivery of bond upon dissolution of injunction; receipt in evidence.

Immediately after the dissolution or vacating of the injunction or restraining order, or upon the same ceasing for any reason to be operative and in force, the bond shall be delivered to the Public Service Commission, and a copy of the bond, duly certified by the clerk of the court while it is in his custody, or by the secretary or the chief clerk of the Public Service Commission of Alabama, or any member of the commission when in its custody, under the seal of the commission, shall be received in evidence without further proof.



(Code 1907, §5705; Code 1923, §9697; Code 1940, T. 48, §100.)Section 37-1-157

Section 37-1-157
Costs.

If, upon the appeal of any action originating under this title, it shall be determined by the court that the order of the commission was invalid or unreasonable or unjust and should not be performed, the costs of said action may, in the discretion of the court be taxed against the state or the utility or utilities involved in the action. If on the hearing the court should find in favor of the Public Service Commission, then the costs of the action shall be paid by the utilities by or against which the proceedings were instituted. If costs are ordered taxed against or paid by the state, the same shall be paid upon the approval of the trial judge, by a warrant drawn by the comptroller upon the treasurer. The costs of the transcript certified by the Public Service Commission to the circuit court shall be taxed as a part of the costs of the action at the same rate as transcripts from the circuit court to the supreme court are taxed.



(Code 1907, §5714; Code 1923, §9678; Code 1940, T. 48, §101.)Section 37-1-16

Section 37-1-16
Assignment of Assistant Attorney General to represent consumers and state in proceedings before commission; powers and duties of Attorney General in connection with public utility services generally; commission to furnish copies of applications, pleadings, etc., filed with it to Attorney General.

(a) In addition to such staff assistants and investigators as are provided for in Sections 37-1-12.1 and 37-1-12.2, the Attorney General shall assign an Assistant Attorney General and such staff attorneys as may be necessary to the handling of matters and proceedings before the commission, who shall be under the direction of the Attorney General. Such Assistant Attorney General shall be assigned the duty and responsibility, when the Attorney General deems it to be advisable in the public interest, of intervening in proceedings before the commission on behalf of the using and consuming public, including utility users generally and agencies of the state, such appearances including, but not being limited to, rate applications, rate changes and curtailments of service. Such Assistant Attorney General shall also have the authority to institute and originate proceedings before the commission in the name of the state, its agencies and citizens in all matters within the jurisdiction of the commission, and shall have authority to appear before such other state and federal agencies and courts as he deems advisable on behalf of the state and its agencies and citizens in all matters affecting public utility services. He shall have the assistance and cooperation of the commission's staff, when available, and access to the commission's books, records, studies and reports.

(b) In the performance of the duties set forth in this section, the Attorney General shall have the right to employ additional attorneys, expert witnesses and office and clerical help and to incur expenses in connection therewith, and the compensation and expenses therefor shall be paid from the consumer's utility rate hearing fund as provided for in Section 37-1-18.

(c) The commission shall furnish the Attorney General with copies of all applications, petitions and pleadings filed with it by public utilities doing business in this state or by any other persons in matters affecting the duties under this section.



(Acts 1977, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 44, p. 1458, §3.)Section 37-1-17

Section 37-1-17
Economic and financial studies and surveys of public utility services; compilation of financial and economic data, statistics and analysis; evaluations of future needs.

It shall be the duty and responsibility of the commission's staff to make economic and financial studies and surveys of the public utility services in the state and evaluations of future needs for such services and to compile financial and economic data, statistics and analysis on such services. Such information shall be kept on file for reference by the commission.



(Acts 1977, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 44, p. 1458, §4.)Section 37-1-18

Section 37-1-18
Consumer's Utility Rate Hearing Fund.

Each fiscal year, including the fiscal year of the enactment of this section, there is hereby appropriated from the State General Fund the sum of $250,000.00, which funds shall be immediately deposited into a Consumer's Utility Rate Hearing Fund in the State Treasury under the Office of the Attorney General, to be drawn upon by the Attorney General for purposes of hiring attorneys, staff personnel, and expert witnesses to present the case for the consumer in utility rate increase hearings and all appeals arising therefrom. At the end of each fiscal year, any surplus remaining in the Consumer's Utility Rate Hearing Fund shall forthwith be transferred to the State General Fund.



(Acts 1977, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 44, p. 1458, §5; Acts 1994, No. 94-691, p. 1331, §1.)Section 37-1-2

Section 37-1-2
Seal.

The commission shall have a seal with the words 'Alabama Public Service Commission' with such emblem as the commission may prescribe.



(Code 1886, §1121; Code 1896, §3482; Code 1907, §5637; Code 1923, §9610; Code 1940, T. 48, §6.)Section 37-1-3

Section 37-1-3
Election or appointment of commissioners; terms of office; filling of vacancies.

(a) The terms of office of the commissioners shall be for four years; at the election to be held in the state on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, 1940, and every four years thereafter, a president of said commission shall be elected by the qualified electors of this state; and at the election to be held in the state on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, 1942, and every four years thereafter, two associates, who, with the president, shall constitute said commission, shall be elected by the qualified electors of the state. The result of such election shall be ascertained and declared by the same authority and in the same manner as are the results of election for chief justice and associate justices of the supreme court.

(b) The persons elected to fill said offices shall enter upon the discharge of their respective duties on the day after the general election at which they are elected and expire on the day after the general election held in the fourth year after their election.

(c) If any vacancy should occur in any one of said offices, caused by death, resignation or otherwise, the same shall be filled by appointment by the Governor, the appointee holding for the balance of the unexpired term. If any person elected to the office of public service commissioner shall fail or refuse for 30 days to qualify, such failure or refusal shall be held to create a vacancy in the office, which vacancy shall be filled by appointment by the Governor, the appointee to hold for the term for which the person so failing or refusing to qualify was elected.

(d) No two of said public service commissioners shall be elected or appointed from the same congressional district. But this section shall not disqualify or render ineligible for election or appointment any person holding such office on the date of enactment or effective date of any law redistricting the state for election of representatives in Congress.

(e) The provisions of this section shall not diminish the current term of any member elected to the Public Service Commission.



(Code 1886, §§1120, 1122; Code 1896, §§3481, 3483; Code 1907, §§5633-5636; Code 1923, §§9606-9609; Code 1940, T. 48, §§2-5; Acts 1961, No. 669, p. 916; Acts 1979, No. 79-767, p. 1368.)Section 37-1-30

Section 37-1-30
Use of word 'utility' or 'utilities'.

Whenever the word 'utility' or 'utilities' is used in this chapter, the same shall include all utilities defined under Sections 37-2-1 and 37-4-1.



(Code 1940, T. 48, §16.)Section 37-1-31

Section 37-1-31
Exclusive powers and jurisdiction.

The rights, powers, authority, jurisdiction and duties by this title conferred upon the commission shall be exclusive and, in respect of rates and service regulations and equipment, shall be exercised notwithstanding any rights heretofore acquired by the public under any franchise, contract or agreement between any utility and municipality, county or municipal subdivision of the state, and shall be exercised, so far as they may be exercised consistently with the Constitution of the state and of the United States, notwithstanding any right heretofore so acquired by any such utility.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9813; Code 1940, T. 48, §17.)Section 37-1-32

Section 37-1-32
General supervision of utilities.

The Public Service Commission shall have general supervision of all persons, firms and corporations operating utilities mentioned in this title, shall inquire into the management of the business and shall keep itself informed as to the manner and method in which the business is conducted. It shall examine such utilities as often as may be necessary to keep informed as to their general condition, their franchises, capitalization, rates and other charges, and the manner in which their plants, equipment and other property are owned, leased, controlled, managed, conducted and operated, not only with respect to adequacy, security and accommodation afforded by their service, but also with respect to their compliance with the provisions of this title, and any other law or laws, with the orders of the commission, and with the charter and franchise requirements. It shall assemble and keep on file, available for the use of the public, full statistics on the foregoing, as well as on all other matters or things connected with such utilities as is necessary to a full knowledge of their business and affairs.



(Acts 1915, No. 746, p. 865; Code 1923, §9633; Code 1940, T. 48, §18.)Section 37-1-33

Section 37-1-33
Jurisdictional exemptions or limitations - Distribution or furnishing, etc., of electricity, gas or steam.

None of the provisions of this title shall apply to the generation, transmission or distribution of electricity, to the manufacture or distribution of gas, to the furnishing or distribution of water, or to the production, delivery or furnishing of steam for heat or power by a producer who is not otherwise a utility, for the sole use of such producer, or for the use of tenants of such producer, nor shall they apply to any person not otherwise a utility who manufactures and supplies such products to a utility for its use or distribution without participation by such manufacturer in such use or distribution.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9743; Code 1940, T. 48, §19.)Section 37-1-34

Section 37-1-34
Jurisdictional exemptions or limitations - Municipal utilities.

Nothing contained in this title shall be deemed to confer upon the commission the power and jurisdiction to regulate and supervise any utility owned and operated by any municipal corporation in the state.



(Acts 1915, No. 746, p. 865; Code 1923, §9633; Code 1940, T. 48, §18.)Section 37-1-35

Section 37-1-35
Jurisdictional exemptions or limitations - Exercise of certain municipal powers.

Nothing in this title is intended or shall be construed:

(1) To limit or restrict the police jurisdiction or power of municipalities over their streets and other highways and public places or the power to maintain or the power to require maintenance of the same;

(2) To limit or restrict any right or power, by contract or otherwise, of any municipality to require utilities to pave and maintain the portions of highways used and occupied by them;

(3) In respect of matters other than rates and service regulations and equipment, over which exclusive jurisdiction is conferred by this title upon the commission to affect existing rights and powers or rights and powers hereafter acquired by municipalities under valid contracts with utilities;

(4) In respect of matters other than rates and service regulations and equipment, to repeal any power of any municipality to adopt and enforce reasonable police regulations and ordinances in the interest of the public safety, morals and convenience, or to protect the public against fraud, imposition or oppression by utilities within their respective jurisdiction, or to require the discharge by utilities of their respective duties within such municipalities, whether arising out of contract with the municipality or by statute or regulation by the commission or otherwise.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9814; Code 1940, T. 48, §20.)Section 37-1-36

Section 37-1-36
Jurisdictional exemptions or limitations - Nonutility business.

When a person is engaged in business, a portion of which business is private business and a portion of which is the business of a utility, the authority, powers and jurisdiction of the commission conferred upon it by law shall not be deemed to apply to and shall not be exercised with respect to that portion of said business which is a private business.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9743; Code 1940, T. 48, §19.)Section 37-1-37

Section 37-1-37
Jurisdictional exemptions or limitations - Logging or private railroads.

This title shall not apply to logging or private railroads not doing business as common carriers.



(Code 1907, §5649; Code 1923, §9627; Code 1940, T. 48, §21.)Section 37-1-38

Section 37-1-38
Adoption of rules.

The commission may adopt and publish rules to govern its proceedings and to regulate the mode and manner of all investigations and hearings before it, provided all hearings shall be open to the public.



(Code 1907, §5643; Code 1923, §9621; Code 1940, T. 48, §22.)Section 37-1-39

Section 37-1-39
Publication of orders and opinions.

Every order of the commission shall be in writing, and in cases of importance may be accompanied by an opinion, setting forth, in brief, the facts on which the commission has based its order. The commission shall provide for the assembling and publication, from time to time, of its opinions and orders.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9818; Code 1940, T. 48, §24.)Section 37-1-4

Section 37-1-4
Oath.

The members of the commission shall be state officers, and before entering upon the discharge of their duties they shall take the oath of office prescribed for other state officers.



(Code 1886, §1121; Code 1896, §3482; Code 1907, §5637; Code 1923, §9610; Code 1940, T. 48, §6.)Section 37-1-40

Section 37-1-40
Duty of utilities to comply with orders.

Every utility subject to the supervision of the Public Service Commission, and all officers, agents and employees of the same shall obey, observe and comply with every order made by the Public Service Commission under the authority of this title.



(Acts 1907, Ex. Sess., No. 15, p. 29; Code 1923, §9871; Code 1940, T. 48, §23.)Section 37-1-41

Section 37-1-41
Reports to Governor.

On or before January 10 of each year, the Public Service Commission, through the president thereof, shall make to the Governor, for transmission to the legislature, a report of its acts and doings for the year ending on September 30 next preceding, setting forth such facts as will disclose the actual workings of utilities of this state, and making such suggestions as to it may seem appropriate, and for the best interests of the state. Such reports may be made public immediately upon the filing with the Governor.



(Code 1886, §1142; Code 1896, §3503; Code 1907, §5645; Code 1923, §9623; Code 1940, T. 48, §25.)Section 37-1-42

Section 37-1-42
Furnishing information to Department of Revenue.

The commission shall, on request of the Director of the Department of Revenue, furnish such information as will assist in the assessment of taxes against persons or corporations operating utilities.



(Code 1886, §1141; Code 1896, §3502; Code 1907, §5655; Code 1923, §9637; Code 1940, T. 48, §27.)Section 37-1-43

Section 37-1-43
Jurisdiction over utilities engaged in interstate commerce not regulated under acts of Congress.

All the authority, powers and jurisdiction which have been given by law to the Alabama Public Service Commission over utilities engaged in intrastate commerce in this state are hereby given to said commission over utilities whose principal place of business is located outside the State of Alabama, but who are engaged in this state in interstate commerce not regulated under the acts of the Congress of the United States to the extent that the exercise by said commission of such authority, powers and jurisdiction over such utilities engaged in interstate commerce is permissible.



(Acts 1923, No. 516, p. 687; Code 1923, §9649; Code 1940, T. 48, §28.)Section 37-1-44

Section 37-1-44
Proceedings when interstate rates or rules, etc., deemed excessive or discriminatory.

When the commission is of the opinion that the interstate rates, charges, practices, rules or regulations of any utility are unjust, unreasonable, excessive, discriminatory or otherwise in violation of the Interstate Commerce Act, or other federal acts relating to utilities, or any of the rules and orders or regulations promulgated by the Interstate Commerce Commission or by any such federal agency or commission having jurisdiction thereof, the commission may apply by proper proceeding to the proper agency or commission for relief.



(Acts 1920, No. 42, p. 92; Code 1923, §9718; Code 1940, T. 48, §29.)Section 37-1-45

Section 37-1-45
Sitting or conferring with commissions of other states.

The members of the commission may sit with and confer with other state utility commissions and public service commissions, either within or without the state, in general utility matters; but in no event shall the commission make any order without proceeding to carry out the other provisions of this title in respect to notice and hearings.



(Acts 1920, No. 42, p. 92; Code 1923, §9721; Code 1940, T. 48, §32.)Section 37-1-46

Section 37-1-46
Sitting or conferring with federal commissions or agencies.

In any proceedings involving directly or indirectly any rate, charge, practice, rule, or regulation in force in the State of Alabama, the commission through any of its members may sit with and confer with the Interstate Commerce Commission, Federal Power Commission, Federal Communications Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission or any other federal commission or agency.



(Acts 1920, No. 42, p. 92; Code 1923, §9719; Code 1940, T. 48, §30.)Section 37-1-47

Section 37-1-47
Intervention, initiation or participation in federal proceedings involving interstate rates, etc., in Alabama.

When, in any proceeding before the Interstate Commerce Commission, Federal Communications Commission, Federal Power Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission or any other federal bureau or agency, any interstate rate or regulation or any interstate rate, charge, regulation, rule or practice in the State of Alabama is drawn in question or affected, the commission may through its members or agents intervene in such case, take part therein and make such contentions as it shall deem proper.

The commission additionally may, through its members or agents, initiate or participate in, as a real party in interest or as a permissive party with a recognized interest in the outcome, any litigation, administrative hearings or any other proceedings before the Interstate Commerce Commission, Federal Communications Commission, Federal Power Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission, Tennessee Valley Authority or any other federal bureau, agency or instrumentality whenever deemed in the best interest of the utility ratepayers in Alabama.

Nothing in this section shall be deemed to permit such intervention, initiation, or participation in any litigation, hearings, or proceedings involving municipal utilities, cooperatives, electric membership corporations, and other similar membership corporations, including specifically, but not by way of limitation, those such entities referred to in Chapters 50 and 50A of Title 11, Chapters 6 and 7 of Title 37, and Chapter 7 of Title 39, as amended.



(Acts 1920, No. 42, p. 92; Code 1923, §9720; Code 1940, T. 48, §31; Acts 1988, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 88-910, p. 487, §1.)Section 37-1-48

Section 37-1-48
Waiver by utility of terms or conditions in municipal ordinances or contracts.

Any utility accepting under the provisions of this title any rate or service regulation more favorable to it than provided by any ordinance or contract under which it claims rights from any municipality shall be held to waive any and all terms and conditions in such ordinance or contracts as to rates and service regulations in its favor and to submit the same in all respects to reasonable regulations by the state or its lawful agencies.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9815; Code 1940, T. 48, §33.)Section 37-1-49

Section 37-1-49
Duty of utility to render adequate service and maintain facilities.

Every utility shall maintain its plant, facilities and equipment in good operating condition and shall set up and maintain proper reserves for renewals, replacements and reasonable contingencies. Every utility shall render adequate service to the public and shall make such reasonable improvements, extensions and enlargements of its plants, facilities and equipment as may be necessary to meet the growth and demand of the territory which it is under the duty to serve.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9769; Code 1940, T. 48, §34.)Section 37-1-5

Section 37-1-5
Commissioners and clerks not to render professional service to utilities.

No public service commissioner or clerk of the commission shall, during his continuance in office, personally or through any partner or agent, render any professional service for public utilities.



(Code 1886, §1127; Code 1896, §3488; Code 1907, §5646; Code 1923, §9624; Code 1940, T. 48, §26.)Section 37-1-50

Section 37-1-50
Certificate for abandonment of service.

No utility shall abandon all or any portion of its service to the public except ordinary discontinuance of service for nonpayment of charges, nonuser and similar reasons in the usual course of business, unless and until written application is first made to the commission for the issuance of a certificate that the present or future public convenience or necessity permits such abandonment and the issuance of such a certificate. Upon the filing of such application and after a hearing of all parties interested, the commission may or may not, in its discretion, issue such certificate.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9798; Code 1940, T. 48, §35.)Section 37-1-51

Section 37-1-51
Classification of utility services.

The commission may provide for a comprehensive classification of service for each utility, and such classification may take into account the quantity used, the time when used, the purpose for which used or any other reasonable consideration. Each utility is required to conform its schedule of rates to such classification.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9791; Code 1940, T. 48, §36.)Section 37-1-52.1

Section 37-1-52.1
Operator service to include access to live operator.

Each telecommunications utility and/or company that provides operator service shall ensure that a caller may access a live operator through a method designed to be easily and clearly understandable and accessible to the caller. A telecommunications utility and/or company shall submit to the Public Service Commission the method by which the utility and/or company shall provide access to a live operator for review, except for a telecommunications utility and/or company that is under the jurisdiction, regulation, and rules of the Alabama Public Service Commission. This section applies regardless of the method by which the telecommunications utility and/or company provides the operator service. The requirements of this section shall not apply to telephones located in prison or jail facilities.



(Acts 1993, No. 93-756, p. 1511, §1.)Section 37-1-52

Section 37-1-52
Prescribing standards of service; regulations for testing of service.

The commission may prescribe adequate standard of service rendered or to be rendered by any utility, and may prescribe regulations for the examination and testing of such service and for the measurement and regulations thereof.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9782; Code 1940, T. 48, §37.)Section 37-1-53

Section 37-1-53
Providing for accuracy of meters or measuring devices, etc.

(a) The commission may prescribe reasonable rules, regulations and standards to secure the substantial accuracy of all meters, safety devices, regulators and mileage indicators and appliances for measurement which shall be complied with by the utility and consumer.

(b) The commission may provide for the inspection of the manner in which any utility complies with the rules, regulations and standards fixed by the commission to secure the accuracy of all meters, safety devices, regulators, mileage indicators and appliances for measurement, and the commission may examine and test the same under such rules and regulations as it may prescribe. At all inspections and tests made in pursuance of complaints, representatives of the utility complained of and of the complainant may be present.

(c) Any consumer or user may have any meter or appliance for measuring tested by the commission upon payment of fees fixed by the commission. The commission shall declare and establish reasonable fees to be paid for examining and testing such appliances on the request of consumers, the fee to be paid by the consumer or user at the time of his request, but to be paid by the utility and refunded to the consumer or user if the measuring appliances are found unreasonably defective or incorrect to the substantial disadvantage of the consumer or user.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §§9783-9785; Code 1940, T. 48, §§38-40.)Section 37-1-54

Section 37-1-54
Establishing uniform systems of accounts for utilities.

(a) The commission may, when it deems it advisable to do so, establish a uniform system of accounts for each utility, which system shall be uniform for all utilities of the same kind and class, and may make such regulations regarding the accounts and statistics of each utility for the purpose of insuring uniform and correct books of account and record as in the judgment of the commission may be necessary to carry out any of the provisions of this title.

(b) Every utility shall keep its books, papers and records accurately and faithfully according to the system of accounts and regulations prescribed by the commission, and shall comply with all reasonable directions of the commission relating thereto.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §§9786, 9788; Code 1940, T. 48, §§41, 42.)Section 37-1-55

Section 37-1-55
Separation of intrastate railroad operations for accounting purposes.

Where railroads are required to keep their accounts and records and do keep them in accordance with the requirements of any law of the United States or uniform system of accounts prescribed by the Interstate Commerce Commission, the information therein reflected shall be sufficient, and they shall not be required to make any further or other separation of intrastate operations than is reflected and required by such federal law or uniform system of accounts prescribed by the Interstate Commerce Commission, unless additional or more detailed information from the records of the company is deemed necessary and is ordered by the commission relating to intrastate commerce in Alabama.



(Acts 1949, No. 89, p. 113; Acts 1971, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 97, p. 171, §1.)Section 37-1-56

Section 37-1-56
Prescribing changes in form for schedules and service regulations.

The commission may prescribe such changes in the form in which the schedules and service regulations are issued by any utility as may be found to be expedient.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9790; Code 1940, T. 48, §43.)Section 37-1-57

Section 37-1-57
Requiring reports and information from utilities - Generally.

Every utility, when and as required by the commission, shall file with the commission such annual, or other reports, and such other information as the commission may desire.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9789; Code 1940, T. 48, §44.)Section 37-1-58

Section 37-1-58
Requiring reports and information from utilities - Annual return of business.

Every utility doing business in this state must, within 90 days after the close of business for its preceding fiscal or calendar year, make to the commission in the manner prescribed, and upon the blanks to be furnished by said commission, annual returns of the business of such utility, and any such utility failing to make such reports unless granted an extension by the Alabama Public Service Commission, shall forfeit to the state $50.00 for each day of failure.



(Acts 1920, No. 42, p. 92; Code 1923, §9739; Code 1940, T. 48, §45; Acts 1982, No. 82-555, p. 916.)Section 37-1-59

Section 37-1-59
Requiring reports and information from utilities - Additional reports of earnings and operating expenses.

The commission may also require utilities to file additional reports of earnings and operating expenses within a specified time, and may require specific answers to questions upon which it may desire information to be made in such reports.



(Acts 1907, Ex. Sess., No. 15, p. 29; Code 1923, §9861; Code 1940, T. 48, §47.)Section 37-1-6

Section 37-1-6
Certain persons ineligible to be commissioners.

No person owning any stock in any utility, or in the employment of any utility or pecuniarily interested in any utility, as defined in this title, shall be eligible to the office of public service commissioner.



(Code 1886, §1123; Code 1896, §3484; Code 1907, §5638; Code 1923, §9612; Acts 1932, Ex. Sess., No. 297, p. 302; Code 1940, T. 48, §7.)Section 37-1-60

Section 37-1-60
Requiring reports and information from utilities - Form of reports and records.

The Public Service Commission shall prescribe the form of the annual or other reports and records required to be made by utilities. The form of such reports and records shall conform as near as may be to that required from time to time by the Interstate Commerce Commission or other federal agency where applicable, but the commission may from time to time make such changes therein and additions thereto as it may deem proper. The commission shall prepare and distribute to every utility blank forms for any reports required under this title.



(Acts 1907, Ex. Sess., No. 15, p. 29; Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §§9789, 9858; Code 1940, T. 48, §§44, 46.)Section 37-1-61

Section 37-1-61
Requiring reports and information from utilities - Originals to be subscribed and sworn to; preservation in office of commission.

The originals of the reports shall be subscribed and sworn to, and shall be preserved in the office of the commission.



(Acts 1907, Ex. Sess., No. 15, p. 29; Code 1923, §9860; Code 1940, T. 48, §48.)Section 37-1-62

Section 37-1-62
Reports, records and accounts to be open for public inspection.

All reports, records and accounts in the possession of the commission shall be open to inspection by the public at all times, except as otherwise provided for in this title, or as ordered by the commission, and under the rules prescribed by the commission.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9812; Code 1940, T. 48, §49.)Section 37-1-63

Section 37-1-63
Powers of commissioners and examiners to administer oaths, issue subpoenas, etc.

Each of the commissioners, and any examiners appointed by the commission, for the purposes mentioned in this title, and in all hearings before the commission, may administer oaths, certify to official acts, issue subpoenas, compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books and papers.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9800; Code 1940, T. 48, §74.)Section 37-1-64

Section 37-1-64
Attorney General to represent commission in legal proceedings; employment of special counsel.

The Attorney General shall represent the Public Service Commission in any and all legal proceedings which it may have the power to institute and which, pursuant to such power, it has instituted, and in all legal proceedings against it, and shall institute such legal proceedings which the commission may request or deem necessary, provided it has the power to institute them, to enforce the provisions of this title or compel obedience to and observance of the same by any person, firm, company, or corporation, upon which such obedience or observance is imposed. The Attorney General, with the approval of the Governor, may employ any special counsel to institute or defend such legal proceedings or to assist the Attorney General therein, and to contract with the special counsel concerning a reasonable compensation for his or their services, which compensation shall be paid out of the treasury on a warrant drawn by the comptroller on the treasury upon approval by the Governor.



(Acts 1907, Ex. Sess., No. 21, p. 43; Code 1907, §5723; Code 1923, §9672; Code 1940, T. 48, §50.)Section 37-1-65

Section 37-1-65
Actions to enforce penalties or forfeitures.

Unless otherwise in this title provided, all actions to enforce penalties or forfeitures under this title shall be brought in the name of the State of Alabama in a court of competent jurisdiction in Montgomery County, Alabama. Whenever any utility is subject to a penalty or forfeiture under this title, the commission shall certify the facts to the Attorney General, who shall institute and prosecute an action for recovery of such penalty; provided, the commission may compromise such action and dismiss the same on such terms as the court will approve. All penalties and forfeitures recovered by the state in such actions shall be paid into the treasury to the credit of the general fund.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §§9755, 9756, 9819; Code 1940, T. 48, §51.)Section 37-1-66

Section 37-1-66
Powers of members of enforcement division.

Members of the enforcement division of the Public Service Commission designated in writing by the Public Service Commission shall have the powers of peace officers and deputy sheriffs in this state, and may exercise such powers anywhere within the state as to the provisions of this title and as to the rules and regulations of the Public Service Commission only.



(Acts 1971, 3rd Ex. Sess., No. 257, p. 4522.)Section 37-1-7

Section 37-1-7
Impeachment and removal of commissioners.

The commissioners may be impeached and removed from office by the supreme court for the same causes and in the same manner as other state officers; and any commissioner who shall accept directly or indirectly any gift, gratuity, emolument or employment from any person, firm, corporation, company or association, owning or operating in whole or in part in this state a utility, as defined in this title, during his continuance in office, except a pass for himself or any employee of the commission on official business, shall forfeit his office and may be impeached and removed from office therefor, or for any other cause of impeachment.



(Code 1886, §1124; Code 1896, §3485; Code 1907, §5639; Code 1923, §9613; Acts 1932, Ex. Sess., No. 297, p. 302; Code 1940, T. 48, §8.)Section 37-1-8

Section 37-1-8
Office; meetings; record of proceedings.

The commissioners shall have an office at Montgomery, Alabama, and shall meet there a minimum of once a month, with the public information officer giving notice of the monthly meeting at least one week prior to the meeting, and shall remain in session until all business before them is disposed of; and they shall hold other meetings at such times and places as may be necessary for the proper discharge of their duty, or as the convenience of parties in the judgment of the commission may require. They shall keep a record of all their proceedings, which shall be open at all times to the inspection of the public.



(Code 1886, §1120; Code 1896, §3487; Code 1907, §5642; Code 1923, §9620; Code 1940, T. 48, §9; Acts 1996, No. 96-472, p. 586, §1; Act 2000-461, p. 859, §3.)Section 37-1-80.1

Section 37-1-80.1
Review and adjustment of rates of connecting telephone companies when South Central Bell Telephone Company receives increase in net return.

When South Central Bell Telephone Company receives an increase in its net return as the result of any order issued by the Alabama Public Service Commission or a contingent increase as the result of a supersedeas order issued by a court of proper jurisdiction, which results in an increase in settlement revenues paid by South Central Bell Telephone Company to any connecting telephone company through any interconnecting agreement or otherwise, the Alabama Public Service Commission will review the financial earnings of each affected connecting company, and if such earnings exceed that authorized by the Public Service Commission and the law, will direct such companies to reduce local exchange rates and charges in such amounts as to comply with authorized earnings; provided, that where the connecting telephone company receives a contingent increase in settlement revenues from South Central Bell Telephone Company as the result of a supersedeas order issued to South Central Bell Telephone Company by the court, such connecting telephone company shall have the right to file a new schedule of rates and charges with the commission recovering any repayment which may be required by it arising out of any judicial modification or vacation of said supersedeas order. This section shall apply to any increase in net return to South Central Bell Telephone Company or its successors or assigns.



(Acts 1978, No. 817, p. 1191.)Section 37-1-80.2

Section 37-1-80.2
Telephone surcharge for service to deaf and hearing-impaired customers; no additional fee may be imposed; collection; implementation of system.

(a) The Alabama Public Service Commission shall impose a surcharge on each access line of each customer of the local exchange companies operating in Alabama to fund a dual-party relay system whereby a deaf or hearing-impaired person may communicate with other such persons or with normal hearing persons via telephone.

(b) The Alabama Public Service Commission shall establish the amount to be imposed based on the amount of funding necessary to implement and maintain such system. However, no additional fees other than said surcharge may be imposed on any user of this deaf and hearing-impaired service.

(c) The local exchange companies shall collect the surcharge from their customers and transfer the moneys collected to a private fund to be held separate from all other funds and used solely for the administration of this system. The surcharge collected by the local exchange companies from their customers shall not be subject to the utility gross receipts tax levied under Sections 40-21-80 through 40-21-87 or the utility use tax levied under Sections 40-21-100 through 40-21-107, nor shall such collections be included in the gross receipts subject to tax under Section 40-21-58 or the supervision and inspection fees under Sections 37-4-23 and 37-4-24.

(d) The Alabama Public Service Commission shall be charged with implementation of such dual-party relay system within the state and shall establish the procedures for continuation of same.



(Acts 1988, No. 88-259, p. 400.)Section 37-1-80

Section 37-1-80
Rates to be just and reasonable; right of utility to earn fair net return; alternative methods of regulation.

(a) The rates and charges for the services rendered and required shall be reasonable and just to both the utility and the public. Every utility shall be entitled to such just and reasonable rates as will enable it at all times to fully perform its duties to the public and will, under honest, efficient and economical management, earn a fair net return on the reasonable value of its property devoted to the public service. For the purpose of fixing rates, such reasonable value of a public utility's property shall be deemed to be the original cost thereof, less the accrued depreciation, as of the most recent date available. In any determination of the commission as to what constitutes such a fair return, the commission shall give due consideration among other things to the requirements of the business with respect to the utility under consideration, and the necessity, under honest, efficient and economical management of such utility, of enlarging plants, facilities and equipment of the utility under consideration, in order to provide that portion of the public served thereby with adequate service.

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) or any other provision to the contrary, the commission retains its authority to consider and adopt alternative methods of regulation of a utility as defined in Section 37-1-30 to establish rates and regulations for services furnished by the utility that are fair, just, and reasonable to the public and that provide fair, just, and reasonable compensation to the utility for the services.

(1) For the purposes of this subsection, the phrase 'alternative methods of regulation' means the regulation of utility rates and service regulations by methods other than a determination of net return on a predetermined rate base.

(2) After June 20, 1995, any proceeding to adopt an alternative method of regulation as defined in subdivision (1) shall be initiated by application of the utility seeking such alternative regulation, by the commission on its own motion, or by the Attorney General as provided in Section 37-1-16.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9770; Code 1940, T. 48, §52; Acts 1949, No. 89, p. 113; Acts 1971, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 97, p. 171, §1; Acts 1978, No. 850, p. 1273, §1; Acts 1995, No. 95-210, p. 340, §1.)Section 37-1-81

Section 37-1-81
Schedules of rates or service regulations.

(a) Whenever a utility desires to put in operation a new rate or service regulation or to change any existing rate or service regulation, it shall file with the commission a new schedule embodying the same, not less than 30 days prior to the time it desires to make the same effective; but the commission may, upon application of the utility, prescribe a less time within which the same may be made effective. In the absence of suspension or disapproval by the commission, as herein provided, the new rate or service regulation embodied in any such new schedule shall become effective at the time specified in such schedule, subject however to the power of the commission at any time thereafter to take any action respecting the same authorized by this title.

(b) To enable it to make such investigation as, in its opinion, the public interest requires, the commission, in its discretion, for a period not exceeding six months may suspend the operation of any new schedule of rates or service regulations filed with the commission. Unless as a result of its investigation the commission otherwise orders before the termination of such period of six months, such rate or service regulation shall thereupon become effective. The commission may make any order in the premises which it is authorized by any of the provisions of this title to make in any investigation or complaint or on its own motion without complaint.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §§9771, 9772; Code 1940, T. 48, §§53, 54; Acts 1971, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 89, p. 144, §1.)Section 37-1-82

Section 37-1-82
Production and inspection of books or records, etc., of utilities.

(a) The commission, by order, may require any utility or any officer or agent thereof to produce within the state, at such reasonable time and place as it may designate, any books, records, accounts or documents kept in any office or place without or within the state, or certified copies thereof, whenever the production thereof is reasonably required and pertinent to any matter under investigation before the commission, in order that an examination thereof may be made by the commission, or by any person employed by the commission.

(b) The commission shall examine and inspect, or cause to be examined and inspected, at reasonable times and in a reasonable manner, under its authority, the books, records, accounts, documents, plant, property and facilities of any utility, whether there is any proceeding by or against the utility then pending before the commission or not. Every utility, its officers and agents shall make all its books, records, accounts and documents available at its principal office or place of business in this state, for examination and inspection by the commission or its authorized representatives or employees, whenever the commission may deem it in the public interest that such examination or inspection should be made. Every utility, its officers and agents shall make available all and every part of its plant, property and facilities for examination and inspection by the commission or its authorized representatives or employees, whenever the commission may deem it in the public interest that such examination or inspection should be made; and any person shall produce, when so required, his authority from the commission to make such examination or inspection under the seal of the commission.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Acts 1923, No. 82, p. 62; Code 1923, §§9780, 9781; Code 1940, T. 48, §§55, 56.)Section 37-1-83

Section 37-1-83
Investigation of unfair rates or inadequate service; who may file complaints; continuance.

Upon a complaint in writing made against any utility by any mercantile, agricultural or manufacturing society, or by any body politic or municipal organization, or by any affected person, that any rate, service regulation, classification, practice or service in effect or proposed to be made effective is in any respect unfair, unreasonable, unjust or inadequate, or unjustly discriminatory, or unduly preferential, or constitutes unfair competition, or that the service is inadequate or cannot be obtained, the commission shall proceed, and without such complaint, the commission, whenever it deems that the public interest so requires, may proceed, after notice as provided in this division, to make such investigation as it may deem necessary or appropriate; but no order affecting such rates, service regulation, classification, practice, or service complained of shall be entered by the commission without notice and a hearing. Any utility may make complaint as to any matter within the provisions of this title with like effect as though made by any mercantile, agricultural or manufacturing society, body politic or municipal organization, or other person. However, when any such complaint in writing is filed, the same shall be set down for hearing within 90 days from the date of the filing thereof, which said hearing may be continued for an additional period not to exceed 90 days, unless the parties to said proceeding agree upon further continuance.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9773; Code 1940, T. 48, §57.)Section 37-1-84

Section 37-1-84
Filing and contents of complaint.

Such action or complaint shall be commenced by filing a complaint with the Public Service Commission alleging wherein the rate or rates, or order or orders complained of are invalid or unfair or unreasonable.



(Code 1907, §5685; Code 1923, §9676; Code 1940, T. 48, §58.)Section 37-1-85

Section 37-1-85
Time and place of hearing.

Whenever the commission shall determine to conduct an investigation either with or without complaint, as in this title provided, it shall fix a time and place for public hearings of the matters under investigation.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9774; Code 1940, T. 48, §59.)Section 37-1-86

Section 37-1-86
Notice and process.

(a) Before proceeding to make such investigation, the commission shall give the utility and the complainant at least 10 days' notice of the time and place when and where such matters will be considered and determined, and all parties shall be entitled to be heard, through themselves or their counsel, and shall have process to enforce the attendance of witnesses.

(b) Whenever the commission shall make any order or determination, or issue any subpoena, notice or writ, notice thereof may be served on the person affected thereby by delivering a copy of such order, subpoena, notice or writ, signed by or in the name of the chairman of the commission, to any such person or an officer or agent of such person, if a corporation, as in the case of civil process, which service may be executed by any member of the commission, the secretary or any employee thereof, or by any sheriff of the state, and a copy of such order, subpoena, notice or writ, with the service endorsed thereon, must be returned to the commission and entered of record as a part of the proceedings, and such endorsement and return shall be prima facie evidence that such order, subpoena, notice or writ has been duly served.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §§9775, 9799; Code 1940, T. 48, §§60, 61.)Section 37-1-87

Section 37-1-87
Intervention in proceedings before commission.

Every person, firm, corporation, copartnership, association, or organization affected thereby may by petition intervene and become a party to any proceeding before the commission.



(Acts 1935, No. 228, p. 624; Code 1940, T. 48, §65.)Section 37-1-88

Section 37-1-88
Right of party to be heard in person or by attorney.

In any hearing, proceeding or investigation conducted by the commission, any party may be heard in person or by attorney.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9776; Code 1940, T. 48, §62.)Section 37-1-89

Section 37-1-89
Taking of testimony; further investigation; laws governing conduct of hearing; transcript.

(a) At the hearing held pursuant to such notice, the commission may take such testimony as may be offered, or as it may desire, and may make such other further investigation as in its opinion is desirable.

(b) The commission, by appropriate order in any case, may appoint or designate a special examiner or one of the commission to take evidence at such time and place as designated by the commission in the order. The laws which now provide for the attendance of witnesses, the giving of testimony, the punishing for contempt, the production of evidence and the payment of witnesses at hearings before the commission shall apply to and govern hearings and examinations conducted by such special examiner or commissioner when acting under an order of the commission. A transcript of the evidence, together with all the exhibits received at such hearings or examinations shall be promptly conveyed to and filed with the secretary of the commission for the consideration of the commission in reaching its decision.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Acts 1920, No. 42, p. 92; Code 1923, §§9727, 9775; Code 1940, T. 48, §§61, 66.)Section 37-1-9

Section 37-1-9
Residence of commissioners; whole time to be devoted to official business.

Each member of the commission shall devote his whole time to his official business and shall reside at the state capital during the time he continues in office, except during epidemics.



(Acts 1920, No. 42, p. 92; Code 1923, §9615; Code 1940, T. 48, §10.)Section 37-1-90

Section 37-1-90
Separate hearings on several matters.

When complaint is made of more than one rate or service, the commission may, when justice or convenience so requires, order separate hearings thereon and may thereupon hear and determine the several matters complained of separately and at such times as it may prescribe.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9776; Code 1940, T. 48, §62.)Section 37-1-91

Section 37-1-91
Witnesses not excused for reasons of incrimination or forfeiture; perjury prosecution not barred.

No person shall be excused from attending and testifying, or from producing books and papers before the commission, or in obedience to the subpoena of the commission, whether such subpoena is issued or signed by one or more of the members of the commission, in any investigation held by or before the commission, or in any civil action or proceeding in any court by or against the commission, provided for in this title, on the ground or for the reason that the testimony or evidence, documentary or otherwise, required of him may tend to incriminate him or subject him to penalty or forfeiture. But no person shall be prosecuted or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture for or on account of any transaction, matter or thing concerning which he may be required to testify or produce evidence, documentary or otherwise before said commission, or in obedience to its subpoena, or in any such action or proceeding. No person testifying shall be exempted from prosecution and punishment for perjury committed in so testifying.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9803; Code 1940, T. 48, §67.)Section 37-1-92

Section 37-1-92
Depositions of witnesses.

The commission or, with the consent of the commission, any party to any proceeding before the commission, may, in any investigation, cause depositions of witnesses residing within or without the state to be taken in the manner prescribed by law for depositions in civil actions in circuit courts, such depositions to be taken on a commission to be issued by the secretary of the commission, made returnable to the commission.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9804; Code 1940, T. 48, §68.)Section 37-1-93

Section 37-1-93
Fees of witnesses.

Each witness who shall appear before the commission by its order shall receive for his attendance the fees and mileage provided for witnesses in civil cases in courts of record, which shall be audited and paid by the state in the same manner as other expenses are audited and paid, upon the presentation of proper vouchers, sworn to by such witness and approved by the president of the commission; but no witness subpoenaed at the instance of parties other than commissioners shall be entitled to compensation from the state for attendance or travel, unless the commission shall certify that his testimony was material to the matter investigated, and witnesses summoned on behalf of the utility shall be paid by said utility.



(Code 1886, §1140; Code 1896, §3501; Code 1907, §5675; Code 1923, §9658; Code 1940, T. 48, §70.)Section 37-1-94

Section 37-1-94
Time allowed commission for making decision.

The commission shall, within 90 days after the completion of the hearings and arguments, if any, and the filing of briefs, if any, in any case submitted to it, or upon a rehearing thereof, decide said case, or if for any good and valid reason it shall be unable to decide the same within said period, then at the expiration of said 90-day period, the commission shall make and file and serve upon all the interested parties a written order stating its reason for its inability to decide said case within said time, and may extend the time for decision for a period not to exceed 90 days.



(Code 1940, T. 48, §77.)Section 37-1-95

Section 37-1-95
Order requiring discontinuance or rectification of violation.

Whenever, after investigation in accordance with the provisions of this title the commission shall be of the opinion that any provision or requirement of this title or any order of the commission is being, has been, or is about to be violated, it may make and enter of record an order in the premises, specifying the actual or proposed acts or omission to act which constitute such real or proposed violation and requiring that such violation be discontinued or rectified, or both, or that it be prevented.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9778; Code 1940, T. 48, §63.)Section 37-1-96

Section 37-1-96
Necessity for hearing prior to order affecting rate or service.

No order shall be made by the commission affecting any rate or service, except as otherwise specifically provided, unless or until a public hearing has been held in accordance with the provisions of this title.



(Acts 1920, No. 37, p. 38; Code 1923, §9778; Code 1940, T. 48, §63.)Section 37-1-97

Section 37-1-97
Order fixing reasonable rate.

Whenever, upon an investigation made under the provisions of this title, the commission shall find any existing rate or rates or any regulation or practice whatsoever or any service, unreasonable or unjustly discriminatory, or any service inadequate, it shall so determine and by order fix, to the extent that it is within its power to do so, a reasonable rate, fare, charge, classification or joint rate as between like carriers, to be imposed, observed and followed in the future in lieu of that found to be unreasonable or unjustly discriminatory, or inadequate, as the case may be. All utilities to which the order applies shall make such changes in their schedule of rates, fares, charges or classifications as may be necessary to make the same conform to said order, where such order relates to rates, fares, charges or classification, and no change shall thereafter be made by any utility in such rates, fares, charges or classification, or joint rate or rates, or in the service or practice so ordered, without the approval of the commission.



(Code 1907, §5678; Code 1923, §9661; Code 1940, T. 48, §64.)Section 37-1-98

Section 37-1-98
Certified copies of orders.

Certified copies of orders of the commission shall be delivered to any officer, superintendent, or agent of the utility affected thereby.



(Code 1907, §5678; Code 1923, §9661; Code 1940, T. 48, §64.)Section 37-1-99

Section 37-1-99
Rates and orders of commission deemed prima facie reasonable and valid.

All rates, fares, charges, classifications and joint rates and orders establishing rules, regulations, practices or services fixed by the commission shall be in force and shall be deemed prima facie reasonable and valid in any court wherein the reasonableness or validity thereof is properly drawn in question, and the burden shall be upon the party attacking said rates or orders to show that same are invalid or unfair and unreasonable.



(Acts 1907, Ex. Sess., No. 21, p. 43; Code 1907, §5683; Code 1923, §9666; Code 1940, T. 48, §71.)

USA Statutes : alabama