Page images
[ocr errors]

board appointing such inspectors, and such failure or violation shall be a sufficient cause for their removal. The commission may provide for the inspection of electric meters, and may appoint an inspector for such purpose who shall perform the duties required of him by the commission.


Section 11. A corporation hereafter incorporated under the laws of this or any other state for manufacturing and supplying gas for lighting the streets, highways and public places, and for heating and lighting public or private buildings, or for manufacturing, using, transmitting and supplying electricity for producing light, heat or power for public or private buildings or for lighting streets, highways and public places, shall not exercise any of its powers, or transact any business within this state, until it shall have secured a certificate of authority therefor signed and executed by the commission under its official seal. Before such certificate shall be issued a certified copy of the charter of such corporation shall be filed in the office of the commission, together with a verified statement of the president and secretary of the corporation, showing that it has received the required consent of the proper municipal authorities. The commission may inquire as to the necessity of the service to be furnished by such corporation, and as to the intentions and good faith of the corporation and its officers, and if satisfied that the territory within which such corporation proposes to operate is already supplied by an ample and well constructed system, furnishing the service which such corporation proposes to furnish, at a fair and reasonable rate, such commission may refuse to grant its certificate of authority. No municipality shall build, maintain and operate for other than municipal purposes any works or systems for the manufacture and supplying of gas or electricity for lighting purposes without a certificate of authority granted by the commission. If the certificate of authority is refused, no further proceedings shall be taken before the commission, but a new application may be made therefor after one year from the date of such refusal.

[ocr errors]

APPROVAL OF ISSUE OF STOCK AND Bonds. Section 12. Stock or bonds shall not be issued by any corporation hereafter incorporated which is subject to the supervision

of the commission, until the certificate of authority has been issued as required in the preceding section, and until such commission shall further certify, in writing as to the amount of stock or bonds reasonably required for the purposes of the corporation. Stock and bonds of such corporation shall not be issued in excess of the amount so certified. Any such corporation heretofore or hereafter incorporated shall not increase its capital stock or its bonded indebtedness without the consent in writing of such commission, stating the amount of the authorized increase. For the purpose of making its determination as to the amount of stock and bonds to be issued or the amount of the authorized increase of the capital stock and bonded indebtedness of any such corporation, the commission may take and hear testimony, and examine the books and papers of the corporation, and require verified statements from the officers thereof, pertaining to the value of the property and franchises owned and operated by such corporation. Such determination shall be made within thirty days after the final submission of the papers or a final hearing on the application.


Section 13. A corporation subject to the general supervision of the commission shall not transfer or lease its franchise, works, system or property or any part of such franchise, works, system or property to any other person or corporation or contract for the operation of its works, system and property without the written consent of the commission. No such corporation shall directly or indirectly acquire the stock or bonds of any other corporation incorporated for, or engaged in, the same or a similar business, or proposing to operate or operating under a franchise from the same or any other municipality, unless authorized so to do by the commission.


Section 14. If the commission shall refuse any certificate, authority or consent required under the provisions of either of the three preceding sections, the commission shall, if requested by the applicant for such certificate, authority or consent, furnish a certified copy of all papers before it pertaining to the application, and of its findings thereon, and sneh applicant may, within sixty

days after notice of such refusal, present such papers and findings for review to the appellate division of the supreme court of the third department, and such appellate division may order the commission to issue the certificate or grant the authority or consent applied for. Upon such review the commission shall be represented by the attorney-general.


Section 15. Upon the complaint in writing of the mayor of a city, the trustees of a village or the town board of a town in which a person or corporation is authorized to manufacture, sell or supply gas or electricity for heat, light or power, or upon the complaint in writing of not less than one hundred customers, or purchasers of such gas or electricity, either as to illuminating power, purity, pressure or price of such gas or electricity sold and delivered in such municipality, the commission shall investigate as to cause for such complaint, and may, by its agents and inspectors, inspect the works, system, plant and methods used by such person or corporation in manufacturing, transmitting and supplying such gas or electricity, and examine or cause to be examined the books and papers of such person or corporation pertaining to the manufacture, sale, transmitting and supplying of such gas or electricity.

FORMS OF COMPLAINTS; SIGNATURES. Section 16. The form and contents of complaints made as provided in the preceding section shall be prescribed by the commission. Such complaints shall be signed by the officers or by the customers, purchasers or subscribers making them, who must add to their signatures their places of residence, by street and num

ber, if any.


ORDERS REQUIRING IMPROVEMENT. Section 17. Before proceeding under a complaint presented as provided in section fifteen, the commission shall cause notice of the complaint, and the purpose thereof, to be served upon the person or corporation affected thereby. A public hearing shall be liad upon such complaint at which the complainants and the person or corporation complained of shall have an opportunity

to be heard, and may be represented by counsel. After such hearing and upon such investigation as may have been made by the Commission or its officers, agents or inspectors, the Commission, within the limits prescribed by law, may fix the maximum price of gas or-electricity which shall be charged by such corporation or person in such municipality, or may order such improvement in the manufacture or supply of such gas or in the manufacture, transmission or supply of such electricity, or in the methods employed by such person or corporation, as will in its judgment improve the service. The price so fixed by the Commission shall be the maximum price to be charged by such person or corporation for gas or electricity in such municipality for a term of three years and until, after the expiration of such term such Commission shall upon complaint as provided in this section again fix the price of such gas or electricity.

S 18. All orders made by the Commission upon its own motion or without complaint, as above provided, shall be made after reasonable notice to the person or corporation affected thereby, and after reasonable opportunity to such person or corporation to present his, their or its defence or objections to the demands of the Commission.

§ 19. The complainant, or any person or corporation aggrieved by any order made by the commission whether upon complaint or otherwise, may, within thirty days after notice of the making of such order, appeal to the appellate division of the supreme court of any department within which the property of the person or corporation affected by said order is situated, except as otherwise hereinbefore provided, in whole or in part. Such court may affirm, reverse in whole or in part or modify the order appealed from, or may make such order in the premises in its discretion as it may deem just and proper. On all such appeals the Commission shall be represented by the attorney-general.

§ 20. An order made by the commission, as in this act provided, or in case of an appeal from an order, the order as affirmed or modified or the order made on such appeal may be enforced by writ of mandamus. The commission or any person, corporation or municipality interested in the enforcement of such order may apply to the supreme court at a special term thereof for a writ of mandamus to compel compliance with such order, upon proof that the said order has been duly made, as in this act provided, and has not been complied with, after notice of the


making thereof, to the person or corporation affected thereby, the supreme court may issue a writ of mandamus to enforce the provisions of said order.

DEFENCE IN CASES OF EXCESSIVE CHARGES. Section 21. If it be alleged and established in an action brought in any court for the collection of any charge for gas or electricity, that a price has been demanded in excess of that fixed by the Commission or by statute in the municipality wherein the action arose, no recovery shall be had therein, but the fact that such excessive charges have been made shall be a complete defence to such action.

§ 22. There shall be appropriated for the use of the Commission and for the payment of salaries and disbursements under this act, from money not otherwise appropriated the sum of sixty thousand dollars.

§ 23. This act shall take effect immediately.

« PreviousContinue »