PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION CHANGING AND ENLARGING POWERS
AN ACT TO AMEND AN ACT ENTITLED "AN ACT TO CREATE AND ESTABLISH A PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION AND PRESCRIBING ITS POWERS AND DUTIES, AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE REGULATION AND CONTROL OF PUBLIC SERVICE CORPORATIONS AND PUBLIC UTILITIES AND MAKING APPROPRIATIONS THEREFOR," BEING CHAPTER 254, VOLUME 47, LAWS OF DELAWARE, BY CHANGING AND ENLARGING THE POWERS OF THE COMMISSION IN EMPLOYMENT OF PERSONNEL; BY PRESCRIBING CERTAIN QUALIFICATIONS FOR COMMISSIONERS AND PERSONNEL; BY FIXING THE NUMBER OF COMMISSIONERS WHO SHALL CONSTITUTE A QUORUM; BY PROVIDING THAT INVESTIGATIONS, INQUIRIES AND HEARINGS MAY BE HELD BEFORE THE COMMISSION, OR BEFORE ANY MEMBER THEREOF OR. AN EXAMINER DESIGNATED BY IT; BY EMPOWERING THE COMMISSION TO MAKE OR HOLD JOINT INVESTIGATIONS OR HEARINGS WITH REGULATORY BODIES OF OTHER STATES OR OF THE UNITED STATES; BY REDEFINING RAILROAD UTILITIES; BY REMOVING STEAM BOAT COMPANIES FROM THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3 (k) OF THE ACT; BY EMPOWERING THE COMMISSION TO PRESCRIBE INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTAIN MOTOR CARRIERS AND FIXING THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS THEREFOR; BY EMPOWERING THE COMMISSION TO REQUIRE PUBLIC UTILITIES TO GIVE NOTICE OF CERTAIN ACCIDENTS AND TO FILE ANNUAL AND OTHER REPORTS; BY ENLARGING THE POWERS OF THE COMMISSION TO PRESCRIBE SYSTEMS OF ACCOUNTS AND RECORDS AND TO REGULATE THE KEEPING OF THE SAME; BY EMPOWERING THE COMMISSION TO FIX RATES OR DEPRECIATION AND REGULATE DEPRECIATION ACCOUNTS; BY PROVIDING FOR ACCESS TO AND THE INSPECTION AND EXAMINATION OF BOOKS, ACCOUNTS, RECORDS, PROPERTY AND FACILITIES OF PUBLIC UTILITIES AND REQUIRING PUBLIC UTILITIES TO FURNISH CERTAIN INFORMATION AND RECORDS TO THE COMMISSION; BY REQUIRING BOOKS, ACCOUNTS AND RECORDS OF PUBLIC UTILITIES TO BE KEPT IN THIS STATE EXCEPT IN CERTAIN INSTANCES; BY PROHIBITING CHANGES IN EXISTING RATES OF PUBLIC UTILITIES EXCEPT UPON CERTAIN NOTICE TO THE COMMISSION AND CHANGING THE TIME FOR MAKING CERTAIN REFUNDS FROM THIRTY TO NINETY DAYS; BY EMPOWERING THE COMMISSION TO FIX TEMPORARY RATES IN CERTAIN CASES; BY PROVIDING THAT THE BURDEN OF PROOF IN RATE PROCEEDINGS SHALL BE UPON THE PUBLIC UTILITY; BY REQUIRING APPROVAL OF THE COMMISSION FOR ASSUMPTION OF LIABILITIES OF OTHER PERSONS OR CORPORATIONS BY ANY PUBLIC UTILITY, AND REMOVING THE TIME LIMIT OF FIFTEEN DAYS WITHIN WHICH THE COMMISSION MAY APPROVE OR DISAPPROVE CERTAIN PROPOSED MERGERS, MORTGAGES, TRANSFERS, ISSUES OF SECURITIES OR ASSUMPTION OF LIABILITIES; BY REQUIRING CERTIFICATES OF PUBLIC CONVENIENCE AND NECESSITY IN CERTAIN CASES; BY EMPOWERING ANY MEMBER OR EXAMINER OF THE COMMISSION TO SIGN SUBPOENAS, ADMINISTER OATHS AND EXAMINE WITNESSES; BY CHANGING THE PROCEDURE FOR TAKING DEPOSITIONS; BY REQUIRING PUBLIC UTILITIES TO DESIGNATE RESIDENT AGENTS FOR SERVICE OF PROCESS; BY PROVIDING FOR THE SERVICE OF ORDERS OF THE COMMISSION AND EMPOWERING THE COMMISSION TO FIX THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF ITS ORDERS; AND BY PROVIDING FOR APPEALS FROM FINAL ORDERS OF THE COMMISSION BY ANY PUBLIC UTILITY, OR ANY ORIGINAL PARTY OR INTERVENOR AFFECTED BY SUCH ORDERS.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:
Section 1. That Chapter 254, Volume 47, Laws of Delaware, be and the same hereby is amended by striking out and repealing the fourth paragraph of Section 1 thereof and by inserting and enacting in lieu thereof a new fourth paragraph, as follows:
The Commission shall have the power to appoint, fix the compensation and terms of service, and prescribe the duties and powers of, a secretary and such officers, accountants, attorneys, experts, engineers, inspectors, clerks and other persons, as it may deem necessary for the proper conduct of the work of the Commission.
Section 2. That Chapter 254, Volume 47, Laws of Delaware, be and the same hereby is further amended by enacting and inserting immediately after the fourth paragraph and before the fifth paragraph in Section 1 thereof, a new paragraph as follows:
No person shall be eligible for appointment to or shall hold the office of Commissioner, or be appointed by the Commission to or hold any office or position under it, who occupies any official relation to any public service company or public utility. No Commissioner, and no employee, appointee or official engaged in the service of, or in any manner connected with, the Commission, shall hold any office or position, or be engaged in any business, employment or vocation, the duties of which are incompatible with the duties of this office as Commissioner, or his employment in the service or in connection with the work of the Commission.
Section 3. That Chapter 254, Volume 47, Laws of Delaware, be and the same hereby is further amended by enacting and adding after the last paragraph of Section 1 thereof four new paragraphs as follows:
Two members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum who, for all purposes, including the making of any order or the ratification of any act done or order made by one of the Commissioners, must act unanimously.
Any investigation, inquiry or hearing which the Commission has power to undertake or hold, may be undertaken or held by or before the Commission, or any member or representative of the Commission designated by it. All investigations, inquiries or hearings before or by a Commissioner, shall be and be deemed to be the investigations, inquiries and hearing of the Commission; provided, however, that any determination or order of a Commissioner upon any such investigation, inquiry or hearing undertaken or held by him shall not become and be effective until approved and confirmed by at least a quorum of the Commission; and upon such confirmation, such determination or order shall be the determination or order of the Commission. In any investigation, inquiry or hearing, the Commission may designate any qualified officer or employee of the Commission as an examiner who shall have the power to administer oaths, examine witnesses and receive evidence in any locality which the Commission, having regard to the public convenience and the proper discharge of its functions and duties, may designate. The testimony or evidence so taken or received shall have the same force and effect as if taken or received by the Commission, or by any one of the members thereof. Upon completion of such hearing or the taking of such testimony and evidence, said examiner shall submit to the Commission his findings and his recommendations thereon, which findings and recommendations shall be considered by the Commission and such action taken with respect thereto by the Commission as it shall decide to be proper.
All hearings before the Commission, or its designated representative, shall be public, and shall be conducted in accordance with the rules of practice and procedure prescribed by the Commission; provided, however, that in the conduct thereof the Commission shall not be bound by the technical rules of evidence. A full and complete record shall be kept of all proceedings had before the Commission, or its representatives, in any formal hearing, and all testimony shall be taken down by a reporter designated by the Commission, and the parties shall be entitled to be heard in person or by attorney, and to introduce evidence. After the conclusion of the hearing, the Commission shall make and file its findings with its opinion, if any, and its order thereon. Its findings shall be in sufficient detail to enable the court on appeal to determine the controverted question presented by the proceeding, and whether proper weight was given to the evidence.
The Commission is also empowered to make joint investigations, hold joint hearings, within or without this State, and issue joint or concurrent orders in conjunction with any official, board, commission or agency of any State or of the United States, whether in the holding of such investigations or hearings, or in the making of such orders, the Commission shall function under agreements or compacts between States or under the concurrent powers of States to regulate the interstate commerce, or as an agency of the Federal Government, or otherwise.
Section 4. That Chapter 254, Volume 47, Laws of Delaware, be and the same hereby is further amended by striking out the words "any steam railroad" now appearing in Section 2 thereof and by substituting in lieu thereof the words "any railroad."
Section 5. That Chapter 254, Volume 47, Laws of Delaware, be and the same hereby is further amended by striking out and repealing subsection (k) of Section 3 thereof and inserting and enacting in lieu thereof a new subsection (k) as follows:
(k) After hearing, upon notice, by order in writing to direct any railroad, or street railway, or traction company, or any motor bus passenger line, or auto truck freight line to establish and maintain at any junction or point of connection or intersection with any other line of said company, or with any line of any other railroad, or street railway, or traction company, or motor bus, electric trackless trolley coach, passenger line, or auto truck freight line, such just and reasonable connection as shall be necessary to promote the convenience of shippers of property, or of passengers, and in like manner to direct any railroad, street railway, or traction company, engaged in carrying merchandise, to construct, maintain and operate upon reasonable terms a switch connection with any private side track which may be constructed by any shipper to connect with the railroad or street railway or traction railway where, in the judgment of the Commission, such connection is reasonable and practicable, and can be put in with safety and will furnish sufficient business to justify the construction and maintenance of the same.
Section 6. That Chapter 254, Volume 47, Laws of Delaware, be and the same hereby is further amended by enacting, adding and inserting after subsection (k) in Section 3 thereof, three new subsections to be designated as subsections (1), (m) and (n), as follows:
(l) To prescribe by regulation or order, as to public carriers operating motor buses and automobile trucks, such requirements as it may deem necessary for the protection of persons or property of their patrons and the public, including the filing of surety bonds, the carrying of insurance, or the qualifications and conditions under which such carriers may act as self-insurers with respect to such matters; provided, however, that all such motor carriers, whose current liquid assets do not exceed their current liabilities by at least One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00), shall cover each and every vehicle transporting passengers or property, with a public liability and property damage insurance policy or policies issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in this State, in such amounts as the Commission may prescribe, but not less than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) for one and Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) for more than one person injured or killed in any one accident, and not less than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) for loss or damage in any one accident to property of others, excluding cargo.
(m) To require every public utility as herein defined to give immediate notice to the Commission of the happening of any accident in or about, or in connection with, the operation of its service and facilities, wherein any person shall have been killed or apparently injured, or where complaint of injuries has been made, and furnish such full and detailed report of such accident within such time and in such manner as the Commission shall prescribe. Such report shall not be open for public inspection, except by order of the Commission, and shall not be admitted in evidence for any purpose in any suit or action for damages growing out of any matter or thing mentioned in such report.
() To require every public utility as herein defined to file with the Commission such annual and other periodical or special reports, at such times, in such form and of such content, and covering such period or periods of time, as the Commission may by rules and regulations or by order prescribe. The Commission may require any such public utility to file with it a copy of any report filed by such public utility with any Federal department or regulatory body. All reports shall be made under oath or affirmation unless the Commission otherwise specifies.
Section 7. That Chapter 254, Volume 47, Laws of Delaware, be and the same hereby is further amended by striking out and repealing subsection (d) of Section 4 thereof and substituting and enacting in lieu thereof a new subsection (d) as follows:
(d) To make, keep, and preserve for such periods of time, such accounts, records of cost accounting procedures, correspondence, memoranda, papers, books and other records as the Commission may by rules and regulations or order prescribe as necessary or appropriate for purposes of the administration of this Act. The Commission may prescribe systems of accounts and records to be kept by public utilities, or may classify public utilities and prescribe a system of accounts and records for each class, and the manner and form in which such accounts and records shall be kept. The accounting system of any public utility also subject to the jurisdiction of a Federal regulatory body shall correspond, as far as practicable, to the system prescribed by such Federal regulatory body; provided, however, that the Commission may require any such public utility to keep and maintain supplemental or additional accounts to those required by any such regulatory body. The Commission, after notice and opportunity for hearing, may determine by order the accounts in which particular outlays and receipts shall be entered, charged or credited. The burden of proof to justify every accounting entry questioned by the Commission shall be upon the public utility making, authorizing, or requiring such entry, and the Commission may suspend any charge or credit pending submission of satisfactory proof in support thereof.
Section 8. That Chapter 254, Volume 47, Laws of Delaware, be and the same hereby is further amended by enacting and inserting after subsection (d) of Section 4 thereof a new subsection to be designated as subsection (e) as follows:
(e) To carry a reasonable and adequate depreciation account in accordance with such rules, regulations, orders and forms of account as the Commission may prescribe. The Commission may, from time to time, ascertain and determine, and by order fix, the proper and adequate rates of depreciation of the several classes of property of each public utility or class of public utilities. Each public utility shall conform its depreciation accounts to the rates so ascertained, determined and fixed.
Section 9. That Chapter 254, Volume 47, Laws of Delaware, be and the same hereby is further amended by inserting and enacting immediately following Section 4 thereof and before Section 5 thereof a new Section to be designated as Section 4A. as follows:
Section 4A. The Commission, by or through its members or duly authorized representatives, shall at all times have access to and the right to inspect and examine any and all books, accounts, records, memoranda, property, plant, facilities and equipment of public utilities. It shall be the duty of every public utility to furnish to the Commission, within such reasonable time as the Commission may order, any information with respect to its books, accounts, records, memoranda, property, plant, facilities, equipment, service, and operations, which the Commission may require in aid of any inspection, examination, inquiry, investigation, or hearing, or in aid of any determination of the value of its property, or any portion thereof, including copies of accounts, records, books, maps, inventories, appraisals, valuations, contracts, reports of engineers, and other data, records and papers; and to grant to all authorized agents of the Commission access to its premises, property, plant, facilities and equipment and its books, accounts, records and memoranda when requested so to do.
Every public utility shall keep such books, accounts, papers, records and memoranda, as shall be required by the Commission, in an office within this State, and shall not remove the same, or any of them, from this State, except upon such terms and conditions as may be prescribed by the Commission; but this provision shall not apply to a public utility engaged in the interstate commerce, whose accounts are kept at its principal place of business without this State, in the manner prescribed by any Federal regulatory body; provided, however, that such public utility, when required by the Commission, shall furnish to the Commission, within such reasonable time as it shall fix, certified copies of its books, accounts, papers, records and memoranda, relating to the business done by such public utility within this State.
Section 10. That Chapter 254, Volume 47, Laws of Delaware, be and the same hereby is further amended by striking out and repealing Section 5 thereof and by inserting and enacting in lieu thereof a new Section 5 as follows:
Section 5. Unless the Commission otherwise orders, no public utility shall make any change in any existing rate except after thirty days' notice to the Commission, which notice shall plainly state the changes proposed to be made in the rates then in force and the time when the changes will go into effect. All proposed changes shall be shown by filing new schedules or shall be plainly indicated upon schedules filed and in force at the time and kept open to public inspection. The Commission, for good cause shown, may allow changes in rates without requiring the thirty days' notice under such conditions as it may prescribe. All such changes shall be immediately indicated upon its schedule by such public utility.
Whenever there is filed with the Commission by any public utility any schedule stating a new rate or rates, the Commission may, either upon complaint or upon its own initiative, upon reasonable notice, enter upon a hearing concerning the lawfulness of such rate or rates; and pending such hearing and the decision thereon, the Commission may, at any time before said rate or rates become effective, suspend the operation of such rate or rates, but not for a longer period than ninety days beyond the time when such rate or rates would otherwise go into effect unless the Commission shall find that a longer time will be required for a proper determination of the lawfulness of such rate or rates, in which case the Commission may extend the period for not to exceed six (6) months; provided, and notwithstanding any such order of suspension, the public utility may put such suspended rate or rates into effect on the date when it or they would have become effective, if not so suspended, by filing with the Commission a bond in a reasonable amount approved by the Commission with sureties approved by the Commission, conditioned upon the refund, in a manner to be prescribed by order of the Commission to the persons entitled thereto of the amount of the excess, if the rate or rates so put into effect are finally determined to be excessive; or there may be substituted for such bond, other arrangements satisfactory to the Commission for the protection of the parties interested. If the public utility fails to make refund within ninety days after such final determination, any person entitled to such refund may sue therefor in any court of this State of competent jurisdiction and be entitled to recover, in addition to the amount of the refund due, all court costs and reasonable attorney's fees, but no suit may be maintained for that purpose unless instituted within two years after such final determination. Any number of persons entitled to such refund may join as plaintiffs and recover their several claims in a single action; in which action the court shall render a judgment severally for each plaintiff as his interest may appear. During any such period of suspension, the Commission may, in its discretion, require that the public utility involved shall furnish to its consumers or patrons a certificate or other evidence of payment made by them under the rate or rates which the public utility has put into operation in excess of the rate or rates in effect immediately prior thereto.
If, after such hearing, the Commission finds any such rate or rates to be unjust, unreasonable or unjustly discriminatory, or in any wise in violation of law, the Commission shall determine the just and reasonable rate or rates to be charged or applied by the utility for the service in question, and shall fix the same by order to be served upon the utility; and such rate or rates are thereafter to be observed until changed, as provided by this Act.
Section 11. That Chapter 254, Volume 47, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is further amended by inserting and enacting immediately after Section 5 and before Section 6 thereof, a new Section to be designated as Section 5A. as follows:
Section 5A. Whenever the Commission, after due consideration of pertinent facts and information, shall be of the opinion that any rates of any such public utility are producing a return in excess of a fair return upon what appears to be the fair value of the property of such public utility, used and useful in the public service, and that a proceeding to determine all of the issues involved in a final determination of such rates will require more than ninety days, the Commission may, after reasonable notice to said public utility and opportunity to be heard thereon, if it be of the opinion that the public interest so requires, immediately enter a temporary order fixing a temporary schedule of rates to be charged by such public utility pending the final determination of such rate proceeding, which said order shall become operative and binding upon such public utility at the time prescribed by the Commission; provided, however, that the power of the Commission to order reductions in rates and charges of any public utility by means of such temporary order shall be limited to reductions which will absorb not more than the amount found to be in excess of the amount of operating income, as determined by the Commission, necessary to provide a fair return on what appears to be the fair value of the property of said public utility. The temporary rate so prescribed shall be effective until the final determination of the rate proceeding, unless sooner terminated or changed by the Commission. If, upon final disposition of the issues involved in such proceeding, the rates as finally determined are in excess of the rates prescribed in such temporary order, then such public utility shall be permitted to amortize and recover by means of a temporary increase over and above the rates finally determined, such sum as shall represent the difference between the operating revenues obtained from the rates prescribed in such temporary order and the operating revenues which would have been obtained under the rates finally determined if applied during the period such temporary order was in effect.
In any proceeding upon the motion of the Commission, or upon complaint, involving any proposed or existing rate or any public utility, or any proposed increase in rates, the burden of proof to show that the rate involved is just and reasonable shall be upon the public utility. The Commission shall give to the hearing and decision of any such proceeding, preference over all other proceedings and decide the same as speedily as possible.
and repealing Section 6 thereof and by enacting in lieu thereof a new Section 6, as follows:
Section 6. No public utility as herein defined, without having first obtained the approval of the Commission, shall (1) directly or indirectly merge or consolidate with any other person or company, or sell, lease, assign, or mortgage, except by supplemental indenture in accordance with the terms of a mortgage outstanding September 1, 1949, or otherwise dispose of or encumber any essential part of its franchises, plant, equipment or other property, necessary or useful in the performance of its duty to the public; or (2) issue any stocks, stock certificates, or notes, bonds or other evidences of indebtedness payable in more than one year from the date thereof; or (3) assume any obligation or liability as guarantor, endorser, surety or otherwise in respect of any security of any other person or corporation, payable or maturing more than one year after the date of such issue or assumption of liability. Application for any such approval or authorization shall be made to the Commission in writing, verified by oath or affirmation, and be in such form and contain such information as the Commission may require. The Commission shall approve of any such proposed merger, mortgage, transfer, issue or assumption when it finds that the same is to be made in accordance with law, for a proper purpose and is consistent with the public interest. The Commission may make such investigation and hold such hearings in the matter as it may deem necessary, and thereafter may grant any application under this Section in whole or in part and with such modification and upon such terms and conditions as it may deem necessary or appropriate; provided, however, that the Commission shall grant, modify, refuse or prescribe appropriate terms and conditions with respect to, every such application or proposed merger, mortgage, transfer, issue or assumption, within thirty days after the filing of the application therefor, and in the absence of any such action within said period of time, any such proposed merger, mortgage, transfer, issue or assumption shall be deemed to be approved. The provisions of this Section relating to the issuance of securities shall not apply to securities of railroad companies subject to the jurisdiction of the Interstate Commerce Commission. Nothing herein contained shall be construed in any wise to prevent the sale or lease or other disposition by any public utility as herein defined of any of its property in the ordinary course of its business.
Section 13. That Chapter 254, Volume 47, Laws of Delaware, be and the same hereby is further amended by striking out and repealing Section 8 thereof and inserting and enacting in lieu thereof a new Section 8, as follows:
Section 8. Subject to the provisions of Section 2 of this Act, no individual, copartnership, association, corporation, joint stock company, agency or department of the State, cooperative, or the lessees, trustees or receivers thereof, shall hereafter begin the business of a public utility nor shall any public utility hereafter begin any extension of its business or operations without having first obtained from the Commission a certificate that the present or future public convenience and necessity require or will require the operation of such business or extension; provided, however, that this Section shall not be construed to require any public utility to secure such a certificate for any extension within or to any territory already served by it, or for any extension into a territory contiguous to a territory already served by it, and not theretofore served by a public utility of like character; and provided further that the Commission, after hearing on the complaint of any public utility claiming to be adversely affected by any proposed extension, as aforesaid, may make such order and prescribe such terms and conditions with respect to the proposed extension as may be required by the public convenience and necessity.
Section 14. That Chapter 254, Volume 47, Laws of Delaware, be and the same hereby is further amended by striking out and repealing Section 9 thereof, and by inserting and enacting in lieu thereof a new Section 9, as follows:
Section 9. (a) The Commission shall have power to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of tariffs, contracts, papers, books, accounts and all other documents. Any member of the Commission, or any examiner designated by it, shall have power to administer oaths to all witnesses who may be called before the Commission, any member thereof, or any such examiner, as the case may be, Subpoenas issued by the Commission shall be signed by a member thereof or an examiner designated by it and attested by the secretary, and may be served by any Sheriff, Deputy Sheriff, Constable, or any employee of the Commission and return thereof made to the said Commission.
(b) The fees and mileage of witnesses required to attend before the Commission shall be computed at the rate allowed to witnesses in the Superior Court of the State of Delaware, such fees to be paid when the witness is excused from further attendance; and the disbursements made in payment of such fees shall be audited and paid in the same manner provided for the payment of expenses of the Commission; provided, however, that no witness subpoenaed in the instance of parties other than the Commission shall be entitled to compensation from the State for attendance or travel unless the Commission shall certify that the testimony was material to the matter investigated.
(c) If a person subpoenaed to attend before the Commission, any member or examiner thereof, fails to obey the command of such subpoena without reasonable cause, or if a person in attendance before the Commission, any member or examiner thereof, refuse without lawful cause to be examined or to answer a legal or pertinent question, or to produce a book or paper when ordered to do so by the Commission, any member or examiner thereof, the Commission or any member thereof may apply to the Superior Court in and for the County where such hearing or investigation is being held or any Judge thereof in vacation, who shall have the power of said Court for such purpose, for an order returnable in not less than two or more than ten days, directing such person to show cause before the Court, or any Judge thereof in vacation, why he or she should not comply with the subpoena or order of the Commission. Upon the return of such order the Court or Judge, before whom the matter shall come on for hearing, shall examine under oath the persons whose testimony may be relevant, and such person shall be given an opportunity to be heard, and if the Court or Judge shall determine that said person refused without legal excuse to obey the command of such subpoena or to be examined, or to answer a legal or pertinent question, or to produce a book or paper which he or she was ordered to produce, said Court or Judge may order such person to comply forthwith with the subpoena or order of the Commission, and any failure to obey such order of the Court or Judge may be punished by said Court or Judge as a contempt of said Superior Court.
Section 15. That Chapter 254, Volume 47, Laws of Delaware, be and the same hereby is further amended by striking out and repealing Section 10 thereof, and inserting and enacting in lieu thereof a new Section 10, as follows:
Section 10. No person shall be excused from testifying or producing any book, document or paper in any investigation or inquiry by or upon hearing before the Commission, or any member or examiner thereof, upon the ground that the testimony, evidence, book, document or paper required of such person may tend to incriminate such person or subject such person to penalty, or forfeiture, but no person shall be prosecuted, punished, or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture for or on account of any act, transaction, matter or thing concerning which he shall, under oath, have testified or produced incriminating evidence; provided, however, that no person so testifying shall be exempt from prosecution or punishment for any perjury committed by such person in her or his testimony. Nothing herein contained is intended to give, or shall be construed in any manner to give, any corporation immunity of any kind. No member, employee or investigator of the Public Service Commission shall be required to give testimony in any Court suit to which the said Commission is not a party with regard to information obtained by said member or employee in the discharge of official duty.
Section 16. That Chapter 254, Volume 47, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby further amended by striking out and repealing Section 11 thereof and inserting and enacting in lieu thereof a new Section 11, as follows:
Section 11. The Commission, or any party to proceedings before the Commission, may cause the deposition of witnesses residing within or without this State to be taken in the same manner as prescribed by law or by rules of the Superior Court for taking depositions in civil actions.
Section 17. That Chapter 254, Volume 47, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby further amended by inserting and enacting immediately after Section 11 and before Section 12 thereof, a new Section to be designated as Section 11A., as follows:
Section 11A. Every public utility as herein defined shall file with the Commission a designation in writing of the name and post office address of a person resident within this State upon whom service of any notice, order or process may be made under this Act. Such designation may, from time to time, be changed by like writing similarly filed.
Section 18. That Chapter 254, Volume 47, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby further amended by striking out and repealing Section 12 thereof and inserting and enacting in lieu thereof a new Section 12, as follows:
Section 12. Every order made by the Commission shall be served upon the person or public utility as herein defined affected thereby, within ten days from the time said order is filed, by personally delivering or sending by registered mail a certified copy thereof to the person to be affected thereby, or in case of a public utility to any officer or agent thereof upon whom a summons may be served in accordance with the provisions of the law of this State, or to the person designated by such public utility to accept service as provided in this Act; provided, however, that in any proceeding in which such person or public utility, shall be represented by attorney, service may be made upon their attorney of record. All orders of the Commission shall become effective within such reasonable time as it shall prescribe; provided, however, that no order of the Commission requiring a change in rates shall become operative until at least thirty days after service thereof except upon the written consent of the public utility affected.
Section 19. That Chapter 254, Volume 47, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby further amended by striking out and repealing Section 15 thereof and inserting and enacting in lieu thereof a new Section 15, as follows:
Section 15. Any public utility affected by any final order made by the Commission, or any other original party to or any intervener in the proceedings before the Commission in which such order was entered and affected thereby, may appeal from such order to the Superior Court of the State of Delaware within thirty days from the date upon which such order is served as herein provided. Said appeal shall be filed with the Prothonotary of said Court and summons in said appeal shall be served upon the Secretary of the said Commission either personally or sent by registered mail to the office at the State House, Dover, Delaware, and shall also be served upon all other parties to the proceeding below, other than the appellant. Upon every such appeal the cause shall be determined by the Court from the record (which shall include a typewritten copy of the evidence and of the findings and order and opinion, if any, of the Commission) without a jury, and the Court may affirm, modify or revise the order of the Commission, in whole or in part, or may remand the cause to the Commission for rehearing, in whole or in part. The Superior Court is hereby vested with jurisdiction and power to hear and determine all such appeals, and with power to make any and all rules needful or convenient in the premises. Upon the determination of every appeal, a copy of the opinion and order of the Superior Court shall be certified to the Commission.
Approved June 21, 1951.