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The Board of Railroad Commissioners.
testimony and have such hearing when requested to do so by any railroad corporation, or incorporated organization representing agricultural or commercial interests in the state, and shall report their conclusions in writing to the legislature, committee, governor, corporation or organization making such request; and shall recommend and draft such bills as will in its judgment protect the people's interests in and upon the railroads of this state.
§ 158. Reports of railroad corporations.-The board shall prescribe the form of the report required by the railroad law to be made by railroad corporations, and may from time to time make such changes and additions in such form, giving to the corporations six months' notice before the expiration of any fiscal year, of any changes or additions which would require any alteration in the method or form of keeping their accounts, and on or before September fifteenth in each year, shall furnish a blank form for such report. When the report of any corporation is defective, or believed to be erroneous, the board shall notify the corporation to amend the same within thirty days. The originals of the reports, subscribed and sworn to as prescribed by law, shall be preserved in the office of the board.
§ 159. Investigation of accidents.-The board shall investigate the cause of any accident on any railroad resulting in loss of life or injury to persons, which in their judgment shall require investigation, and include the result thereof in their annual report to the legislature. Before making any such examination or investigation, or any investigation or examination under this article, reasonable notice shall be given to the corporation, person or persons conducting and managing such railroad of the time and place of commencing the same. The general superintendent or manager of every railroad shall inform the board of any such accident immediately after its occurrence. If the examination of the books and affairs of the corporation, or of witnesses in its employ, shall be necessary in the course of any examination or investigation into its affairs, the board, or a commissioner thereof, shall sit for such purpose in the city or town of this state where the principal business office of the corporation is situated if requested so to do by the corporation; but the board may require copies of books and papers, or abstracts thereof, to be sent to them to any part of this
160. Recommendations of board, where law has been violated. If, in the judgment of the board, it shall appear that
any railroad corporation has violated any constitutional provision or law, or neglects in any respect to comply with the terms of the law by which it was created, or unjustly discriminates in its charges for services, or usurps any authority not granted by law or refuses to comply with the provisions of any law, or with any recommendation of the board, it shall give notice thereof in writing to the corporation, and if the violation, neglect or refusal is continued after such notice the board may forthwith present the matter to the attorney-general, who shall take such proceedings thereon as may be necessary for the protection of the public interests.
161. Recommendations of board, when repairs or other changes are necessary.-If in the judgment of the board, after a careful personal examination of the same, it shall appear that repairs are necessary upon any railroad in the state, or that any addition to the rolling stock, or any addition to or change of the station or station-houses, or that additional terminal facilities shall be afforded, or that any change of the rates of fare for transporting freight or passengers or in the mode of operating the road or conducting its business, is reasonable and expedient in order to promote the security, convenience and accommodation of the public, the board shall give notice and information in writing to the corporation of the improvements and changes which they deem to be proper, and shall give such corporation an apportunity for a full hearing thereof, and if the corporation refuses or neglects to make such repairs, improvements and changes, within a reasonable time after such information and hearing, and fails to satisfy the board that no action is required to be taken by it, the board shall fix the time within which the same shall be made, which time it may extend. It shall be the duty of the corporation, person or persons owning or operating the railroad to comply with such decisions and recommendations of the board as are just and reasonable. If it fails to do so the board shall present the facts in the case to the attorney-general for his consideration and action, and shall also report them in its annual or in a special report to the legislature.
8162. Legal effect of recommendation and action of the board. No examination, request or advice of the board, nor any investigation or report made by it, shall have the effect to impair in any manner or degree the legal rights, duties or obligations of any railroad corporation, or its legal liabilities for the consequence
The Board of Railroad Commissioners.
of its acts, or of the neglect or mismanagement of any of its agents or employes. The supreme court at special term shall have power in its discretion, in all cases of decisions and recommendations by the board which are just and reasonable to compel compliance therewith by mandamus, subject to appeal to the general term and the court of appeals, and upon such appeal, the general term and the court of appeals may review and reverse upon the facts as well as the law. (As amended by chap. 676 of 1892.)
§ 163. Corporations must furnish necessary information.— Every railroad corporation shall, on request, furnish the board any necessary information required by them concerning the rates of fare for transporting freight and passengers upon its road and other roads with which its business is connected, and the condition, management and operation of its road, and shall, on request, furnish to the board copies of all contracts and agreements, leases or other engagements entered into by it with any person or corporation. The commissioners shall not give publicity to such information, contracts, agreements, leases or other engagements, if, in their judgment, the public interests do not require it, or the welfare and prosperity of railroad corporations of the state might be thereby injuriously affected.
§ 164. Attendance of witnesses and their fees.-All subpoenas shall be issued by the president of the board, or by any two members thereof, and may be served by any person of full age authorized by the board to serve the same. The fees of witnesses before the board shall be two dollars for each days attendance, and five cents for every mile of travel by the nearest generally traveled route in going to and returning from the place where the attendance of the witness is required, and the fees shall be audited and paid by the comptroller on the certificate of the secretary of the commission.
$165. Fees to be charged and collected by the board. The board shall charge and collect the following fees: For copies of papers and records not required to be certified, or otherwise authenticated by the board, ten cents for each folio of one hundred words; for certified copies of official documents filed in its office, fifteen cents for each folio, and one dollar for every certificate under seal affixed thereto; for each certified copy of the quarterly report made by a railroad corporation to the board, fifty cents; for each certified copy of the annual report of the board, one dollar and fifty cents; for certified copies of evidence and pro
ceedings before the board, fifteen cents for each folio. No fees shall be charged or collected for copies of papers, records or official documents, furnished to public officers for use in their official capacity, or for the annual reports of the board in the ordinary course of distribution. All fees charged and collected by the board belong to the people of the state, and shall be paid quarterly, accompanied with a detailed statement thereof into the treasury of the state to the credit of the general fund.
§ 166. Annual report of board.-The board shall make an annual report on or before the second Monday in January in each year, which shall contain:
1. A record of their meetings and an abstract of their proceedings during the preceding year.
2. The result of any examination or investigation conducted by them.
3. Such statements, facts and explanations as will disclose the actual workings of the system of railroad transportation in its bearing upon the business and prosperity of the state, and such suggestions as to the general railroad policy of the state, of the amendment of its laws, or the condition, affairs or conduct of any railroad corporation, as may seem to them appropriate.
4. Drafts of all bills submitted by them to the legislature and the reasons therefor.
5. Such tables and abstracts of all the reports of all the railroad corporations as they may deem expedient.
6. A statement in detail of the traveling expenses and disbursements of the commissioners, their clerks, marshal and experts.
Five hundred copies of the report with the reports of the railroad corporations of the state, in addition to the regular number prescribed by law, shall be printed as a public document of the state, bound in cloth for the use of the commissioners, and to be distributed by them in their discretion to railroad corporations and other persons interested therein.
§ 167. Certified copies of papers filed to be evidence.Copies of all official documents filed or deposited according to law in the office of the board, certified by a member of the board or the secretary thereof to be true copies of the originals under the official seal of the board, shall be evidence in like manner as the originals.
§ 168. Acts prohibited. No railroad commissioner shall, directly or indirectly, solicit or request from, or recommend to any
The Board of Railroad Commissioners.
railroad corporation, or any officer, attorney or agent thereof, the appointment of any person to any place or position nor shall any railroad corporation, its attorney or agent, offer any place, appointment or position or other consideration to such commissioners, or either of them, nor to any clerk or employ of the commissioners or of the board; neither shall the commissioners or either of them, nor their secretary, clerks, agents, employes or experts, accept, receive or request any pass from any railroad in this state, for themselves or for any other person, or any present, gift or gratuity of any kind from any railroad corporation; and the request or acceptance by them, or either of them, of any such place or position, pass, presents, gifts or other gratuity shall work a forfeiture of the office of the commissioner or commissioners, secretary, clerk or clerks, agent or agents, employe or employes, expert or experts, requesting or accepting the same.
§ 169. Salaries and expenses of members and officers of board. The annual salary of each commissioner shall be eight thousand dollars; of the secretary six thousand dollars; of the marshal fifteen hundred dollars, of the accountant and of the inspector such sum as the board may fix, not exceeding three thousand dollars each; of the clerical force such sums respectively as the board may fix. In the discharge of their official duties, the commissioners, their officers, clerks and all experts and agents whose services are deemed temporarily of importance, shall be transported over the railroads in this state free of charge upon passes signed by the secretary of state and the commissioners shall have reimbursed to them the necessary traveling expenses and disbursements of themselves, their officers, clerks and experts, not exceeding in the aggregate five hundred dollars per month. All salaries and disbursements shall be audited and allowed by the comptroller and paid monthly by the state treasurer upon the order of the comptroller out of the funds provided therefor. (As amended by chap. 534 of 1892.)
§ 170. Total annual expense to be borne by railroads.-The total annual expense of the board authorized by law, excepting only rent of offices and the cost of printing and binding the annual reports of the board as provided by law, shall not exceed sixty thousand dollars; and shall be borne by the several corporations owning or operating railroads according to their means, to be appointed by the comptroller, who, on or before July first, in each year, shall assess upon each of such corporations its pro