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COMMITTEE ON THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

ARTHUR CAPPER, Kansas, Chairman

WESLEY L. JONES, Washington.
ARTHUR R. GOULD, Maine.
JOHN J. BLAINE, Wisconsin.
ARTHUR H. VANDENBERG, Michigan.
HAMILTON F. KEAN, New Jersey.
DAVID BAIRD, JR., New Jersey.
JOHN M. ROBSION, Kentucky.

WILLIAM H. KING, Utah.
CARTER GLASS, Virginia.
ROYAL S. COPELAND, New York.
MILLARD E. TYDINGS, Maryland.
COLE L. BLEASE, South Carolina.

WILLIAM H. SOUI ERS. Cler
JAMES RING, Assistani Clerk

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AMENDMENTS TO PUBLIC UTILITIES ACT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CONCERNING COURT PROCEDURE

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 1930

UNITED STATES SENATE,

COMMITTEE ON THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,

Washington, D. C.

The committee met, pursuant to call, at 3 o'clock p. m., in the committee room, Capitol Building, Senator Arthur Capper (chairman) presiding.

Present: Senators Capper (chairman), Blaine, Glass, Blease, Robsion, Baird, and Kean.

The CHAIRMAN. We are here to consider Senate bill 3558, which was introduced a week ago at the request of the Public Utilities Commission.

(Senate bill No. 3558 is here printed in full as follows:)

[S. 3558, Seventy-first Congress, second session]

A BILL To amend section 8 of the act making appropriations to provide for the expenses of the government of the District of Columbia for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1914, and for other purposes, approved March 4, 1913

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of American in Congress assembled, That paragraphs 64, 65, 66, 67, and 68 of section 8 of the act making appropriations to provide for the expenses of the government of the District of Columbia for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1914, and for other purposes, approved March 4, 1913 (Thirty-seventh United States Statutes), are amended to read as follows:

"PAR. 64. That any public utility or any person or corporation affected by an order or decision of the commission fixing any rate, toll, charge, schedule, joint rate, regulation, requirement, act, service, or other thing complained of (not including a valuation) may commence an action or proceeding in the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia to review any such order or decision. The answer of the commission in any such action or proceeding shall be filed within thirty days from the date upon which such proceeding is commenced. In any such action or proceeding the findings of the commission as to the facts upon which such order or decision is based shall be conclusive, if such findings are supported by evidence and if such order or decision is not confiscatory.

"PAR. 65. That all such proceedings shall have precedence over any civil cause of a different nature pending in such court, and the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia shall always be deemed open for the trial thereof and the same shall be tried and determined in the same manner as other actions and proceedings in equity in such court, except as herein provided. The judgment and decree of the court shall be final, except that an appeal therefrom may be taken to the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia and the judgment and decree on such appeal shall be subject to review by the Supreme Court of the United States upon certiorari as provided in section 240 of the Judicial Code. "The commission may suspend the decision or order appealed from for such period as it may deem fair and reasonable under the circumstances, but no appeal, unless the court or the commission shall so order, shall operate to stay any order or decision of the commission. Neither the commission, nor any of its members, officers, agents, or employees shall be taxed with any costs, or be

required to give any supersedas, bond, or security for costs or damages on any appeal, or be liable to suit for any judgment or decree for damage, loss, or injury claimed to have been sustained by any public utility or any person or corporation affected by an order or decision of the commission, or required in any case to make any deposit for costs, or to pay for any service to the clerk of any court, or to the marshal of the United States.

"PAR. 66. That the method of review of the orders and decisions of the commission provided in paragraphs 64 and 65 shall be exclusive; and, upon such review, such court shall have the power to affirm, or, if the decision or order of the commission is not in accordance with law, to modify or to reverse such order or decision in the manner following:

"(1) If, upon the trial of such action or proceeding, evidence shall be introduced which is found by the court to be different from that offered upon the hearing before the commission, or additional thereto, the court, before proceeding to render judgment unless the parties to such action or proceeding stipulate in writing to the contrary, shall transmit a copy of such evidence to the commission and shall stay further proceedings in said action for fifteen days from the date of such transmission.

"(2) Upon the receipt of such evidence the commission shall consider the same and may modify or reverse its order or decision relating to such rate, toll, charge, schedule, joint rate, regulation, requirement, act, service, or other thing complained of (not including a valuation) in said action or proceeding, and shall report its action thereon to said court within ten days from the receipt of such evidence.

"PAR. 67. If the commission shall reverse its order or decision complained of, the action or proceeding shall be dismissed; if it shall modify the same, such modified order or decision shall take the place of the original order or decision complained of, and judgment shall be rendered thereon as though made by the commission in the first instance. If the original order or decision shall not be reversed or modified by the commission judgment shall be rendered upon such original order.

"PAR. 68. That every action or proceeding to modify or reverse an order or decision of the commission shall be commenced within sixty days after the entry of such order or decision."

The CHAIRMAN. I believe it probably would be well for General Patrick, or Mr. Hartman, to make a short statement as to what is contemplated in this proposed legislation, and as to why it is asked at this time.

STATEMENT OF HARLEIGH HARTMAN, REPRESENTING THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Mr. HARTMAN. The bill merely provides that on appeal from a decision of the Public Utilities Commission, except in cases involving a constitutional question, the courts shall not have the right to review a question of fact or to substitute its judgment for that of the commission.

The old section 66 of the public utilities act with respect to injunctions is left out in the process of the amendment. The principal effect is that valuation case could not be reviewed by the court until it had reached the stage where confiscation could be alleged. That is one point of disagreement between the commission and the carriers, and the other is with respect to the review of a question of fact. I think that states the issues.

Senator BLAINE. Mr. Hartman, I call your attention to this, and probably you will want to modify your statement slightly:

In any such action or proceeding the findings of the commission as to the facts upon which such order or decision is based shall be conclusive, if such findings are supported by evidence,

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