TITLE 57

UTILITY REGULATION

 

Chapter     756.     Public Utility Commission

                  757.     Utility Regulation Generally

                  758.     Utility Rights of Way and Territory Allocation; Cogeneration

                  759.     Telecommunications Utility Regulation

                  772.     Rights of Way for Public Uses

                  774.     Citizens’ Utility Board

_______________

 

Chapter 756 — Public Utility Commission

 

ORS sections in this chapter were amended or repealed by the Legislative Assembly during its 2014 regular session. See the table of ORS sections amended or repealed during the 2014 regular session: 2014 A&R Tables

 

 

2013 EDITION

 

 

PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION

 

UTILITY REGULATION

 

GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

756.010     Definitions

 

COMMISSION POWERS AND DUTIES

 

(Generally)

 

756.014     Public Utility Commission; appointment; confirmation; term; removal

 

756.016     Quorum; seal; individual commissioner authorized to act for commission

 

756.022     Oath of office

 

756.026     Prohibited interests of commissioner and family

 

756.028     Employee statements regarding prohibited interests

 

756.032     Employee dismissal for retention of prohibited interests or failure to file statements

 

756.034     Intent of prohibited interest provisions

 

756.036     Duties and functions

 

756.037     Commission authority to provide assistance, information, resources and advice to Legislative Assembly

 

756.040     General powers

 

756.045     Employing legal counsel

 

756.047     Authority of commission to require fingerprints

 

756.050     Office, office supplies and sessions of commission

 

756.055     Delegation of authority

 

756.060     Authority to adopt rules and regulations

 

756.062     Substantial compliance with laws adequate for commission activities; construction of laws generally

 

756.068     Service of notice or other legal process

 

(Investigatory Powers)

 

756.070     Investigating management of utilities

 

756.075     Right of entry for examination of equipment, records or employees; use of findings

 

756.090     Maintaining and producing records; expenses of examining out-of-state records

 

756.105     Duty to furnish information to commission

 

756.115     Failure to furnish requested information

 

756.125     Interference with commission equipment

 

ENFORCEMENT AND REMEDIES

 

756.160     Enforcement of statutes and ordinances relating to utilities

 

756.180     Enforcing utility laws

 

756.185     Right to recover for wrongs and omissions; treble damages

 

756.200     Effect of utility laws on common law and other statutory rights of action, duties and liabilities

 

FUNDS AND FEES

 

756.305     Public Utility Commission Account

 

756.310     Annual fees payable by utilities and telecommunications providers

 

756.320     Statements accompanying fees; audit and refunding by commission

 

756.325     Distribution of information filed with commission; fees; rules

 

756.350     Penalty for failure to pay fees; action to collect unpaid fees and penalties

 

756.360     Disposal and use of fees and penalties collected

 

DECLARATORY RULINGS

 

756.450     Declaratory rulings

 

COMPLAINT AND INVESTIGATION PROCEDURE

 

756.500     Complaint; persons entitled to file; contents; amendments

 

756.512     Notice of complaint to defendant; responsive pleadings; setting cause for hearing

 

756.515     Investigations and hearings on commission’s own motion; hearings for aggrieved persons

 

HEARING PROCEDURE

 

756.518     Procedures applicable to all matters before commission; oral hearing; rules

 

756.521     Public hearings; record required; furnishing transcripts

 

756.525     Parties to proceedings

 

756.528     Segregation of issues

 

756.534     Place of hearings; continuation

 

756.538     Taking and use of depositions; rules

 

756.543     Issuance of subpoenas; failure to comply

 

756.549     Self-incrimination of witnesses in commission proceedings

 

756.552     Self-incrimination of witnesses in court proceedings

 

756.555     Powers of commission at hearings

 

756.558     Taking of evidence; findings; issuance of orders; providing copies of orders

 

756.561     Rehearing; reconsideration

 

756.565     Prima facie effect of commission actions

 

756.568     Rescission, suspension and amendment of orders

 

756.572     Effect of orders on successors in interest

 

756.575     Notice of acceptance of terms of orders

 

756.610     Judicial review

 

PENALTIES

 

756.990     Penalties

 

GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

      756.010 Definitions. As used in ORS chapters 756, 757, 758 and 759, except as otherwise specifically provided or unless the context requires otherwise:

      (1) “Commission” means the Public Utility Commission of Oregon.

      (2) “Commissioner” means a member of the Public Utility Commission of Oregon.

      (3) “Customer” includes the patrons, passengers, shippers, subscribers, users of the service and consumers of the product of a public utility or telecommunications utility.

      (4) “Municipality” means any city, municipal corporation or quasi-municipal corporation.

      (5) “Person” includes individuals, joint ventures, partnerships, corporations and associations or their officers, employees, agents, lessees, assignees, trustees or receivers.

      (6) “Public utility” has the meaning given that term in ORS 757.005.

      (7) “Rate” means any fare, charge, joint rate, schedule or groups of rates or other remuneration or compensation for service.

      (8) “Service” is used in its broadest and most inclusive sense and includes equipment and facilities related to providing the service or the product served.

      (9) “Telecommunications utility” has the meaning given that term in ORS 759.005. [Amended by 1971 c.655 §2; 1973 c.776 §14; 1977 c.337 §1; 1985 c.834 §6; 1987 c.447 §75; 1991 c.841 §1; 1995 c.733 §52]

 

COMMISSION POWERS AND DUTIES

 

(Generally)

 

      756.014 Public Utility Commission; appointment; confirmation; term; removal. (1) There is created the Public Utility Commission of Oregon. The commission shall be composed of three members appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate pursuant to section 4, Article III of the Oregon Constitution. No more than two of such members shall be of the same political party.

      (2) Each commissioner shall hold office for the term of four years. A commissioner shall hold office until a successor has been appointed and qualified. The chairperson shall be designated by the Governor and shall serve as chairperson at the pleasure of the Governor.

      (3) Any vacancy occurring in the office of commissioner shall be filled by appointment by the Governor to hold office for the balance of the unexpired term.

      (4) The Governor may at any time remove a commissioner for any cause deemed by the Governor sufficient. Before such removal the Governor shall give the commissioner a copy of the charges, and shall fix a time when the commissioner can be heard, which shall not be less than 10 days thereafter. The hearing shall be open to the public. If the commissioner is removed, the Governor shall file in the office of the Secretary of State a complete statement of all charges made against the commissioner, and the findings thereon with a record of the proceedings. Such power of removal is absolute, and there is no right of review of the same in any court. [1985 c.834 §2; 1999 c.1102 §1]

 

      756.016 Quorum; seal; individual commissioner authorized to act for commission. (1) A majority of the commissioners shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of any business, for the performance of any duty or for the exercise of any power of the Public Utility Commission.

      (2) The commission shall have a seal with the words “Public Utility Commission of Oregon” and such other design as the commission may prescribe engraved thereon, by which the proceedings of the commission shall be authenticated and of which the courts shall take judicial notice.

      (3) Any investigation, inquiry or hearing which the commission has power to undertake or to hold may be undertaken or held by or before any commissioner designated by order of the commission. Except as provided in ORS 756.055, all investigations, inquiries and hearings so held shall be conducted as though by the full commission with such commissioner empowered to exercise all the powers of the commission with respect thereto. [1985 c.834 §§3,4,5]

 

      756.020 [Amended by 1973 c.792 §48; 1983 c.540 §1; repealed by 1985 c.834 §12]

 

      756.022 Oath of office. Before entering upon the duties of office, each commissioner shall take and subscribe to an oath or affirmation to support the Constitution of the United States and of this state, and to faithfully and honestly discharge the duties of office. The oath shall be filed with the Secretary of State. [1971 c.655 §3; 1985 c.834 §7]

 

      756.026 Prohibited interests of commissioner and family. (1) No member of the Public Utility Commission shall:

      (a) Hold any other office of profit;

      (b) Hold any office or position under any political committee or party;

      (c) Hold any pecuniary interest in any business entity conducting operations which if conducted in this state would be subject to the commission’s regulatory jurisdiction; or

      (d) Hold any pecuniary interest in, have any contract of employment with, or have any substantial voluntary transactions with any business or activity subject to the commission’s regulatory jurisdiction.

      (2) The prohibitions of subsection (1)(c) and (d) of this section apply to the spouse and minor children of each commissioner.

      (3) If the Governor determines that any commissioner has done any act prohibited by subsection (1) of this section, or that a commissioner’s spouse or a minor child has done any act prohibited by subsection (2) of this section, the Governor shall remove the commissioner in the manner provided in ORS 756.014 (4).

      (4) Subsection (3) of this section does not apply to a commissioner if the commissioner or the commissioner’s spouse or a minor child acquires any pecuniary interest prohibited by subsection (1) or (2) of this section, advises the Governor of such acquisition, and causes divestiture of such interest within the time specified by the Governor.

      (5) For purposes of subsection (1) of this section, a business or activity shall not be considered subject to the commission’s regulatory jurisdiction solely because the business or activity is a private carrier as defined by ORS 825.005. [1971 c.655 §4; 1985 c.834 §8; 1987 c.123 §1; 1995 c.306 §41]

 

      756.028 Employee statements regarding prohibited interests. Each employee of the Public Utility Commission shall file with the commission a statement regarding holdings of the employee and the holdings of the employee’s spouse and minor children of any pecuniary interest in any business or activity subject to the commission’s regulatory jurisdiction. Supplementary statements shall be filed as such pecuniary interests are acquired or divested. The statements shall be in such form as the commission prescribes. If the commission determines that an employee or spouse or minor child of the employee holds any such pecuniary interest that may interfere with the impartial discharge of the employee’s duties, the commission shall order divestiture of the interest. [1971 c.655 §5]

 

      756.030 [Repealed by 1971 c.655 §250]

 

      756.032 Employee dismissal for retention of prohibited interests or failure to file statements. (1) The Public Utility Commission shall dismiss an employee:

      (a) Who fails to file the statement required by ORS 756.028 before the 11th day after the date of employment.

      (b) Who fails to file the supplementary statement required by ORS 756.028 before the 11th day after the acquisition of a pecuniary interest.

      (c) Who fails to cause divestiture of a pecuniary interest within the time specified in an order issued pursuant to ORS 756.028.

      (2) Dismissal of an employee under subsection (1) of this section is subject to the procedure and appeal provided in ORS 240.555 and 240.560. An employee so dismissed is eligible for reemployment. [1971 c.655 §6; 1979 c.468 §34; 2003 c.14 §452]

 

      756.034 Intent of prohibited interest provisions. Nothing in ORS 756.022 to 756.032 is intended to authorize any act otherwise prohibited by law. [1971 c.655 §7]

 

      756.036 Duties and functions. (1) The Public Utility Commission may:

      (a) Organize and reorganize the office of the Public Utility Commission in the manner that it considers necessary to properly discharge the responsibilities of the Public Utility Commission.

      (b) Contract for or procure on a fee or part-time basis, or both, such experts, technical or other professional services as it may require for the discharge of its duties.

      (c) Obtain such other services as it considers necessary or desirable.

      (d) Participate in organizations of regional and national utility commissions.

      (e) Appoint advisory committees. A member of an advisory committee so appointed shall receive no compensation for services as a member. Subject to any applicable law regulating travel and other expenses of state officers and employees, the member shall receive actual and necessary travel and other expenses incurred in the performance of official duties.

      (2) Subject to any applicable law regulating travel and other expenses of state officers and employees, the commissioners and the officers and employees of the commission shall be reimbursed for such reasonable and necessary travel and other expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties.

      (3) The chairperson of the commission appointed under ORS 756.014 shall serve as the administrative head of the commission and has the power to:

      (a) With the consent of one or more of the other members of the commission, appoint and employ all subordinate officers and employees, including, but not limited to, deputies, assistants, engineers, examiners, accountants, auditors, inspectors and clerical personnel, prescribe their duties and fix their compensation, subject to the State Personnel Relations Law.

      (b) Prescribe internal policies and procedures for the government of the commission, the conduct of its employees, the assignment and performance of its business and the custody, use and preservation of its records, papers and property in a manner consistent with applicable law. [1971 c.655 §8; 1985 c.834 §9; 1999 c.1102 §2; 2003 c.14 §453]

 

      756.037 Commission authority to provide assistance, information, resources and advice to Legislative Assembly. The Public Utility Commission and commission staff may provide such assistance to the Legislative Assembly and its committees as required by the Legislative Assembly for the performance of its duties, and may furnish to the Legislative Assembly and its committees such information, resources and advice as the members of the Legislative Assembly consider necessary for the performance of legislative duties. [2001 c.558 §2]

 

      756.040 General powers. (1) In addition to the powers and duties now or hereafter transferred to or vested in the Public Utility Commission, the commission shall represent the customers of any public utility or telecommunications utility and the public generally in all controversies respecting rates, valuations, service and all matters of which the commission has jurisdiction. In respect thereof the commission shall make use of the jurisdiction and powers of the office to protect such customers, and the public generally, from unjust and unreasonable exactions and practices and to obtain for them adequate service at fair and reasonable rates. The commission shall balance the interests of the utility investor and the consumer in establishing fair and reasonable rates. Rates are fair and reasonable for the purposes of this subsection if the rates provide adequate revenue both for operating expenses of the public utility or telecommunications utility and for capital costs of the utility, with a return to the equity holder that is:

      (a) Commensurate with the return on investments in other enterprises having corresponding risks; and

      (b) Sufficient to ensure confidence in the financial integrity of the utility, allowing the utility to maintain its credit and attract capital.

      (2) The commission is vested with power and jurisdiction to supervise and regulate every public utility and telecommunications utility in this state, and to do all things necessary and convenient in the exercise of such power and jurisdiction.

      (3) The commission may participate in any proceeding before any public officer, commission or body of the United States or any state for the purpose of representing the public generally and the customers of the services of any public utility or telecommunications utility operating or providing service to or within this state.

      (4) The commission may make joint investigations, hold joint hearings within or without this state and issue concurrent orders in conjunction or concurrence with any official, board, commission or agency of any state or of the United States. [Amended by 1961 c.467 §1; 1971 c.655 §9; 1973 c.776 §15; 1987 c.447 §76; 1995 c.733 §53; 2001 c.569 §1]

 

      756.045 Employing legal counsel. Upon request by the Public Utility Commission, the Attorney General shall furnish to the commission such attorneys as the commission finds necessary. [Formerly 756.150]

 

      756.047 Authority of commission to require fingerprints. For the purpose of requesting a state or nationwide criminal records check under ORS 181.534, the Public Utility Commission may require the fingerprints of a person who:

      (1)(a) Is employed or applying for employment by the commission; or

      (b) Provides services or seeks to provide services to the commission as a contractor or volunteer; and

      (2) Is, or will be, working or providing services in a position:

      (a) In which the person has access to chemicals or hazardous materials, to facilities in which chemicals and hazardous materials are present or to information regarding the transportation of chemical or hazardous materials;

      (b) In which the person inspects gas or electrical lines or facilities;

      (c) In which the person has access to critical infrastructure or security-sensitive facilities or information; or

      (d) That has fiscal, payroll or purchasing responsibilities as one of the position’s primary responsibilities. [2005 c.730 §69]

 

      Note: 756.047 was enacted into law by the Legislative Assembly but was not added to or made a part of ORS chapter 756 or any series therein by legislative action. See Preface to Oregon Revised Statutes for further explanation.

 

      756.050 Office, office supplies and sessions of commission. (1) The Public Utility Commission shall keep office at the capital and shall be provided with suitable office quarters under ORS 276.004. Necessary office furniture, supplies, stationery, books, periodicals and maps shall be furnished, and all necessary expenses therefor shall be audited and paid as other state expenses are audited and paid.

      (2) The commission may hold sessions and maintain offices at places other than the capital for the more convenient and efficient performance of the duties imposed upon the commission by law, and shall upon request be provided by the county court or board of county commissioners of any county in the state with suitable rooms for offices and hearings. [Amended by 1969 c.706 §64g; 1971 c.655 §11]

 

      756.055 Delegation of authority. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, the Public Utility Commission may designate by order or rule any commissioner or any named employee or category of employees who shall have authority to exercise any of the duties and powers imposed upon the commission by law. The official act of any commissioner or employee so exercising any such duties or powers is considered to be an official act of the commission.

      (2) The commission may not delegate to any commissioner, named employee or category of employees under subsection (1) of this section the authority to:

      (a) Sign an interim or final order after hearing;

      (b) Sign any order upon any investigation the commission causes to be initiated;

      (c) Sign an order that makes effective a rule;

      (d) Enter orders on reconsideration or following rehearing; or

      (e) Grant immunity from prosecution, forfeiture or penalty. [1971 c.655 §12; 1985 c.834 §10]

 

      756.060 Authority to adopt rules and regulations. The Public Utility Commission may adopt and amend reasonable and proper rules and regulations relative to all statutes administered by the commission and may adopt and publish reasonable and proper rules to govern proceedings and to regulate the mode and manner of all investigations and hearings of public utilities and telecommunications utilities and other parties before the commission. [Amended by 1971 c.655 §13; 1973 c.776 §16; 1987 c.447 §77; 1995 c.733 §54]

 

      756.062 Substantial compliance with laws adequate for commission activities; construction of laws generally. (1) A substantial compliance with the requirements of the laws administered by the Public Utility Commission is sufficient to give effect to all the 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.

      (2) The provisions of such laws shall be liberally construed in a manner consistent with the directives of ORS 756.040 (1) to promote the public welfare, efficient facilities and substantial justice between customers and public and telecommunications utilities. [Formerly 757.025; 1973 c.776 §17; 1987 c.447 §78; 1995 c.733 §55; 2001 c.569 §2]

 

      756.064 [1971 c.655 §15; 1973 c.776 §18; repealed by 1975 c.605 §33]

 

      756.068 Service of notice or other legal process. The service or delivery of any notice, order, form or other document or legal process required to be made by the Public Utility Commission may be made by mail. If by mail, service or delivery is made when the required material is deposited in the post office, in a sealed envelope with postage paid, addressed to the person on whom it is to be served or delivered, at the address as it last appears in the records of the commission. [1971 c.655 §16]

 

(Investigatory Powers)

 

      756.070 Investigating management of utilities. The Public Utility Commission may inquire into the management of the business of all public utilities and telecommunications utilities and shall keep informed as to the manner and method in which they are conducted and has the right to obtain from any public utility or telecommunications utility all necessary information to enable the commission to perform duties. [Amended by 1971 c.655 §17; 1973 c.776 §19; 1987 c.447 §70; 1995 c.733 §56]

 

      756.075 Right of entry for examination of equipment, records or employees; use of findings. (1) The Public Utility Commission or authorized representatives may enter upon any premises, or any equipment or facilities operated or occupied by any public utility or telecommunications utility for the purpose of making any inspection, examination or test reasonably required in the administration of ORS chapter 756, 757, 758 or 759 and to set up and use on such premises equipment or facilities any apparatus and appliances and occupy reasonable space therefor.

      (2) The commission or authorized representatives shall, upon demand, have the right to inspect the books, accounts, papers, records and memoranda of any public utility or telecommunications utility and to examine under oath any officer, agent or employee of such public utility or telecommunications utility in relation to its business and affairs.

      (3) Any person who on behalf of the commission makes demand of a public utility or telecommunications utility for an examination, inspection or test shall, upon request therefor, produce a certificate under the seal of the commission showing authority to make such examination, inspection or test.

      (4) Nothing in this section authorizes the commission to use any information developed thereunder for any purpose inconsistent with any statute administered by the commission or to make a disclosure thereof for other than regulatory purposes. [Formerly 757.260; 1973 c.776 §20; 1987 c.447 §80; 1995 c.733 §57]

 

      756.080 [Repealed by 1971 c.655 §250]

 

      756.090 Maintaining and producing records; expenses of examining out-of-state records. (1) The Public Utility Commission may require by rule, or by order or subpoena to be served on any public utility or telecommunications utility the maintaining within this state or the production within this state at such time and place as the commission may designate, of any books, accounts, papers or records kept by such public utility or telecommunications utility in any office or place within or without this state, or verified copies in lieu thereof, if the commission so orders, in order that an examination thereof may be made by the commission or under direction of the commission.

      (2) When a public utility or telecommunications utility keeps and maintains its books, accounts, papers or records outside the state, the commission may examine such documents and shall be reimbursed by the public utility or telecommunications utility for all expenses incurred in making such out-of-state examination. [Amended by 1971 c.655 §19; 1973 c.776 §21; 1987 c.447 §81; 1995 c.733 §58]

 

      756.100 [Repealed by 1953 c.25 §2]

 

      756.105 Duty to furnish information to commission. (1) Every public utility or telecommunications utility shall furnish to the Public Utility Commission all information required by the commission to carry into effect the provisions of ORS chapters 756, 757, 758 and 759 and shall make specific answers to all questions submitted by the commission.

      (2) If a public utility or telecommunications utility is unable to furnish any information required under subsection (1) of this section for any reason beyond its control, it is a good and sufficient reason for such failure. The answer or information shall be verified under oath and returned to the commission at the commission’s office within the period fixed by the commission. [Formerly 757.115; 1973 c.776 §22; 1987 c.447 §82; 1995 c.733 §59]

 

      756.110 [Repealed by 1953 c.25 §2]

 

      756.115 Failure to furnish requested information. No officer, agent or employee of any public utility, or telecommunications utility shall:

      (1) Fail or refuse to fill out and return any forms required by the Public Utility Commission;

      (2) Fail or refuse to answer any question therein propounded;

      (3) Knowingly or willfully give a false answer to any such question or evade the answer to any such question where the fact inquired of is within the person’s knowledge;

      (4) Upon proper demand, fail or refuse to exhibit to the commission or any person authorized to examine the same, any book, paper, account, record or memorandum of such public utility or telecommunications utility which is in possession or under the control of the person;

      (5) Fail to properly use and keep a system of accounting or any part thereof, as prescribed by the commission; or

      (6) Refuse to do any act or thing in connection with such system of accounting when so directed by the commission or authorized representative. [Formerly 757.180; 1973 c.776 §23; 1987 c.447 §83; 1995 c.733 §60]

 

      756.120 [Repealed by 1971 c.655 §250]

 

      756.125 Interference with commission equipment. No person shall destroy, injure or interfere with any apparatus or appliance owned or operated by or in charge of the Public Utility Commission, or any apparatus or appliance sealed by the commission. [Formerly 757.340]

 

      756.130 [Repealed by 1971 c.655 §250]

 

      756.140 [Repealed by 1971 c.655 §250]

 

      756.150 [Amended by 1971 c.655 §10; renumbered 756.045]

 

ENFORCEMENT AND REMEDIES

 

      756.160 Enforcement of statutes and ordinances relating to utilities. (1) The Public Utility Commission shall inquire into any neglect or violation of any law of this state or any law or ordinance of any municipality thereof relating to public utilities and telecommunications utilities by any public utility or telecommunications utility doing business therein, its officers, agents or employees and shall enforce all laws of this state relating to public utilities and telecommunications utilities and may enforce all such laws and ordinances of a municipality. The commission shall report all violations of any such laws or ordinances to the Attorney General.

      (2) The Attorney General, district attorney of each county, all state, county and city police officers and police officers commissioned by a university under ORS 352.383 or 353.125 shall assist the commission in the administration and enforcement of all laws administered by the commission, and they, as well as assistants and employees of the commission, shall inform against and diligently prosecute all persons whom they have reasonable cause to believe guilty of violation of any such laws or of the rules, regulations, orders, decisions or requirements of the commission made pursuant thereto.

      (3) Upon the request of the commission, the Attorney General or the district attorney of the proper county shall aid in any investigation, hearing or trial, and shall institute and prosecute all necessary suits, actions or proceedings for the enforcement of those laws and ordinances referred to in subsection (1) of this section.

      (4) Any forfeiture or penalty provided for in any law administered by the commission shall be recovered by an action brought thereon in the name of the State of Oregon in any court of appropriate jurisdiction. [Amended by 1971 c.655 §23; 1973 c.776 §24; 1987 c.447 §84; 1995 c.733 §61; 2011 c.506 §46; 2013 c.180 §51]

 

      756.170 [Repealed by 1971 c.655 §250]

 

      756.180 Enforcing utility laws. (1) Whenever it appears to the Public Utility Commission that any public utility or telecommunications utility or any other person subject to the jurisdiction of the commission is engaged or about to engage in any acts or practices which constitute a violation of any statute administered by the commission, or any rule, regulation, requirement, order, term or condition issued thereunder, the commission may apply to any circuit court of the state where such public utility or telecommunications utility or other person subject to the jurisdiction of the commission operates for the enforcement of such statute, rule, regulation, requirement, order, term or condition.

      (2) Such court, without bond, has jurisdiction to enforce obedience thereto by injunction, or by other processes, mandatory or otherwise, restraining such public utility or telecommunications utility or any other person subject to the jurisdiction of the commission, or its officers, agents, employees and representatives from further violations of such statute, rule, regulation, requirement, order, term or condition, and enjoining upon them obedience thereto.

      (3) The provisions of this section are in addition to and not in lieu of any other enforcement provisions contained in any statute administered by the commission. [Amended by 1971 c.655 §24; 1973 c.232 §5; 1973 c.776 §25; 1987 c.447 §85; 1995 c.733 §62]

 

      756.185 Right to recover for wrongs and omissions; treble damages. (1) Any public utility which does, or causes or permits to be done, any matter, act or thing prohibited by ORS chapter 756, 757 or 758 or omits to do any act, matter or thing required to be done by such statutes, is liable to the person injured thereby in the amount of damages sustained in consequence of such violation. If the party seeking damages alleges and proves that the wrong or omission was the result of gross negligence or willful misconduct, the public utility is liable to the person injured thereby in treble the amount of damages sustained in consequence of the violation. Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, the court may award reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party in an action under this section.

      (2) The court may not award attorney fees to a prevailing defendant under the provisions of subsection (1) of this section if the action under this section is maintained as a class action pursuant to ORCP 32.

      (3) Any recovery under this section does not affect recovery by the state of the penalty, forfeiture or fine prescribed for such violation.

      (4) This section does not apply with respect to the liability of any public utility for personal injury or property damage. [Formerly 757.335; 1973 c.776 §26; 1981 c.856 §1; 1981 c.897 §104a; 1987 c.447 §86; 1989 c.827 §1; 1995 c.696 §48; 1995 c.733 §63]

 

      756.190 [Repealed by 1971 c.655 §250]

 

      756.200 Effect of utility laws on common law and other statutory rights of action, duties and liabilities. (1) The remedies and enforcement procedures provided in ORS chapters 756, 757, 758 and 759 do not release or waive any right of action by the state or by any person for any right, penalty or forfeiture which may arise under any law of this state or under an ordinance of any municipality thereof.

      (2) All penalties and forfeiture accruing under said statutes and ordinances are cumulative and a suit for and recovery of one, shall not be a bar to the recovery of any other penalty.

      (3) The duties and liabilities of the public utilities or telecommunications utilities shall be the same as are prescribed by the common law, and the remedies against them the same, except where otherwise provided by the Constitution or statutes of this state, and the provisions of ORS chapters 756, 757, 758 and 759 are cumulative thereto. [Formerly 760.045; 1973 c.776 §27; 1987 c.447 §87; 1995 c.733 §64]

 

FUNDS AND FEES

 

      756.305 Public Utility Commission Account. (1) There hereby is established in the General Fund an account to be known as the Public Utility Commission Account. Except as limited by ORS 756.360, all moneys, without regard to their sources, credited to the Public Utility Commission Account hereby are appropriated continuously to the Public Utility Commission for the payment of any and all of the expenses of the Public Utility Commission.

      (2) The Public Utility Commission shall keep a record of all moneys deposited in the Public Utility Commission Account. The record shall indicate by separate cumulative accounts the source from which the moneys are derived and the individual activity or program against which each withdrawal is charged. [1957 c.459 §1; 1971 c.655 §27; 1997 c.249 §220]

 

      756.310 Annual fees payable by utilities and telecommunications providers. (1) Subject to the provisions of subsections (3) and (4) of this section, each public utility and telecommunications provider shall pay a fee to the Public Utility Commission in each calendar year. The amount of the fee shall equal the amount that the commission finds and determines to be necessary, together with the amount of all other fees paid or payable to the commission by such public utilities and telecommunications providers in the current calendar year, to defray the costs of performing the duties imposed by law upon the commission with respect to the public utilities and telecommunications providers, and to pay those amounts as may be necessary to obtain matching funds to implement the program referred to in ORS 824.058.

      (2) In each calendar year the percentage rate of the fee required to be paid by public utilities shall be determined by orders entered by the commission on or after March 1 of each year. Notice of the orders shall be given to each utility. The utility shall pay to the commission the fee or portion thereof so computed upon the date specified in the notice. The date of payment shall be at least 15 days after the date of mailing of the notice.

      (3) The fee payable under subsection (1) of this section by each public utility may not be less than $10, or more than twenty-five hundredths of one percent of the utility’s gross operating revenues derived within this state in the preceding calendar year. For the purpose of this subsection, the gross operating revenues of an electric company do not include revenues from sales of power for resale to the extent that the revenues from those sales exceed an amount equal to 25 percent of the total revenues received by the electric company from sales of electricity to end users in the preceding calendar year.

      (4)(a) For a telecommunications provider, the fee payable under subsection (1) of this section shall be a percentage amount not to exceed twenty-five hundredths of one percent of the provider’s gross retail intrastate revenue for each calendar year, but may not be less than $100. The percentage amount shall be determined by order of the commission not less than 60 days prior to the calendar year upon which the fee is based. The fee shall be payable to the commission not later than April 1 of the year following that calendar year.

      (b) A telecommunications provider shall collect the fee payable under subsection (1) of this section by charging an apportioned amount to each of the provider’s retail customers. The amount of the charge shall be described on the retail customer’s bill in a manner determined by the provider.

      (c) In the event a telecommunications utility has an approved rate that includes the fee required under subsection (1) of this section and separately charges retail customers for the fee described in this section, at the time the utility begins collecting the charge the utility shall file with the commission a rate schedule reducing rates in an amount projected to equal the amount separately charged to customers.

      (5) The commission may use any of its investigatory and enforcement powers provided under this chapter for the purpose of administering and enforcing the provisions of this section.

      (6) As used in this section:

      (a) “Electric company” means any entity that is a public utility under ORS 757.005 that is engaged in the business of distributing electricity to retail electric customers in Oregon.

      (b) “Retail customer” does not include a purchaser of intrastate telecommunications services who is a telecommunications provider, telecommunications cooperative, interexchange carrier or radio common carrier.

      (c) “Telecommunications provider” means any entity that is a telecommunications utility or a competitive telecommunications provider as defined in ORS 759.005. [Amended by 1953 c.10 §2; 1957 c.464 §1; 1959 c.355 §1; 1961 c.109 §1; 1963 c.89 §1; 1971 c.132 §1; 1973 c.170 §1; 1975 c.127 §1; 1985 c.293 §1; 1987 c.439 §1; 1987 c.447 §88; 1991 c.841 §2; 1995 c.733 §65; 1997 c.826 §8; 1999 c.339 §1; 2007 c.245 §1]

 

      756.315 [1989 c.1041 §2; repealed by 1991 c.841 §4]

 

      756.320 Statements accompanying fees; audit and refunding by commission. Payment of each fee or portion thereof provided for in ORS 756.310 shall be accompanied by a statement verified by the public utility or telecommunications provider involved, showing the basis upon which the fee or portion thereof is computed. This statement shall be in such form and detail as the Public Utility Commission shall prescribe and shall be subject to audit by the commission. The commission may refund any overpayment of any such fee in the same manner as other claims and expenses of the commission are payable as provided by law. [Amended by 1987 c.447 §89; 1995 c.733 §66; 1997 c.826 §9; 1999 c.339 §2]

 

      756.325 Distribution of information filed with commission; fees; rules. (1) The Public Utility Commission may by rule prescribe for the free distribution for public information or educational purposes or applicable charge for any blank forms, transcript, document, order, statistical data or publication prepared by and on file in the office of the commission. In no event shall the fee exceed the cost of preparing, reproducing and distributing such blank forms, transcript, document, order, statistical data or publication.

      (2) In the ordinary course of distribution, no fee shall be charged or collected for copies of published documents furnished to public officers for use in their official capacity, or for annual reports of the commission. [1971 c.655 §28]

 

      756.330 [Amended by 1965 c.288 §1; repealed by 1971 c.655 §250]

 

      756.340 [Repealed by 1971 c.655 §250]

 

      756.350 Penalty for failure to pay fees; action to collect unpaid fees and penalties. Every person who fails to pay any fees provided for in ORS 756.310 or 756.320 after they are due and payable shall, in addition to such fees, pay a penalty of two percent of such fees for each and every month or fraction thereof that they remain unpaid. If, in the judgment of the Public Utility Commission, action is necessary to collect any unpaid fees or penalties, the commission shall bring such action or take such proceedings as may be necessary thereon in the name of the State of Oregon in any court of competent jurisdiction, and be entitled to recover all costs and disbursements incurred therein. [Amended by 1971 c.655 §29]

 

      756.360 Disposal and use of fees and penalties collected. All fees, penalties and other moneys collected by the Public Utility Commission under ORS 756.310, 756.320, 756.350, 758.015, 758.400 to 758.475 and ORS chapter 759 shall be paid by the commission into the State Treasury within 30 days after the collection thereof, and shall be placed by the State Treasurer to the credit of the Public Utility Commission Account and the fees, penalties and other moneys collected from:

      (1) Public utilities shall be used only for the purpose of paying the expenses of the commission in performing the duties imposed by law upon the commission in respect to utilities, and for the purpose of paying the expenses of the Office of the Governor for its responsibilities in administering energy conservation and allocation programs.

      (2) Telecommunications providers shall be used only for the purpose of paying the expenses of the commission in performing the duties imposed by law upon the commission in respect to telecommunications providers, and for the purpose of paying the expenses of the Office of the Governor for its responsibilities in administering energy conservation and allocation programs. [Amended by 1957 c.459 §7; 1967 c.164 §3; 1971 c.655 §30; 1973 c.776 §28; 1974 c.59 §1; 1987 c.447 §90; 1995 c.733 §67; 1999 c.339 §3; 2011 c.597 §298]

 

      756.370 [Formerly 757.065; repealed by 1983 c.40 §1]

 

      756.375 [Formerly 757.070; repealed by 1983 c.40 §1]

 

      756.380 [Formerly 757.080; 1995 c.306 §42; renumbered 823.071 in 1995]

 

      756.385 [Formerly 757.085; 1995 c.733 §67a; renumbered 823.073 in 1995]

 

      756.390 [Formerly 757.090; 1983 c.78 §1; 1995 c.733 §67b; renumbered 823.075 in 1995]

 

      756.400 [1971 c.655 §31; repealed by 1983 c.540 §10]

 

      756.410 [1971 c.655 §32; 1977 c.253 §1; repealed by 1983 c.540 §10]

 

      756.420 [1971 c.655 §33; repealed by 1983 c.540 §10]

 

      756.430 [1971 c.655 §34; repealed by 1983 c.540 §10]

 

      756.440 [1971 c.655 §35; repealed by 1983 c.540 §10]

 

DECLARATORY RULINGS

      756.450 Declaratory rulings. On petition of any interested person, the Public Utility Commission may issue a declaratory ruling with respect to the applicability to any person, property, or state of facts of any rule or statute enforceable by the commission. A declaratory ruling is binding between the commission and the petitioner on the state of facts alleged, unless it is modified, remanded or set aside by a court. However, the commission may review the ruling and modify or set it aside if requested by the petitioner or other party to the proceeding. Binding rulings provided by this section are subject to judicial review as orders in contested cases in the manner provided by ORS 756.610. [1971 c.655 §36; 2005 c.638 §2]

 

COMPLAINT AND INVESTIGATION PROCEDURE

 

      756.500 Complaint; persons entitled to file; contents; amendments. (1) Any person may file a complaint before the Public Utility Commission, or the commission may, on the commission’s own initiative, file such complaint. The complaint shall be against any person whose business or activities are regulated by some one or more of the statutes, jurisdiction for the enforcement or regulation of which is conferred upon the commission. The person filing the complaint shall be known as the complainant and the person against whom the complaint is filed shall be known as the defendant.

      (2) It is not necessary that a complainant have a pecuniary interest in the matter in controversy or in the matter complained of, but the commission shall not grant any order of reparation to any person not a party to the proceedings in which such reparation order is made.

      (3) The complaint shall state all grounds of complaint on which the complainant seeks relief or the violation of any law claimed to have been committed by the defendant, and the prayer of the complaint shall pray for the relief to which the complainant claims the complainant is entitled.

      (4) The complaint may, at any time before the completion of taking of evidence, be amended by order of the commission. However, if a charge not contained in the original complaint or a prior amended complaint is sought to be made by any such amendment, the defendant shall be given a reasonable time to investigate the new charge and answer the amended complaint. The final hearing shall, if necessary, be continued until some date after the defendant has had a reasonable time to investigate and be prepared to meet the amended complaint.

      (5) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, any public utility or telecommunications utility may make complaint as to any matter affecting its own rates or service with like effect as though made by any other person, by filing an application, petition or complaint with the commission. [Formerly 756.520; 1987 c.447 §91; 1995 c.733 §68]

 

      756.505 [Repealed by 1971 c.655 §250]

 

      756.510 [Amended by 1971 c.655 §40; renumbered 756.518]

 

      756.512 Notice of complaint to defendant; responsive pleadings; setting cause for hearing. (1) The Public Utility Commission shall serve a copy of the complaint upon the defendant, and shall give the defendant at least 10 days within which to respond to the complaint. Within the time so fixed, or such further time as the commission shall fix, the defendant shall file an answer to the complaint, taking issue on such parts of the complaint as the defendant desires and setting forth such additional matter as shall be pertinent to the matter in controversy. Such additional matter shall be deemed denied without the filing of any other pleading by the complainant. After the filing of the answer the commission shall set the matter for hearing, giving the defendant at least 10 days’ written notice of the time and place of the hearing, unless the commission for good reason stated in the notice, fixes a shorter time. Amendment of any answer may be permitted by order of the commission.

      (2) If the defendant fails to file a responsive pleading or otherwise appear within the time prescribed in subsection (1) of this section, or if the responsive pleading filed raises no issue of law or fact, the commission may act on the complaint without a hearing. [Formerly 756.530]

 

      756.515 Investigations and hearings on commission’s own motion; hearings for aggrieved persons. (1) Whenever the Public Utility Commission believes that any rate may be unreasonable or unjustly discriminatory, or that any service is unsafe or inadequate, or is not afforded, or that an investigation of any matter relating to any public utility or telecommunications utility or other person should be made, or relating to any person to determine if such person is subject to the commission’s regulatory jurisdiction, the commission may on motion summarily investigate any such matter, with or without notice.

      (2) If after making such investigation the commission is satisfied that sufficient grounds exist to warrant a hearing being ordered upon any such matter, the commission shall furnish any public utility or telecommunications utility or other person interested a statement notifying it of the matters under investigation, which statement shall be accompanied by a notice fixing the time and place for hearing upon such matters in the manner provided in ORS 756.512 for notice of complaint.

      (3) Thereafter proceedings shall be had and conducted in reference to the matters investigated in like manner as though complaint had been filed with the commission relative thereto, and the same orders may be made in reference thereto as if such investigation had been made on complaint.

      (4) The commission may, after making an investigation on the commission’s motion, but without notice or hearing, make such findings and orders as the commission deems justified or required by the results of such investigation. Except as provided in subsections (5) and (6) of this section such findings and orders have the same legal force and effect as any other finding or order of the commission.

      (5) In addition to any other remedy provided by law, any party aggrieved by an order entered pursuant to subsection (4) of this section may request the commission to hold a hearing to determine whether the order should continue in effect. Any such request for hearing shall be submitted to the commission not later than 15 days after the date of service of the order, and the commission shall hold the hearing not later than 60 days after receipt of such a request for hearing.

      (6) If the commission receives a request for hearing pursuant to subsection (5) of this section, the order is suspended pending the outcome of the hearing unless the commission finds that the order is necessary for the public health or safety or to prevent the dissipation of assets of a business or activity subject to the commission’s regulatory jurisdiction. [Formerly 757.515; 1973 c.776 §29; 1975 c.318 §1; 1983 c.703 §18; 1987 c.447 §92; 1995 c.733 §69]

 

HEARING PROCEDURE

 

      756.518 Procedures applicable to all matters before commission; oral hearing; rules. (1) Except as otherwise provided the provisions of ORS 756.500 to 756.610 apply to and govern all hearings upon any matter or issue coming before the Public Utility Commission under any statute administered by the commission, whether instituted on the application, petition or complaint of others or initiated by the commission, together with the orders of the commission therein and the review thereof in the courts.

      (2) Upon request of any party in a major proceeding before the commission, the commission shall afford the parties an opportunity for oral argument before a final order is issued. There must be a quorum of the commission present at the time the oral argument is made. The commission shall adopt rules that establish criteria for determining which proceedings give rise to a right to oral argument under this subsection. In addition, the commission may adopt rules governing participation in oral arguments, cross-examination of witnesses, draft or proposed orders or such other matters as the commission deems appropriate. [Formerly 756.510; 2001 c.558 §3]

 

      756.519 [1977 c.424 §2; 1985 c.59 §1; repealed by 1995 c.733 §74]

 

      756.520 [Amended by 1971 c.655 §37; renumbered 756.500]

 

      756.521 Public hearings; record required; furnishing transcripts. All hearings shall be open to the public and may be had before the Public Utility Commission, an examiner or any other person authorized to hold such hearing. A full record thereof shall be kept. However, it shall not be necessary to transcribe testimony unless requested. For purposes of rehearing or reconsideration under ORS 756.561, a transcription shall be made at the commission’s expense, and copies of such transcription shall be supplied to the parties, at cost. A copy of the transcript shall be supplied to a party without cost upon the filing with the commission of a satisfactory affidavit of indigency. [1971 c.655 §41; 2005 c.638 §3]

 

      756.525 Parties to proceedings. (1) The Public Utility Commission may permit any person to become a party who might, on the institution of the proceeding, have been such a party, if application therefor is made before the final taking of evidence in the proceeding.

      (2) At any time before the final taking of evidence in a proceeding, any person may apply to the commission for permission to appear and participate in the proceeding. The commission shall determine the interest of the applicant in the proceeding and shall grant the application, subject to appropriate conditions, if the commission determines that such appearance and participation will not unreasonably broaden the issues or burden the record, and otherwise may deny the application.

      (3) This section does not apply to any person who might have been an original party in a proceeding before the commission if that person is required by statute to file a pleading or other response in the proceeding within a specified time. [1971 c.655 §42]

 

      756.528 Segregation of issues. At any time before the conclusion of the taking of evidence in a proceeding, the Public Utility Commission may segregate the issues involved and order separate hearings thereon at such times and places as the commission may prescribe. [1971 c.655 §43; 2005 c.638 §4]

 

      756.530 [Amended by 1971 c.655 §38; renumbered 756.512]

 

      756.534 Place of hearings; continuation. Except as provided in ORS 756.040 (4), the hearing may be held at any place designated by the Public Utility Commission within this state, or different parts of the hearing may be held at different places in this state, as shall be designated by the commission. The hearing may be continued from time to time and place to place as ordered and fixed by the commission. [Formerly 756.560]

 

      756.538 Taking and use of depositions; rules. (1) In any investigation, the Public Utility Commission may take the testimony of any person by deposition upon oral examination or written interrogatories for the purpose of discovery or for use in the investigation.

      (2) In any proceeding requiring a hearing, the commission or any party to the proceeding may take the testimony of any person by deposition upon oral examination or written interrogatories for the purpose of discovery or for use as evidence in the proceeding, or for both purposes.

      (3) Depositions may be taken within or without the State of Oregon by the commission, or any other person authorized to administer oaths, in accordance with procedures prescribed by the rules of the commission.

      (4) The commission shall promulgate rules concerning the manner of applying for and taking depositions and the use thereof. Such rules shall provide reasonable provisions against abuse of such procedure and for protection of the rights of all persons affected. [1971 c.655 §45]

 

      756.540 [Repealed by 1971 c.655 §250]

 

      756.543 Issuance of subpoenas; failure to comply. (1) The Public Utility Commission shall issue subpoenas to any party to a proceeding before the commission upon request and proper showing of the general relevance and reasonable scope of the evidence sought. Witnesses appearing pursuant to subpoena, other than the parties or their officers or employees, or employees of the commission, shall receive fees and mileage as prescribed by law for witnesses in ORS 44.415 (2). If the commission certifies that the testimony of a witness was relevant and material, any person who paid fees and mileage to that witness shall be reimbursed by the commission and from moneys referred to in ORS 756.360, subject to the limitations provided in ORS 756.360.

      (2) If any person fails to comply with any subpoena so issued or any party or witness refuses to testify on any matters on which the person may be lawfully interrogated, the judge of the circuit court of any county, on the application of the commission, or of the party requesting the issuance of the subpoena, shall compel obedience by proceedings for contempt as in the case of disobedience of the requirements of a subpoena issued from such court or a refusal to testify therein. [1971 c.655 §46; 1983 c.540 §2; 1987 c.980 §23; 1997 c.249 §221]

 

      756.549 Self-incrimination of witnesses in commission proceedings. (1) No person shall be excused from testifying or from producing evidence in any proceeding held by the Public Utility Commission on the ground that the testimony or evidence required of the person may tend to incriminate the person or subject the person to prosecution, penalty or forfeiture if:

      (a) The person has been directed by the commission to testify or produce evidence under oath;

      (b) The person claims, at the time the person is directed by the commission to testify or produce evidence, that the testimony or evidence required of the person may tend to incriminate the person or subject the person to prosecution, penalty or forfeiture; and

      (c) The commission specifically grants the person immunity from prosecution, penalty or forfeiture regarding those matters about which the person testifies or produces evidence as directed.

      (2) Except for prosecution and punishment for perjury, no person who testifies or produces evidence in accordance with subsection (1) of this section shall be prosecuted or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture concerning any matter about which the person so testified or produced evidence. [1971 c.655 §47]

 

      756.550 [Amended by 1957 c.599 §1; 1971 c.655 §50; renumbered 756.558]

 

      756.552 Self-incrimination of witnesses in court proceedings. No person shall be excused from testifying or from producing books and papers in any court proceeding based upon or growing out of any violation of the provisions of ORS chapter 756, 757, 758, 759 or 825 or ORS 824.020 to 824.042, 824.050 to 824.110, 824.200 to 824.256 or 824.300 to 824.310 on the ground or for the reason that the testimony or evidence, documentary or otherwise, required of the person may tend to incriminate the person or subject the person to penalty or forfeiture; but no person having so testified shall be prosecuted or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture for, or on account of, any transaction, matter or thing concerning which the person may have testified or produced any documentary evidence. However, no person shall be exempted from prosecution or punishment for perjury while so testifying. The immunity conferred by this section shall extend only to a natural person who, in obedience to a subpoena, gives testimony under oath or produces evidence, documentary or otherwise, under oath. [Formerly 757.590; 1989 c.827 §2]

 

      756.555 Powers of commission at hearings. The Public Utility Commission may administer oaths, certify to official acts, issue notices in the name of the commission, issue subpoenas, compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, accounts, papers, records, documents and testimony, and take and receive testimony, conduct hearings and investigations, whether upon complaint or upon the commission’s own motion. [Formerly 757.555]

 

      756.558 Taking of evidence; findings; issuance of orders; providing copies of orders. (1) At the conclusion of the taking of evidence, the Public Utility Commission shall declare the taking of evidence concluded. Thereafter no additional evidence shall be received except upon the order of the commission and a reasonable opportunity of the parties to examine any witnesses with reference to the additional evidence and otherwise rebut and meet such additional evidence.

      (2) After the completion of the taking of evidence, and within a reasonable time, the commission shall prepare and enter findings of fact and conclusions of law upon the evidence received in the matter and shall make and enter the order of the commission thereon. The findings of fact and conclusions of law may be embodied in the same instrument with the order or may be embodied in a separate instrument. The findings of fact, conclusions of law and order thereon shall be signed by the commission. The order shall state the date it becomes effective. A copy of the findings of fact and conclusions of law and a copy of the order shall, forthwith upon the entry of the same, be served upon each of the parties to the proceeding.

      (3) Upon application of any person, the commission shall furnish certified copies, under the seal of any order made by the commission. [Formerly 756.550]

 

      756.560 [Amended by 1971 c.655 §44; renumbered 756.534]

 

      756.561 Rehearing; reconsideration. (1) After an order has been made by the Public Utility Commission in any proceeding, any party thereto may apply for rehearing or reconsideration thereof within 60 days from the date of service of such order. The commission may grant such a rehearing or reconsideration if sufficient reason therefor is made to appear.

      (2) No such application shall excuse any party against whom an order has been made by the commission from complying therewith, nor operate in any manner to stay or postpone the enforcement thereof without the special order of the commission.

      (3) If a rehearing is granted, the proceedings thereupon shall conform as nearly as possible to the proceedings in an original hearing, except as the commission otherwise may direct. If in the judgment of the commission, after such rehearing and the consideration of all facts, including those arising since the former hearing, the original order is in any respect unjust or unwarranted, the commission may reverse, change or modify the same accordingly. Any order made after such rehearing, reversing, changing or modifying the original determination is subject to the same provisions as an original order. [Formerly 756.570]

 

      756.565 Prima facie effect of commission actions. All rates, tariffs, classifications, regulations, practices and service fixed, approved or prescribed by the Public Utility Commission and any order made or entered upon any matter within the jurisdiction of the commission shall be in force and shall be prima facie lawful and reasonable, until found otherwise in a proceeding brought for that purpose under ORS 756.610. [Formerly 760.575; 2005 c.638 §5]

 

      756.568 Rescission, suspension and amendment of orders. The Public Utility Commission may at any time, upon notice to the public utility or telecommunications utility and after opportunity to be heard as provided in ORS 756.500 to 756.610, rescind, suspend or amend any order made by the commission. Copies of the same shall be served and take effect as provided in ORS 756.558 for original orders. [Formerly 757.540; 1973 c.776 §30; 1987 c.447 §92a; 1995 c.733 §70]

 

      756.570 [Amended by 1971 c.655 §51; renumbered 756.561]

 

      756.572 Effect of orders on successors in interest. (1) An order of the Public Utility Commission issued in accordance with the provisions of ORS chapters 756, 757, 758 and 759 is binding upon the successors in interest of each person affected thereby, until set aside, rescinded, suspended or modified as provided by law.

      (2) Any investigation, hearing or other proceeding involving the issuance of an order of the commission that has not been finally determined when a transfer of any interests of a person is effected may be continued and finally determined, notwithstanding any such transfer of interest. Any order issued in such investigation, hearing or other proceeding is binding upon the successors in interest. [1971 c.655 §54; 1973 c.776 §31; 1987 c.447 §93; 1995 c.733 §71]

 

      756.575 Notice of acceptance of terms of orders. The Public Utility Commission may provide by rule that any public utility or telecommunications utility affected by any order shall within a time to be fixed by the commission, notify the commission whether the terms of the order are accepted and will be obeyed. [1971 c.655 §55; 1973 c.776 §32; 1987 c.447 §94; 1995 c.733 §72]

 

      756.580 [Amended by 1971 c.655 §56; repealed by 2005 c.638 §21]

 

      756.585 [1971 c.655 §57; repealed by 2005 c.638 §21]

 

      756.590 [Amended by 1971 c.655 §58; 1995 c.781 §46; repealed by 2005 c.638 §21]

 

      756.594 [1971 c.655 §59; repealed by 2005 c.638 §21]

 

      756.598 [1971 c.655 §60; 1979 c.284 §197; repealed by 2005 c.638 §21]

 

      756.600 [Amended by 1971 c.655 §61; 2003 c.576 §558; repealed by 2005 c.638 §21]

 

      756.610 Judicial review. (1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section, final orders of the Public Utility Commission are subject to judicial review as orders in contested cases under the provisions of ORS 183.480 to 183.497.

      (2) ORS 183.482 (3) does not apply to judicial review of an order of the Public Utility Commission. At any time after filing a petition for judicial review of a final order of the commission, the petitioner may apply to the Court of Appeals for a stay of the order until the final disposition of the appeal. The court may grant a stay for cause shown. As a condition of granting a stay, the court may require a bond or other security, or impose such other conditions as the court deems appropriate. A stay may be granted only after notice to the commission and opportunity for hearing. Any bond required by the court must be executed in favor of the commission for the benefit of interested persons, and may be enforced by the commission or by any interested person.

      (3) An order of the Public Utility Commission related to the petition for a certificate of public convenience and necessity under ORS 758.015, where the petitioner also seeks approval from the Energy Facility Siting Council for the proposed transmission line, is subject to judicial review as provided in ORS 758.017. [Amended by 1971 c.655 §62; 2003 c.576 §559; 2005 c.638 §6; 2013 c.335 §4]

 

PENALTIES

 

      756.990 Penalties. (1) Any public utility or telecommunications utility that fails to comply with an order or subpoena issued pursuant to ORS 756.090 shall forfeit, for each day it so fails, a sum of not less than $50 nor more than $500.

      (2) Except where a penalty is otherwise provided by law, any public utility, telecommunications utility or other person subject to the jurisdiction of the Public Utility Commission shall forfeit a sum of not less than $100 nor more than $10,000 for each time that the person:

      (a) Violates any statute administered by the commission;

      (b) Does any act prohibited, or fails to perform any duty enjoined upon the person;

      (c) Fails to obey any lawful requirement or order made by the commission; or

      (d) Fails to obey any judgment made by any court upon the application of the commission.

      (3) Violation of ORS 756.115 is a Class A violation.

      (4) Violation of ORS 756.125 is a Class C misdemeanor.

      (5) Violation of ORS 756.543 (1) is a Class A misdemeanor.

      (6) In construing and enforcing this section, the act, omission or failure of any officer, agent or other person acting for or employed by any public utility, telecommunications utility or other person subject to the jurisdiction of the commission acting within the scope of the person’s employment shall in every case be deemed to be the act, omission or failure of such public utility, telecommunications utility or other person subject to the jurisdiction of the commission. With respect to any violation of any statute administered by the commission, any penalty provision applying to such a violation by a public utility or telecommunications utility shall apply to such a violation by any other person.

      (7) Except when provided by law that a penalty, forfeiture or other sum be paid to the aggrieved party, or as provided in ORS 757.994 (1), all penalties or forfeitures or other sums collected or paid under the provisions of any law administered by the commission shall be paid into the General Fund and credited to the Public Utility Commission Account. [1971 c.655 §63; 1973 c.232 §4; 1973 c.776 §33; 1977 c.105 §1; 1979 c.415 §1; 1987 c.447 §95; 1995 c.733 §73; 1999 c.1051 §223; 2003 c.202 §9; 2003 c.576 §560; 2011 c.597 §299]

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