Readings on the Relation of Government to Property and Industry

By Samuel P. Orth | Go to book overview

it was strongly urged that the doctrine of contemporaneous construction should be applied, the court ruled that such doctrine as a rule of interpretation was not an absolute one, and held that the subsequent ruling of the department was too clearly the one in conformity to the statute, to justify them in approving of the former classification, notwithstanding the length of time such classification had obtained.


METHODS OF JUDICIAL REVIEW IN RELATION TO THE EFFECTIVENESS OF COMMISSION CONTROL1

BY OSCAR L. POND OF THE INDIANAPOLIS BAR

(From Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, May, 1914)

The effectiveness of the control of municipal public utilities by state commissions is determined by the thoroughness of their findings, the justice of their rulings and the extent to which the proceedings and orders of the commissions are sustained by the courts or made final and conclusive by statutory enactments. While the strength of commission findings and the validity of the orders issued thereon depend upon the scope and accuracy of their investigations and the integrity of their rulings, the force and effect of commission control depend ultimately upon the authority conferred on the commissions by the legislatures in the first instance and the extent to which action by commissions is made conclusive of the controversy. The right of review or appeal to the courts from the proceedings of commissions limits and defines the sphere of their efficiency and determines the extent to which the courts may supplant, modify or set aside the action of commissions; thereby making their findings and orders conditional and qualified, and not absolute and final.

After an investigation of the facts on due notice, usually of not less than ten days, and a public hearing, the proceedings of the commission have been concluded and disposed of with an order or regulation, an interested party may generally apply to the commission for a rehearing because of additional evidence, changed conditions or errors and omissions in its original proceedings. The time within which a petition for rehearing may be filed is limited by statute in Ohio to thirty days,2 and in Pennsylvania to fifteen days;3 while in Illinois only one rehearing may be granted, which, however, does not prevent any party after two years from again applying to the commission

____________________
1
Copyrighted.
2
Laws 1911, p. 549, Sect. 45.
3
Laws 1913, no. 854, Art. VI, Sect. 14.

-394-

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