Public Utilities and Carriers

Public Utilities Commission

SECTION 39-1-13

§ 39-1-13. Subpoena powers of commissioners.

The commissioners are hereby severally authorized and empowered to administer oaths; and the commission, in all cases of every nature pending before it, is hereby authorized and empowered to summon and examine witnesses and to compel the production and examination of papers, books, accounts, documents, records, certificates, and other legal evidence that may be necessary or proper for the determination and decision of any question before or the discharge of any duty required by law of the commission. All subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum shall be signed by the chairperson or by the clerk, and shall be served as subpoenas are served in civil cases in the superior court; and witnesses so subpoenaed shall be entitled to the same fees for attendance and travel as are provided for witnesses in civil cases in the superior court. If any person fails to obey the command of the subpoena, without reasonable cause, or if a person in attendance before the commission shall, without reasonable cause, refuse to be sworn, or to be examined, or to answer a legal and pertinent question, any commissioner may apply to any justice of the superior court, upon proof by affidavit of the fact, for a rule or order returnable in not less than two (2) nor more than five (5) days, directing the person to show cause why he or she should not be adjudged in contempt. Upon the return of the order, the justice before whom the matter is brought for a hearing shall examine under oath the person, and the person shall be given an opportunity to be heard, and if the justice shall determine that the person has refused without reasonable cause or legal excuse to be examined, or to answer a legal and pertinent question, or to produce books, accounts, papers, records, and documents material to the issue that he or she was ordered to bring or produce, he or she may forthwith commit the person to the adult correctional institutions, there to remain until he or she submits to do the act that he or she was so required to do, or is discharged according to law.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1969, ch. 240, § 1.)