Title 39
Public Utilities and Carriers

Chapter 12
Motor Carriers of Property

R.I. Gen. Laws § 39-12-5

§ 39-12-5. Administration of chapter — Investigations — Hearings.

(a) For the effective administration of this chapter as may relate to the supervision and regulation of motor carriers of property over the highways of this state in intrastate or interstate commerce, the administrator shall designate examiners, investigators, field investigators, hearing officers, regulatory inspectors, and other employees to enforce and carry into effect the provisions of this chapter; to make investigations; and to conduct hearings on any matter arising under this chapter. In conducting an investigation and/or hearing, the person so designated by the administrator shall be vested with all powers conferred on the administrator by this chapter; and upon completion of the investigation and/or hearing, the party hearing or investigating shall decide the matter at issue in hearing or under investigation and shall file his or her decision and findings in writing with the administrator, and his or her decision or finding when signed by the administrator shall be deemed the decision and order of the administrator.

(b) The administrator, or his or her duly authorized examiners, investigators, officers, or regulatory inspectors, shall have authority to examine all equipment of motor carriers and lessors and shall have authority to inspect, examine, and copy all accounts, books, records, memoranda, correspondence, and other documents of motor carriers and/or lessors, and documents, accounts, books, records, correspondence, and memoranda of any person controlling, controlled by, or under common control of any carrier, as the administrator shall deem relevant to the person’s relation to or transaction with the carrier. Motor carriers, lessors, or persons shall submit their accounts, books, records, memoranda, correspondence, or other documents, relating to motor carrier activities only, for the inspection and copying authorized by this section, and motor carriers and lessors shall submit their equipment for examination and inspection, to any duly authorized examiner, investigator, or regulatory inspector upon demand and the display of proper credentials. The administrator shall have the power to administer oaths; summon and examine witnesses; and order the production and examination of books, accounts, records, memoranda, correspondence, and other documents in any proceeding within the jurisdiction of the administrator. All subpoenas and orders for the production of books, accounts, papers, records, and documents shall be signed and issued by the administrator and served as subpoenas in civil cases in the superior court are now served, and witnesses so subpoenaed shall be entitled to the same fees for attendance and travel as are now provided for witnesses in civil cases in the superior court.

(c) If the person subpoenaed to attend before the division fails to obey the command of the subpoena without reasonable cause, or if a person in attendance before the administrator shall, without reasonable cause, refuse to be sworn, or to be examined, or to answer a legal or pertinent question, or if any person shall refuse to produce books, accounts, records, memoranda, correspondence, or other documents material to the issue, set forth in an order duly served on him or her, the administrator or his or her agent thereof may apply to any justice of the superior court of any county, upon proof by affidavit of the fact, for a rule or order returnable in not less than two (2) or more than five (5) days, directing the person to show cause before the justice who made the order or any justice of the superior court why he or she should not be adjudged for contempt. Upon 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 question and a pertinent question, or to produce books, accounts, records, memoranda, correspondence, or other documents material to the issue that he or she was ordered to bring or produce, the justice may immediately commit the offender to jail, there to remain until he or she submits to do the act for which he or she was required to do, or is discharged according to law.

History of Section.
P.L. 1958, ch. 87, § 1; P.L. 1967, ch. 209, § 2.