Chapter 541

Section 541:1

    541:1 Definition. – The word "commission" as here used means the public utilities commission, the milk sanitation board, or any state department or official concerning whose decision a rehearing or appeal is sought in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

Source. RL 414:1. RSA 541:1. 1989, 138:8. 1996, 228:103, eff. July 1, 1996.

Section 541:2

    541:2 Uniform Procedure. – When so authorized by law, any order or decision of the commission may be the subject of a motion for rehearing or of an appeal in the manner prescribed by the following sections.

Source. RL 414:2.

Section 541:3

    541:3 Motion for Rehearing. – Within 30 days after any order or decision has been made by the commission, any party to the action or proceeding before the commission, or any person directly affected thereby, may apply for a rehearing in respect to any matter determined in the action or proceeding, or covered or included in the order, specifying in the motion all grounds for rehearing, and the commission may grant such rehearing if in its opinion good reason for the rehearing is stated in the motion.

Source. 1913, 145:18. PL 239:1. 1937, 107:14; 133:75. RL 414:3. RSA 541:3. 1994, 54:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1995.

Section 541:4

    541:4 Specifications. – Such motion shall set forth fully every ground upon which it is claimed that the decision or order complained of is unlawful or unreasonable. No appeal from any order or decision of the commission shall be taken unless the appellant shall have made application for rehearing as herein provided, and when such application shall have been made, no ground not set forth therein shall be urged, relied on, or given any consideration by the court, unless the court for good cause shown shall allow the appellant to specify additional grounds.

Source. 1913, 145:18. PL 239:2. 1937, 107:15; 133:76. RL 414:4.

Section 541:5

    541:5 Action on Motion. – Upon the filing of such motion for rehearing, the commission shall within ten days either grant or deny the same, or suspend the order or decision complained of pending further consideration, and any order of suspension may be upon such terms and conditions as the commission may prescribe.

Source. 1913, 145:18. PL 239:3. 1937, 107:16; 133:77. RL 414:5.

Section 541:6

    541:6 Appeal. – Within thirty days after the application for a rehearing is denied, or, if the application is granted, then within thirty days after the decision on such rehearing, the applicant may appeal by petition to the supreme court.

Source. 1913, 145:18. PL 239:4. 1937, 107:17; 133:78. RL 414:6.

Section 541:7

    541:7 Petition. – Such petition shall state briefly the nature of the proceeding before the commission, and shall set forth the order or decision complained of, and the grounds upon which the same is claimed to be unlawful or unreasonable upon which the petitioner will rely in the supreme court.

Source. 1913, 145:18. PL 239:5. 1937, 107:18; 133:79. RL 414:7.

Section 541:8

    541:8 Parties. – Any person or corporation whose rights may be directly affected by said appeal may appear and become a party, or the court may order such persons and corporations to be joined as parties as justice may require.

Source. 1913, 145:18. PL 239:6. 1937, 107:19; 133:80. RL 414:8.

Section 541:9

    541:9 Notice to Commission. – Upon the filing of an appeal, the clerk of court shall issue an order of notice requiring the commission to file with the court a certified copy of the record in the proceeding, together with such of the evidence introduced before or considered by the commission as may be specified by any party in interest, as well as such other evidence, so introduced and considered, as the commission may deem proper to certify, together with the originals or copies of all exhibits introduced in evidence before the commission.

Source. 1913, 145:18. PL 239:7. 1937, 107:20; 133:81. RL 414:9.

Section 541:10

    541:10 Other Notice. – Such notice as the court may order shall also be given to persons and corporations who were parties to the proceeding before the commission, or who may be ordered joined by the court.

Source. 1913, 145:18. PL 239:8. 1937, 107:21; 133:82. RL 414:10.

Section 541:11

    541:11 Fees for Copies. – The commission shall collect from the party making the appeal a fee of ten cents per folio of one hundred words for the copy of the record and such testimony and exhibits as shall be transferred, and five cents per folio for manifold copies, and shall not be required to certify the record upon any such appeal, nor shall said appeal be considered, until the fees for copies have been paid.

Source. 1915, 99:3. PL 239:9. 1937, 107:22; 133:83. RL 414:11.

Section 541:12

    541:12 Argument. – Upon the filing of said copy of the record, evidence, and exhibits, the case shall be in order for argument at the next regular session of the court, unless the same be postponed for good cause shown.

Source. 1913, 145:18. PL 239:10. 1937, 107:23; 133:84. RL 414:12.

Section 541:13

    541:13 Burden of Proof. – Upon the hearing the burden of proof shall be upon the party seeking to set aside any order or decision of the commission to show that the same is clearly unreasonable or unlawful, and all findings of the commission upon all questions of fact properly before it shall be deemed to be prima facie lawful and reasonable; and the order or decision appealed from shall not be set aside or vacated except for errors of law, unless the court is satisfied, by a clear preponderance of the evidence before it, that such order is unjust or unreasonable.

Source. 1913, 145:18. PL 239:11. 1937, 107:24; 133:85. RL 414:13.

Section 541:14

    541:14 Additional Evidence. – No new or additional evidence shall be introduced in the supreme court, but the case shall be determined upon the record and evidence transferred, except that in any case, if it shall be necessary in order that no party shall be deprived of any constitutional right, or if the court shall be of the opinion that justice requires the reception of evidence of facts which have occurred since the hearing, or which by reason of accident, mistake, or misfortune could not have been offered before the commission, it shall remand the case to the commission to receive and consider such additional evidence.

Source. 1913, 145:18. PL 239:12. 1937, 107:25; 133:86. RL 414:14. 1951, 203:13, eff. Sept. 1, 1951.

Section 541:15

    541:15 Action of Commission. – Upon receipt of such evidence, the commission shall consider the same and may alter, modify, amend, or rescind the order or decision appealed from, and shall report its action thereon to the court within said twenty days.

Source. 1913, 145:18. PL 239:15. 1937, 107:28; 133:89. RL 414:17.

Section 541:16

    541:16 Subsequent Proceedings. – If the commission shall rescind the order appealed from the appeal shall be dismissed; if it shall alter, modify, or amend the same such altered, modified, or amended order shall take the place of the original order complained of, and the court shall render judgment with reference thereto in said appeal as though said order had been made by the commission in the first instance, after allowing any amendments of the pleadings or other incidental proceedings desired by the parties which the changed situation may require.

Source. 1913, 145:18. PL 239:16. 1937, 107:29; 133:90. RL 414:18.

Section 541:17

    541:17 Evidence, How Considered. – All evidence transferred by the commission shall be considered by the court regardless of any technical rule which might have rendered the same inadmissible if originally offered in the trial of an action at law.

Source. 1913, 145:18. PL 239:17. 1937, 107:30; 133:91. RL 414:19. 1951, 203:15, eff. Sept. 1, 1951.

Section 541:18

    541:18 Suspension of Order. – No appeal or other proceedings taken from an order of the commission shall suspend the operation of such order; provided, that the supreme court may order a suspension of such order pending the determination of such appeal or other proceeding whenever, in the opinion of the court, justice may require such suspension; but no order of the public utilities commission providing for a reduction of rates, fares, or charges or denying a petition for an increase therein shall be suspended except upon conditions to be imposed by the court providing a means for securing the prompt repayment of all excess rates, fares, and charges over and above the rates, fares, and charges which shall be finally determined to be reasonable and just.

Source. 1913, 145:18. PL 239:18. 1937, 107:31; 133:92. RL 414:20. 1951, 203:16, eff. Sept. 1, 1951.

Section 541:19

    541:19 Conditions. – Any order of the court suspending an order of the public utilities commission fixing rates, fares, charges, or prices shall, among other things, provide that the public utility affected by the order suspended shall keep such accounts as shall suffice to show the amount being collected by such public utility, pending the appeal, in excess of the amounts which it would have collected if the order or decree of the commission had not been suspended, and shall provide such means as the court shall determine to secure the prompt repayment of all excess rates, fares and charges over and above the rates, fares and charges which shall finally be determined to be reasonable and just.

Source. 1913, 145:18. PL 239:19. 1937, 107:32; 133:93. RL 414:21. 1951, 203:17, eff. Sept. 1, 1951.

Section 541:20

    541:20 Contempt of Court. – Whenever there is occasion after final decision for the distribution of said excess, any violation on the part of any public utility, or of the officers or members thereof, of the order of the court providing for the repayment of said excess may be punished as a contempt of court.

Source. 1951, 203:18. RL 414:21-a.

Section 541:21

    541:21 Exceptions. – The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to appeals from the assessment of damages in eminent domain proceedings, but such appeals shall be taken and prosecuted as otherwise provided.

Source. 1951, 203:19. RL 414:21-b.

Section 541:22

    541:22 Remedy Exclusive. – No proceeding other than the appeal herein provided for shall be maintained in any court of this state to set aside, enjoin the enforcement of, or otherwise review or impeach any order of the commission, except as otherwise specifically provided.

Source. 1913, 145:18. PL 239:22. 1937, 107:33; 133:94. RL 414:22.