Whenever the office believes that any rate or charge may be unreasonable or unjustly discriminatory or that any service is inadequate or cannot be obtained or that an investigation of any matter relating to any railroad should for any reason be made, it may request the department to investigate the same with or without notice.
Procedure after summary investigation. 195.043(1)(1)
If, after summary investigation by the department, the office becomes satisfied that sufficient grounds exist to warrant a formal hearing being ordered as to the matters investigated, it shall set a time and place for a hearing. The office shall publish notice of any such investigation in its weekly calendar and the report of the department and all matters considered by the office with respect thereto shall be available for public inspection upon request.
Notice of the time and place for such hearing shall be given to the railroad, and to such other interested persons as the office deems necessary, as provided in s. 195.04
, and thereafter proceedings shall be had and conducted in reference to the matter investigated in like manner as though complaint had been filed with the office relative to the matter investigated, and the same order or orders may be made in reference thereto as if such investigation had been made on complaint.
Witness fees and mileage. 195.044(1)
Each witness who appears before the office or its agent, by its order, shall receive for attendance the fees and mileage now provided for witnesses in civil cases in courts of record, which shall be audited and paid by the state in the same manner as other expenses are audited and paid, upon the presentation of proper vouchers sworn to by such witnesses and approved by the office. Said fees and mileage shall be charged to the appropriation for the office.
No witness subpoenaed at the instance of parties other than the office is entitled to compensation from the state for attendance or travel unless the office certifies that the witness' testimony was material to the matter investigated.
The office or any party may in any hearing cause the depositions of witnesses residing within or without the state to be taken in the manner prescribed by law for like depositions in civil actions in circuit courts. Any expense incurred or authorized by the office in taking such depositions shall be charged to the appropriation for the office.
See also s. RR 1.09
, Wis. adm. code.
A full and complete record shall be kept of all proceedings before the office or its hearing examiners.
See also s. RR 1.07
, Wis. adm. code.
Transcripts as evidence.
A transcribed copy of the evidence and proceedings or any specific part thereof, on any hearing under this chapter taken by the stenographer, being certified by such stenographer to be a true and correct transcript of all the testimony or of a particular witness, or of other specific part thereof, carefully compared with the original notes, and to be a correct statement of the evidence and proceedings had on such hearing so purporting to be taken and transcribed, shall be received in evidence with the same effect as if such reporter were present and testified to the fact so certified. A copy of such transcript shall be furnished on demand free of cost to any party to such hearing.
History: 1977 c. 29
Incriminating evidence. 195.048(1)
No person may be excused from testifying or from producing books, accounts and papers in any proceeding based upon or growing out of any violation of this chapter on the ground or for the reason that the testimony or evidence may tend to incriminate or subject the person to penalty or forfeiture, but no person having so testified may be prosecuted or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture for or on account of any such testimony. No person so testifying may be exempted from prosecution or punishment for perjury in testifying.
The immunity provided under sub. (1)
is subject to the restrictions under s. 972.085
History: 1977 c. 29
; 1989 a. 122
Office; rates, regulations, service, procedure. 195.05(1)(1)
Orders for rates and service.
Whenever the office shall find that any existing rate, fare, charge, or classification, or any joint rate, or any regulation or practice affecting the transportation of persons or property, or any service in connection therewith is unreasonable or unjustly discriminatory or that any service is inadequate, it shall determine and by order fix a reasonable rate, fare, charge, classification, joint rate, regulation, practice or service to be imposed, observed and followed in the future, in lieu of that found to be unreasonable or unjustly discriminatory or inadequate.
(2) Time to comply with orders.
Where the order made relates to service, and the same cannot, in the judgment of the office, be complied with within 20 days, the office may prescribe such additional time as in its judgment is reasonably necessary to comply with the order and may on application and for good cause shown further extend the time.
(3) Rates not changed by railroad.
All railroads to which the order applies shall make such changes in their schedule on file as may be necessary to make the same conform to said order, and no change shall thereafter be made by any railroad in any such rates, fares or charges, or in any joint rates except as provided in s. 195.08
(4) Modification of orders.
The office may by order at any time, upon notice to the railroad and after opportunity to be heard, rescind, alter or amend any order fixing any rate or rates, fares, charges or classification, or any other order made by the office.
(5) Joint rates apportioned.
Whenever the rate ordered substituted by the office shall be a joint rate or charge, and the railroads shall fail to agree upon the apportionment thereof within 20 days after the service of such order, the office may, after a like hearing, issue a supplemental order declaring the apportionment of such joint rate or charge and the same shall take effect as a part of the original order.
(6) Joint rates ordered.
Whenever the railroads shall refuse or neglect to establish joint rates the office may, upon notice to the railroads and after opportunity to be heard, fix and establish such joint rates, and if the railroads shall fail to agree upon the apportionment thereof within 20 days after service of such order, the office may, upon a like hearing, issue a supplemental order declaring the apportionment of such joint rates and the same shall take effect as part of the original order.
Res judicata is inapplicable to commission orders since no time limitation is imposed for petitioning to reopen and the commission can rescind the previous executory order at any time. Village of Prentice v. Wisconsin Transportation Commission, 123 Wis. 2d 113
, 365 N.W.2d 899
(Ct. App. 1985).
All orders and determinations of the office are subject to judicial review under ch. 227
Office orders prima facie lawful.
All orders, determinations and decisions made by the office shall be in force and effective 20 days after the same has been served as required by s. 227.48
unless the office shall specify a different date upon which the same shall be effective, and shall be prima facie lawful, and all regulations, practices and service prescribed by the office shall be in force and shall be prima facie lawful and reasonable, until finally found otherwise upon judicial review thereof instituted pursuant to ch. 227
Law enforcement. 195.07(1)(1)
The office shall inquire into the neglect or violation of the laws of this state by railroads, or by the officers, agents or employees thereof, or by persons operating railroads, and shall report violations to the attorney general.
(2) Attorney general and district attorney to prosecute.
Upon request of the office, the attorney general or the district attorney of the proper county shall aid in any investigation, hearing or trial had under, and shall institute and prosecute all necessary actions or proceedings for the enforcement of, laws relating to railroads.
(3) Actions, character, venue.
Any forfeiture, fine or other penalty provided in chs. 192
may be recovered as a forfeiture in a civil action brought in the name of the state in the circuit court of Dane County, or in the county that would be the proper place of trial under s. 801.50
Railroad rates, schedules, service. 195.08(1g)
In this section "schedules" does not include "timetables".
(1r) Service rates to be adequate and just.
Every railroad shall furnish reasonably adequate service and facilities, and the charges made for the transportation of passengers or property or for any service in connection therewith, or for the receiving, switching, delivering, storing or handling of property shall be reasonable and just, and every unjust and unreasonable charge for such service is prohibited and declared to be unlawful.
(2) Schedules; publication.
Every railroad shall print in plain type and file with the office schedules which shall be open to public inspection showing all rates, fares and charges for the transportation of passengers and property and any service in connection therewith which it has established and which are in force at the time between all points in this state upon its line or any line controlled or operated by it. The schedules shall plainly state the places upon its line or any line controlled or operated by it in this state between which passengers and property will be carried, and there shall be filed therewith the classification of freight in force.
(3) Schedules, rules and regulations.
Every railroad shall publish with and as a part of such schedules all rules and regulations that in any manner affect the rates charged or to be charged for the transportation of passengers or property, its charges for delay in loading or unloading cars, for track and car service or rental and for demurrage, switching, terminal or transfer service, or for rendering any other service in connection with the transportation of persons or property.
(4) Schedules, copies in depots.
Two copies of said schedules for the use of the public shall be kept in every depot, station and office of such railroad in such form and place as to be easily accessible to the public.
(5) Schedules, joint rates.
When passengers or property are transported over connecting lines in this state, and the several railroads operating the lines establish joint rates, fares and charges, a schedule thereof shall in like manner be printed and filed with the office and in every depot, station and office of the railroads.
(7) Changes in schedule.
No change shall be made in any schedule, or in any classification, unless the change shall be plainly indicated upon existing schedules, or by filing new schedules in lieu thereof, 30 days prior to the time the same are to take effect. Copies of all new schedules shall be filed as hereinbefore provided in every depot, station and office of such railroad at places to or from which the rates in such schedules apply, 30 days prior to the time the same are to take effect, unless the office of the commissioner of railroads shall prescribe a less time.
(9) Complaint against change in schedules.
Whenever a complaint is filed with the office before any change in any schedule, or in any classification, rule, regulation or practice becomes effective to the effect that the change is unreasonable or unjustly discriminatory, the office shall give notice to the railroad that a complaint has been made, may direct the department to investigate the complaint and shall set the complaint for hearing. Any report of the department shall be presented to the office only at the hearing on the complaint. The office may, in its discretion, by order, stay the change pending the determination of the matters investigated at any time before the change shall take effect. If the change complained of is found unreasonable or unjustly discriminatory, the change shall not take effect and, if the change has become effective, the office shall order the discontinuance thereof. The office may fix and order substituted for any such change such rates, joint rates, fares, charges, classification, rule, regulation, practice or service as it shall have determined to be just and reasonable and which shall be charged, imposed or followed in the future, and shall make such order respecting such rule, regulation, practice or service as it shall determine to be reasonable and which shall be observed and followed in the future. Procedure and notice shall be as provided in s. 195.04 (2)
(10) Reasonable joint rates.
Whenever passengers or property are transported over connecting lines of railroad between points in this state, and the railroads have made joint rates for the transportation of the same, such rates and all charges in connection therewith shall be just and reasonable; provided, that a less charge by any of said railroads for its proportion of such joint rates than is made locally between the same points on their respective lines shall not for that reason be construed as a violation of law.
(11) Freight classification.
There shall be but one classification of freight which shall be uniform on all railroads.
Concentration, commodity, transit and other special contract rates are permitted, but all such rates shall be open to all shippers for a like kind of traffic under similar circumstances and conditions, and shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter.
The office shall have power, when deemed by it necessary to prevent injury to the business or interests of the people or railroads of this state in consequence of interstate rate wars, or in case of any other emergency to be judged of by the office, to temporarily alter, amend, or, with the consent of the railroad company concerned, suspend any existing passenger rates, freight rates, schedules and orders on any railroad or part of railroad in this state. Such rates so made by the office shall apply on one or more of the railroads in this state or any portion thereof as may be directed by the office, and shall take effect at such time and remain in force for such length of time as may be prescribed by the office.
History: 1981 c. 347
s. 80 (1)
; 1993 a. 16
Discriminations prohibited. 195.11(1)
If any railroad, or any agent or officer thereof, shall directly or indirectly, or by any device whatsoever, charge, demand, collect or receive a greater, less or different compensation for the transportation of persons or property or of any service in connection therewith than that prescribed in the tariffs then in force, or than it charges, demands, collects or receives from any other person, firm or corporation for a like and contemporaneous service, such railroad shall be deemed guilty of unjust discrimination, which is hereby prohibited.
It shall be unlawful for any railroad to demand, charge, collect or receive from any shipper a less compensation for the transportation of property or for any service rendered or to be rendered by said railroad, in consideration of said shipper furnishing any part of the facilities incident thereto; but any railroad may rent any facilities incident to transportation and pay a reasonable rental therefor, but no payment shall be made by any carrier to an industry for performing any part of the service incident to the origination or determination of carload line haul shipments which the carriers have assumed to perform under the provisions of the bill of lading.
Preference by carriers prohibited.
If any railroad shall make or give any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage to any person, firm or corporation, or shall subject any person, firm or corporation to any undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage in any respect whatsoever, such railroad shall be deemed guilty of unjust discrimination, which is hereby prohibited.
Rebates and concessions, unlawful to accept.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation knowingly to accept or receive any rebate, concession or discrimination in respect to transportation of property wholly within this state, or for any service in connection therewith, whereby any such property shall, by any device whatsoever, be transported at a less rate than that named in the tariffs in force, or whereby any service or advantage is received other than is therein specified. Any person, firm or corporation violating the provisions of this section shall be fined not less than $50 nor more than $1,000 for each offense.
History: 1997 a. 254
Free transportation; reduced rates, passes, limitations. 195.14(1)(1)
This chapter does not prohibit the carriage, storage or handling of freight free or at reduced rates for the United States, the state, or any municipality thereof, or for charitable purposes, or to and from fairs and expositions for exhibition thereat, or household goods the property of railway employees, or commodities shipped by employees for their exclusive use or consumption; or the issuance of mileage, commutation, party or excursion passengers' tickets; or the sale of such tickets as were usually and customarily sold at reduced rates prior to June 15, 1905; provided the same are issued and sold without discrimination to all persons applying therefor under like circumstances and conditions.
Railroads may give transportation free or at reduced rates to any minister of the gospel, officers or agent of incorporated colleges, inmates of soldiers' homes, regular agents of charitable societies when traveling upon the business of the society only, destitute and homeless persons, railroad officers, attorneys, physicians, directors, employees or members of their families, or to former railroad employees or members of their families where the employees have become disabled in the railway service, or are unable from physical disqualification to continue in the service, or to members of families of deceased railroad employees.
Railroads may exchange passes with officers, attorneys, physicians or employees of other railroads and members of their families. No person holding any public office or position under the laws of this state shall be given transportation free or at reduced rates that are not open to the public, except that notaries public and regular employees of a railroad or other public utility who are candidates for or hold public office for which the annual compensation is not more than $300 to whom no passes or privileges are extended beyond those that are extended to other regular employees of such corporations may be granted free transportation or reduced rates for the transmission of any message or communication.
Upon any shipment of livestock or other property of such nature as to require the care of an attendant, the railroad may furnish to the shipper or persons designated by the shipper, free transportation for such attendant, including return passage to the point at which the shipment originated; provided, there shall be no discrimination in reference thereto.
Except as provided in this section, no free transportation for intrastate traffic shall be given by any railroad.
Transportation contracts, filed.
Every railroad shall, when required and within the time fixed by the office, deliver to the office for its use copies of all contracts which relate to the transportation of persons or property, or any service in connection therewith, made or entered into by it with any other railroad or any shipper or other person doing business with it.
History: 1981 c. 347
s. 80 (1)
; 1993 a. 16
Every railroad shall keep and for 2 years preserve a record of every railroad ticket, pass or mileage book issued to a resident of this state free or for a money consideration less than that charged the general public. Such record shall consist of the name of the recipient, the amount received, and the reason for issuance, and shall be open to inspection by the office upon reasonable notice during such period of 2 years.
Interstate rate investigation, petition for relief, tariffs filed.
The office may investigate all freight rates on interstate traffic affecting Wisconsin, and when the same are, in the opinion of the office, excessive or discriminatory or are levied or laid in violation of the law, or in conflict with the rulings, orders or regulations of the interstate commerce commission, the office shall present the facts to the interstate carrier, with a request to make such changes as the office may advise and, if such changes are not made within a reasonable time, the office shall petition the interstate commerce commission for relief. All freight tariffs issued by any railroad relating to interstate traffic in this state shall be filed with the office when issued.
History: 1981 c. 347
; 1993 a. 16
Depots; relocation of facilities. 195.19(1)
Every railroad shall provide and maintain adequate passenger depots equipped with proper toilet facilities at its regular stations for the accommodation of passengers, and said depots shall be kept clean, well-lighted and warmed, for the comfort and accommodation of the traveling public, and shall be kept open continuously from not less than 20 minutes before any train carrying passengers is scheduled to arrive and until such train has departed and for such longer period in any case as the office may determine is necessary for the convenience and accommodation of the public. Where the office determines that the service of certain trains in making stops on signals is in excess of reasonably adequate service, the provisions of this section shall not apply in connection with the rendition of such service.
All railroads shall keep and maintain adequate and suitable freight depots, buildings, switches and sidetracks for the receiving, handling and delivering of freight transported or to be transported by such railroads.
(3) Union depot.
In every city, village or town in which 2 or more railroads maintain passenger depots, it shall be the duty of such railroads to construct, maintain and use an adequate union passenger depot, whenever practical and required by public convenience and necessity. If, after investigation, the office shall determine that it is practicable and that public convenience and necessity required the construction, maintenance and use of a union passenger depot in any such city, village or town the office may order such railroads to construct, maintain and use an adequate union passenger depot, and shall in such order fix the location of such depot. If the railroads shall be unable to agree upon an apportionment of the original cost of such union passenger depot, and the expense of maintaining the same, within 20 days after the service of such order, the office may, after a hearing, issue a supplemental order declaring the apportionment of such original cost and the expense of maintaining such depot.
(4) Relocation of railroad facilities.
Any city, village or town may cooperate with a railroad in grade crossing elimination or relocation, elimination or relocation of switchyards, roundhouses or terminals and may appropriate or borrow money therefor.
Joint use of railroad property.
Whenever, upon complaint and after hearing had, the office finds that public convenience and necessity require the use by one or more railroads of the tracks, wires, poles, rights-of-way, switches, bridges or other property belonging to another railroad over or on any street, railroad, railway, right-of-way, bridge or viaduct, upon or over which said railroads have a right to operate, and that such use will not prevent the owners or other users thereof from performing their public duties, nor result in irreparable injury to such owners or other users thereof, the office may, by order, direct that such use be permitted, and prescribe a reasonable compensation and reasonable terms and conditions for such joint use.
History: 1981 c. 347
s. 80 (1)
; 1993 a. 16
Any person proposing to erect or maintain a public elevator or public warehouse for the purchase, sale, storage, receiving or shipping of grain, or other personal property, to be received from or transported upon any railroad, shall be furnished by such railroad at a reasonable rental, a site upon its right-of-way or depot grounds, within the yard limits of any station or terminal of such railroad; and any private elevator or warehouse situated upon such grounds may be converted into a public elevator or warehouse at the option of the owner, upon notice in writing to the railroad and thereby be permitted to remain thereon under the same conditions as provided herein for a public elevator or warehouse; and the office shall, upon application by such owner, if the public interest so requires, by order, direct the railroad to furnish such site and the office shall make reasonable regulations therefor and in case of disagreement, the office shall determine the rental therefor. Elevators and warehouses erected or maintained under the foregoing provisions of this section shall be subject to such rules and regulations as to charges and the manner of conducting business as the office shall prescribe.
History: 1981 c. 347
s. 80 (1)
; 1993 a. 16
Car supply and freight delivery. 195.22(1)
Every railroad shall, when possible and upon application and reasonable notice, furnish suitable cars to all persons for the transportation of freight in carload lots and shall use reasonable diligence in moving freight and making delivery thereof.
In case of insufficiency of cars at any time to meet all requirements, such cars as are available shall be distributed among the several applicants therefor in proportion to their respective immediate requirements without discrimination between shippers or places; but preference may be given to shipments of livestock and perishable property.