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66-138. Common carriers, public utilities; penalties for violation of law; disposition; enforcement. (a) If any common carrier or public utility governed by the provisions of this act violates any of the provisions of this act, or shall do any act herein prohibited, or fails or refuses to perform any duty enjoined upon it in this act, or fails, neglects or refuses to obey any lawful requirement or order made by the commission, or any final judgment or decree made by any court upon appeal from any order of the commission, it shall, for every such violation, failure or refusal, forfeit and pay to the state treasurer (1) A sum not less than $100 and not more than $1,000 for such offense if the violator is a telecommunications public utility subject to traditional rate of return regulation; a telecommunications public utility described in K.S.A. 66-104a, and amendments thereto; a municipally owned and operated electric or natural gas public utility; an electric or natural gas cooperative public utility; a water public utility; or a nonprofit public utility; and (2) a sum not less than $100 and not more than $5,000 for such offense if the violator is any other common carrier or public utility. Upon receipt of any such sum, the state treasurer shall credit the entire amount thereof to the public service regulation fund or the motor carrier license fee fund, as the case requires.

Such forfeiture shall be enforced and collected by the attorney general in any court of competent jurisdiction. The attorney general may appoint a corporation commission attorney as a special assistant attorney general for the purposes of enforcing and collecting any forfeiture contemplated herein. In construing and enforcing the provisions of this act, any act, omission or failure of any officer, agent or other person acting for or employed by any such public utility or common carrier, while acting within the scope of such person's employment, shall in every case be deemed to be the act, omission or failure of such public utility or common carrier and every day during which any such public utility or common carrier or officer, agent or employee thereof, fails to comply with any order or direction of the commission, or to perform any duty required or enjoined by this act, shall constitute a separate and distinct violation of the provisions of this act.

(b) The provisions of subsection (a), shall not apply to any motor carrier.

History: L. 1911, ch. 238, § 38; R.S. 1923, 66-138; L. 1973, ch. 106, § 18; L. 1986, ch. 248, § 1; L. 1994, ch. 88, § 1; L. 2000, ch. 78, § 3; L. 2001, ch. 92, § 5; L. 2004, ch. 103, § 1; July 1.

Law Review and Bar Journal References:

"Transportation in Transition: KCC Regulation of Motor Carriers into the 1980's," Mary Piper Wettig, 57, No. 5, J.K.B.A. 19, 23 (1988).


1. Lawful orders of commission have force of statute. Stratton v. Atchison, T. & S.F. Rly. Co., 118 Kan. 673, 679, 236 P. 831.

2. Invalid preliminary orders of commission cannot be enjoined. State Corporation Comm. v. Wichita Gas Co., 290 U.S. 561, 54 S. Ct. 321, 322, 324, 78 L.Ed. 500.

3. Noted in opinion holding 66-176 grants court in damage action power to award treble damages; KCC cannot award damages. Western Kansas Express, Inc. v. Dugan Truck Lines, Inc., 11 Kan. App. 2d 336, 341, 720 P.2d 1132 (1986).

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