Note: see session law sections for effective dates.
A household goods carrier shall file and maintain with the commissioner a tariff showing rates and charges for transporting household goods. Tariffs must be prepared and filed in accordance with the rules of the commissioner. When tariffs are filed in accordance with the rules and accepted by the commissioner, the filing constitutes notice to the public and interested parties of the contents of the tariffs. The commissioner shall not accept for filing tariffs that are unjust, unreasonable, unjustly discriminatory, unduly preferential or prejudicial, or otherwise in violation of this section or rules adopted under this section. If the tariffs appear to be unjust, unreasonable, unjustly discriminatory, unduly preferential or prejudicial, or otherwise in violation of this section or rules adopted under this section, after notification and investigation by the department, the commissioner may suspend and postpone the effective date of the tariffs and assign the tariffs for hearing upon notice to the household goods carrier filing the proposed tariffs and to other interested parties, including users of the service and competitive carriers by motor vehicle and rail. At the hearing, the burden of proof is on the household goods carrier filing the proposed tariff to sustain the validity of the proposed schedule of rates and charges. The tariffs and subsequent supplements to them or reissues of them must state the effective date, which may not be less than ten days following the date of filing, unless the period of time is reduced by special permission of the commissioner.
Tariffs, supplements, and reissues must be prepared and filed in accordance with rules of the commissioner. Rates or charges, including pickup charges named therein, are subject to complaint to the commissioner by an interested party. The commissioner, after investigation by the department, by order on not less than ten days' notice, may assign the complaint for hearing, and if at the hearing, the complainant submits facts and evidence sufficient to establish proof that the rates or charges complained of are excessive or noncompensatory, the commissioner may order the rates or charges canceled, and require the filing of alternative and reasonable rates and charges, the reasonable level of which at that time must be indicated by the commissioner in the order.
Upon the filing of a tariff or subsequent supplement or reissue, any other carrier has the right to petition the commissioner to suspend it from taking effect until opportunity is had for a hearing on the reasonableness of the rates or charges, and the commissioner may suspend the rates or charges if in its judgment the rates or charges complained of are so unreasonably low as to create destructive competitive practices among or jeopardize the economic position of competing carriers. In determining whether the rates or charges are excessive or noncompensatory, the commissioner shall include in consideration, among other things, the reasonable cost of the services rendered for the transportation, including a reasonable return on the money invested in the business and an adequate sum for maintenance and depreciation of the property used.
The commissioner, (1) after a suspension and hearing upon a schedule of rates and charges, or upon complaint, or upon the commissioner's own initiative, either in extension of an existing complaint or without a complaint whatever, (2) after department investigation and petition, (3) upon notice to the permit carrier or tariff agent proposing, maintaining, or charging a schedule of rates and charges on a single group of related commodities, and (4) upon notice to the users of the service and competitive carriers by motor vehicle and rail, may assign for hearing the schedule of rates and charges proposed, maintained, or charged by any or all permit carriers. Upon a finding, after a hearing, that the schedule of rates and charges are unjust or unreasonable or unjustly discriminatory or unduly preferential or prejudicial or otherwise in violation of this section, the commissioner may prescribe minimum rates and charges and the rates, rules, and practices thereafter to be maintained and applied by the permit carrier or tariff agent. In the hearing the burden of proof is upon the permit carrier or tariff agent whose schedules of rates and charges are under investigation to show that the schedules are not below a minimum reasonable level or are not noncompensatory.
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