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Constitutional Provisions.

Extracts from the Constitution Relating to Railroads.


§ 209. A commission is hereby established, to be known as “The Railroad Commission,” which shall be composed of three commissioners. During the session of the General Assembly, which convenes in December, eighteen hundred and ninety-one, and before the first day of June, eighteen hundred and ninetytwo, the Governor shall appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, said three commissioners, one from each superior court district, as now established, and said appointees shall take their office at the expiration of the terms of the present incumbents. The commissioners so appointed shall continue in office during the present term of the present Governor, and until their successors are elected and qualified. At the regular election in eighteen hundred and ninety-five, and every four years thereafter, the commissioners shall be elected, one in each superior court district, by the qualified voters thereof, at the same time and for the same term as the Governor. No person shall be eligible to said office unless he be, at the time of his election, at least thirty years of age, a citizen of Kentucky two years, and a resident of the district from which he is chosen one year next preceding his election. Any vacancy in this office shall be filled as provided in section one hundred and fifty-two of this Constitution. The General Assembly may, from time to time, change said districts so as to equalize the population thereof; and may, if deemed expedient, require that the commissioners be all elected by the qualified voters of the State at large. And if so required, one commissioner shall be from each district. No person in the service of any railroad or common carrier company, or corporation, or of any firm or association conducting business as a common carrier, or in any wise pecuniarily interested in such company, corporation, firm or association, or in the railroad business, or as a common carrier, shall hold such office. The powers and duties of the railroad commissioners shall be regulated by law, and until otherwise provided by law the Commission so created shall have the same powers and jurisdiction, perform the same duties, be subject to the same regulations, and receive the same compensation as now conferred, prescribed and allowed by law to the existing railroad commissioners. The General Assembly may, for cause, address any of said commissioners out of office by similar proceedings as in the case of judges of the Court of Appeals; and the General Assembly shall enact laws to prevent the nonfeasance and misfeasance in office of said commissioners, and to impose proper penalties therefor.

$ 210. No corporation engaged in the business of common carrier shall, directly or indirectly, own, manage, operate or engage in any other business than that of a common carrier, or hold, own, lease or acquire directly or indirectly, mines, factories or timber, except such as shall be necessary to carry on its business; and the General Assembly shall enact laws to give effect to the provisions of this section.

§ 211. No railroad corporations organized under the laws of any other State, or of the United States, and doing business, or proposing to do business, in this State, shall be entitled to the benefit of the right of eminent domain, or have power to acquire the right of way or real estate for depot or other uses, until it shall have become a body-corporate, pursuant to and in accordance with the laws of this Commonwealth. (22 R., 934.)

$ 212. The rolling stock and other movable property belonging to any railroad corporation or company in this State shall be considered personal property and shall be liable to execution and sale in the same manner as the personal property of individuals. The earnings of any railroad company or corporation, and choses in action, money and personal property of all kinds belonging to it, in the hands or under the control of any officer, agent or employe of such corporation or company, shall be subject to process of attachment to the same extent and in the same manner as like property of individuals when in the hands or under the control of other persons. Any such earnings, choses in action, money or other personal property may be subjected to the payment of any judgment against such corporation or company, in the same manner and the same extent as such property of individuals in the hands of third persons.

$ 213. All railroad, transfer, belt lines and railway bridge companies, organized under the laws of Kentucky, or operating, maintaining or controlling any railroad, transfer, belt lines or bridges, or doing a railway business in this State, shall receive, transfer, deliver and switch empty or loaded cars, and shall move, transport, receive, load or unload all the freight in car loads or less quantities, coming to or going from any railroad, transfer, belt, line, bridge, or siding thereon, with equal promptness and dispatch, and without any discrimination as to charges, preference, drawback, or rebate in favor of any person, corporation, consignee or consignor, in any matter as to payment, transportation, handling or delivery; and shall so receive, deliver, transfer and transport all freight as above set forth, from and to any point where there is a physical connection between the tracks of said companies. But this section shall not be construed as requiring any such common carriers to allow the use of its tracks for the trains of another engaged in like business. (95 Ky., 199; 15 R., 548.)

$ 214. No railway, transfer, belt line or railway bridge company shall make any exclusive or preferential contract or arrangement with any individual, association or corporation, for the receipt, transfer, delivery, transportation, handling, care or custody of any freight, or for the conduct of any business as a common carrier.

$ 215. All railway, transfer, belt lines or railway bridge companies shall receive, load, unload, transport, haul, deliver and handle freight of the same class for all persons, associations or corporations from and to the same points and upon the same conditions, in the same manner and for the same charges, and for the same method of payment.

$ 216. All railway, transfer, belt lines and railway bridge companies shall allow the tracks of each other to unite, intersect and cross at any point where such union, intersection and crossing is reasonable or feasible.

$ 217. Any person, association or corporation, willfully or knowingly violating any of the provisions of sections two hundred and thirteen, two hundred and fourteen, two hundred and fifteen, or two hundred and sixteen, shall, upon conviction by a court of competent jurisdiction, for the first offense, be fined two thousand dollars; for the second offense, five thousand dollars, and for the third offense, shall thereupon, ipso facto, forfeit its franchises, privileges or charter rights; and if such delinquent be a foreign corporation, it shall, ipso facto, forfeit its rights to do business in this State; and the Attorney General of the Commonwealth shall forthwith, upon notice of the violation of any of said provisions, institute proceedings to enforce the provisions of the aforesaid sections.

§ 218. It shall be unlawful for any person or corporation, owning or operating a railroad in this State, or any common carrier, to charge or receive any greater compensation in the aggregate for the transportation of passengers, or of property of like kind, under substantially similar circumstances and conditions, for a shorter than for a longer distance over the same line, in the same direction, the shorter being included within the longer distance; but this shall not be construed as authorizing any common carrier, or person or corporation, owning or operating a railroad in this State, to receive as great compensation for a shorter as for a longer distance. Provided, That upon application to the Railroad Commission, such common carrier, or person, or corporation owning or operating a railroad in this State, may, in special cases, after investigation by the Commission, be authorized to charge less for longer than for shorter distances for the transportation of passengers or property; and the Commission may, from time to time, prescribe the extent to which such common carrier, or person or corporation, owning or operating a railroad in this State, may be relieved from the operations of this section. (51 S. W. Rep., 164, 1012; 23 R., 1382; Id., 479, 544, 453; 20 R., 1099; 24 R., 509, 1779, 1883, 1887; 103 U. S., 503.)


§ 54. The General Assembly shall have no power to limit the amount to be recovered for injuries resulting in death, or from injuries to person or property.

§ 241. Whenever the death of a person shall result from an injury inflicted by negligence or wrongful act, then, in every such case, damages may be recovered for such death, from the corporations and persons so causing the same. Until otherwise provided by law, the action to recover such damages shall, in all cases be prosecuted by the personal representative of the deceased person. The General Assembly may provide how the recovery shall go and to whom belong; and until such provision is made the same shall form part of the personal estate of the deceased person.

$ 242. Municipal and other corporations, and individuals invested with the privilege of taking private property for public use, shall make just compensation for property taken, injured or destroyed by them; which compensation shall be paid before such taking, or paid or secured at the election of such corporation or individual, before such injury or destruction. The General Assembly shall not deprive any person of an appeal from any preliminary assessment of damages against any such corporations or individual made by commissioners or otherwise; and upon appeal from such preliminary assessment, the amount of such damages shall, in all cases, be determined by a jury according to the course of the common law. (19 R., 1450; 102 Ky., 402; 21 R., 894, 1028; 22 R., 654, 663; 16 R., 853; 24 R., 1260, 1495.)

$ 244. All wage-earners in the State employed in factories, mines, workshops, or by corporations, shall be paid for their labor in lawful money. The General Assembly shall prescribe adequate penalties for violations of this section. (20 R., 1211; 22 R., 559.)

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