Articles Posted in Rhode Island Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court affirmed the report and order of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) denying the Town of Portsmouth’s request for a discounted rate for ferry service from the Town of Bristol to Prudence Island for municipal vehicles and passengers performing essential government services, holding that the PUC did not err in denying the Town’s request for a discounted rate. On appeal, the Town argued that the PUC’s express statutory authority and implied powers grant it the right to order the Town’s requested rates without needing the permission of the entity it regulates, i.e., A&R Marine Corp., d/b/a Prudence & Bay Islands Transport. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding (1) before the PUC would have been legally authorized to act upon a discounted ferry rate for the Town, it would have been necessary, pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws 39-2-5(2), for A&R Marine to propose such a discounted rate; and (2) because A&R never made such a proposal, the PUC’s report and order is affirmed. View "In re A&R Marine Corp." on Justia Law

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The City of Newport’s Utility Department, Water Division (Newport Water) filed a rate application with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) requesting a revenue increase. The PUC issued an order in docket No. 3818 ordering that money Newport Water owed to the City be paid back to the City under certain conditions. Newport Water subsequently filed another application for a rate increase - docket No. 4025. The PUC issued an order concluding that Newport Water had commenced the required repayment of its debt owed to the City. Portsmouth Water and Fire District (Portsmouth) petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari. The Supreme Court vacated the PUC’s order, concluding that the PUC order failed to enforce the order in docket No. 3818, and remanded to the PUC with directions to make more specific findings of fact to support the PUC’s conclusion that Newport Water complied with the order in docket No. 3818. This appeal concerned the PUC’s order on remand. The Supreme Court (1) affirmed the PUC’s order in regard to its definition, identification, and quantification of “efficiencies” as it relates to the order in docket No. 3818; and (2) vacated the PUC’s order to the extent it allowed Newport Water to use $191,997 in excess revenues to pay down its debt to the City. View "Portsmouth Water and Fire District v. Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission" on Justia Law