Porter v. SC PUBLIC SERVICE COM'N, No. 25053.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtMOORE, Justice
Citation525 S.E.2d 866,338 S.C. 164
PartiesPhilip S. PORTER, Consumer Advocate for the State of South Carolina, Appellant, v. SOUTH CAROLINA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION, Alltel South Carolina, Inc., Bluffton Telephone Company, Inc., Chester Telephone Company, Farmers Telephone Cooperative, Inc., Fort Mill Telephone Company, GTE South, Inc., Hargray Telephone Company, Inc., Home Telephone Company, Inc., Horry Telephone Cooperative, Inc., Lancaster Telephone Company, Lockhart Telephone Company, McClellanville Telephone Company, Norway Telephone Company, Palmetto Rural Telephone Cooperative, Inc., Piedmont Rural Telephone Cooperative, Inc., Pond Branch Telephone Company, Ridgeway Telephone Company, Rock Hill Telephone Company, Sandhill Telephone Cooperative, Inc., St. Stephen Telephone Company, and West Carolina Rural Telephone Cooperative, Inc., Respondents.
Decision Date24 January 2000
Docket NumberNo. 25053.

338 S.C. 164
525 S.E.2d 866

Philip S. PORTER, Consumer Advocate for the State of South Carolina, Appellant,
v.
SOUTH CAROLINA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION, Alltel South Carolina, Inc., Bluffton Telephone Company, Inc., Chester Telephone Company, Farmers Telephone Cooperative, Inc., Fort Mill Telephone Company, GTE South, Inc., Hargray Telephone Company, Inc., Home Telephone Company, Inc., Horry Telephone Cooperative, Inc., Lancaster Telephone Company, Lockhart Telephone Company, McClellanville Telephone Company, Norway Telephone Company, Palmetto Rural Telephone Cooperative, Inc., Piedmont Rural Telephone Cooperative, Inc., Pond Branch Telephone Company, Ridgeway Telephone Company, Rock Hill Telephone Company, Sandhill Telephone Cooperative, Inc., St. Stephen Telephone Company, and West Carolina Rural Telephone Cooperative, Inc., Respondents

No. 25053.

Supreme Court of South Carolina.

Heard December 15, 1999.

Decided January 24, 2000.

Rehearing Denied March 9, 2000.


338 S.C. 166
Philip S. Porter, Nancy Vaughn Coombs, and Elliott F. Elam, Jr., of S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs, of Columbia, for appellant

F. David Butler, of Columbia, for respondent S.C. Public Service Commission.

M. John Bowen, Margaret M. Fox, and Robert T. Bockman, all of McNair Law Firm, P.A., of Columbia, for respondent Telephone Companies.

MOORE, Justice:

This is a telephone rate case. The Consumer Advocate appeals on the ground rate increases were ordered without adequate notice to the public. We reverse and remand.

FACTS

In May 1996, the legislature enacted S.C.Code Ann. § 58-9-280(L) and (M) (Supp.1998) to facilitate the change to a competitive market for local telephone services. This legislation would enable incumbent local exchange carriers to lower their intrastate toll-switched access rates, which are the rates paid by long-distance carriers to access the local network, by providing a mechanism to offset the resulting loss of revenue to the local exchange carriers.

Local exchange carriers that elected to participate would lower their access rates to the level of rates charged by the largest local exchange carrier, BellSouth. To help offset the local exchange carriers' resulting loss of revenue, § 58-9-280(M) provided for the Interim Local Exchange Carrier Fund (Fund) to be established by December 31, 1996. Long distance companies that received lowered access rates from the participating local exchange carriers were required to contribute to the Fund in proportion to the amount of the rate reduction they received. Disbursements from the Fund would then be made to the local exchange carriers to offset their loss of revenue.

338 S.C. 167
In addition to disbursements from the Fund, subsection (L) provides that the Public Service Commission (PSC) shall allow the adjustment of other rates charged by participating local exchange carriers in order to offset their lost revenue from lowered access rates.1

In August 1996, the PSC notified incumbent local exchange carriers of the Fund's establishment and that access rate revenue loss would be recovered by (1) increases in other rates (not to exceed statewide average rates) and (2) recovery from the Fund. Local exchange carriers electing to participate in lowered access rates were to notify the PSC of this intention, provide financial information regarding lost access rate revenues, and indicate which method of recovery they would use.

On December 16 and 17, 1996, the PSC held a hearing regarding disbursements from the Fund and proposed rate adjustments for the twenty-five local exchange carriers that elected to participate. The Consumer Advocate objected on the ground proper notice of rate increases had not been given to the public. The PSC overruled the objection by a vote of five to two. On December 31, the PSC issued its order making distributions from the Fund and adjusting rates for the twenty-one participating local exchange carriers who are respondents in this...

To continue reading

Request your trial
7 practice notes
  • In re Treatment and Care of Luckabaugh, No. 25503.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • July 22, 2002
    ...the decision [are] left to speculation." Kiawah Property Owners Group v. Public Serv. Com'n of South Carolina, 338 S.C. at 96, 525 S.E.2d at 866 (quoting Able Communications, Inc. v. S.C. Public Serv. Comm'n, 290 S.C. 409, 411, 351 S.E.2d 151, 152 (1986)). To leave the chore of sorting thro......
  • Posey v. Proper Mold & Engineering, Inc., No. 4381.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • April 29, 2008
    ...stage." Id. Consequently, the delivery of poles was not part or process of the defendant's manufacturing business. Id. (quoting Abbott, 338 S.C. at 164, 526 S.E.2d at 514). 661 S.E.2d 401 Unlike the facts of Olmstead, PME/Autegra owned a tractor and two trailers, and its employees participa......
  • Keene v. CNA Holdings, LLC, Appellate Case No. 2016-000227
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • February 13, 2019
    ...S.C. 370follow that such delivery was ‘part or process’ of its manufacturing business." Id. at 426, 581 S.E.2d at 486 (quoting Abbott , 338 S.C. at 164, 526 S.E.2d at 514 ). Abbott represents a change in this state's jurisprudence on what activity constitutes "part of [the owner's] trade, b......
  • Gardner v. South Carolina Dept. of Revenue, No. 25587.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • January 27, 2003
    ...nonetheless failed to establish prejudice where received post-removal hearing); see also Porter v. South Carolina Public Serv. Comm'n, 338 S.C. 164, 525 S.E.2d 866 (2000) (Court reversed agency decision where it found substantial prejudice from lack of notice). Where a party receives inadeq......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
7 cases
  • In re Treatment and Care of Luckabaugh, No. 25503.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • July 22, 2002
    ...the decision [are] left to speculation." Kiawah Property Owners Group v. Public Serv. Com'n of South Carolina, 338 S.C. at 96, 525 S.E.2d at 866 (quoting Able Communications, Inc. v. S.C. Public Serv. Comm'n, 290 S.C. 409, 411, 351 S.E.2d 151, 152 (1986)). To leave the chore of sorting thro......
  • Posey v. Proper Mold & Engineering, Inc., No. 4381.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • April 29, 2008
    ...stage." Id. Consequently, the delivery of poles was not part or process of the defendant's manufacturing business. Id. (quoting Abbott, 338 S.C. at 164, 526 S.E.2d at 514). 661 S.E.2d 401 Unlike the facts of Olmstead, PME/Autegra owned a tractor and two trailers, and its employees participa......
  • Keene v. CNA Holdings, LLC, Appellate Case No. 2016-000227
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • February 13, 2019
    ...S.C. 370follow that such delivery was ‘part or process’ of its manufacturing business." Id. at 426, 581 S.E.2d at 486 (quoting Abbott , 338 S.C. at 164, 526 S.E.2d at 514 ). Abbott represents a change in this state's jurisprudence on what activity constitutes "part of [the owner's] trade, b......
  • Gardner v. South Carolina Dept. of Revenue, No. 25587.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • January 27, 2003
    ...nonetheless failed to establish prejudice where received post-removal hearing); see also Porter v. South Carolina Public Serv. Comm'n, 338 S.C. 164, 525 S.E.2d 866 (2000) (Court reversed agency decision where it found substantial prejudice from lack of notice). Where a party receives inadeq......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT