§271-34  Witnesses.  (a)  Each witness who appears by order of the public utilities commission shall receive for the witness' attendance the same fees and mileage allowed by law to a witness in civil cases, which shall be paid by the party at whose request the witness is subpoenaed.  When any witness who has not been required to attend at the request of any party is subpoenaed by the commission, the witness' fees and mileage shall be paid from the fund appropriated for the use of the commission in the same manner as other expenses of the commission are paid.  Any witness subpoenaed except one whose fees and mileage may be paid from the funds of the commission, may, at the time of service, demand the fee to which the witness is entitled for travel to and from the place at which the witness is required to appear, and one day's attendance.  If the witness demands the fees at the time of service, and they are not at that time paid or tendered, the witness shall not be required to appear.  All fees or mileage to which any witness is entitled under this section may be collected by action therefor instituted by the person to whom the fees are payable.  No witness furnished with free transportation shall receive mileage for the distance the witness may have traveled on such free transportation.

     (b)  In case of the refusal of any witness to attend or testify or produce any papers required by a subpoena issued by the commission, the commission may file in the circuit court a petition setting forth that due notice has been given of the time and place of attendance of the witness, or the production of the papers, and that the witness has been summoned in the manner prescribed in this section and has failed and refused to attend or produce the papers required by the subpoena, or has refused to answer questions propounded to the witness in the course of the proceeding.  The petition shall include a request for an order of the court, compelling the witness to attend and testify or produce the papers before the commission.

     (c)  Upon the filing of a petition the court shall enter an order directing the witness to appear before the court at a time and place fixed in the order and show cause why the witness has not attended and testified or produced the papers before the commission.  The time fixed shall not be more than ten days from the date of the order.  A copy of the order shall be served upon the witness.  If it appears to the court that the subpoena was regularly issued by the commission, the court shall thereupon enter an order that the witness appear before the commission at the time and place fixed in the order, and testify or produce the required papers, and upon failure to obey the order, the witness shall be dealt with as for contempt of court.

     (d)  The commission or any party may, in any investigation or hearing before the commission, cause the deposition of witnesses residing within or without the State to be taken in the manner prescribed by law for like deposition in civil actions in the circuit courts of this State and to that end may compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, waybills, documents, papers, and accounts.

     (e)  No person shall be excused from testifying or from producing any book, waybill, document, paper, or account in any investigation or inquiry by or hearing before the commission when ordered to do so, upon the ground that the testimony or evidence, book, waybill, document, paper, or account required of the person may tend to incriminate the person or subject the person to penalty, but no person shall be prosecuted, punished, or subjected to any penalty for or on account of any act, transaction, matter, or things concerning which, under oath, the person has testified or produced documentary evidence, but no person so testifying shall be exempt from prosecution or punishment for any perjury committed by the person in the person's testimony.  Nothing herein shall be construed as in any manner giving to any corporate motor carrier immunity of any kind. [L 1961, c 121, pt of §2; Supp, §106C-32; HRS §271-34; gen ch 1985]


Cross References


  Witness fees, see §607-12.