Article 8.

Securities Regulation.

§ 62-160.  Permission to pledge assets.

No public utility shall pledge its faith, credit, moneys or property for the benefit of any holder of its preferred or common stocks or bonds, nor for any other business interest with which it may be affiliated through agents or holding companies or otherwise by the authority of the action of its stockholders, directors, or contract or other agents, the compliance or result of which would in any manner deplete, reduce, conceal, abstract or dissipate the earnings or assets thereof, decrease or increase its liabilities or assets, without first making application to the Commission and by order obtain its permission so to do. (1933, c. 307, s. 17; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1.)


§ 62-161.  Assumption of certain liabilities and obligations to be approved by Commission; refinancing of public utility securities.

(a)        No public utility shall issue any securities, or assume any liability or obligation as lessor, lessee, guarantor, indorser, surety, or otherwise, in respect to the securities of any other person unless and until, and then only to the extent that, upon application by such utility, and after investigation by the Commission of the purposes and uses of the proposed issue, and the proceeds thereof, or of the proposed assumption of obligation or liability in respect of the securities of any other person, the Commission by order authorizes such issue or assumption.

(b)        The Commission shall make such order only if it finds that such issue or assumption is (i) for some lawful object within the corporate purposes of the public utility, (ii) is compatible with the public interest, (iii) is necessary or appropriate for or consistent with the proper performance by such utility of its service to the public and will not impair its ability to perform that service, and (iv) is reasonably necessary and appropriate for such purpose.

(c)        Any such order of the Commission shall specify the purposes for which any such securities or the proceeds thereof may be used by the public utility making such application.

(d)       If a public utility shall apply to the Commission for the refinancing of its outstanding shares of stock by exchanging or redeeming such outstanding shares, the exchange or redemption of such shares of any dividend rate or rates, class or classes, may be made in whole or in part, in the manner and to the extent approved by the Commission, notwithstanding any provisions of law applicable to corporations in general: Provided, that the proposed transactions are found by the Commission to be in the public interest and in the interest of consumers and investors, and provided that any redemption shall be at a price or prices, not less than par, and at a time or times, stated or provided for in the utility's charter or stock certificates. (1933, c. 307, s. 18; 1945, c. 656; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1.)


§ 62-162.  Commission may approve in whole or in part or refuse approval.

The Commission, by its order, may grant or deny the application provided for in the preceding section [G.S. 62-161] as made, or may grant it in part or deny it in part or may grant it with such modification and upon such terms and conditions as the Commission may deem necessary or appropriate in the premises and may, from time to time, for good cause shown, make such supplemental orders in the premises as it may deem necessary or appropriate and may, by any such supplemental order, modify the provisions of any previous order as to the particular purposes, uses, and extent to which or the conditions under which any securities so authorized or the proceeds thereof may be applied; subject always to the requirements of the foregoing section [G.S. 62-161]. (1933, c. 307, s. 19; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1.)


§ 62-163.  Contents of application for permission.

Every application for authority for such issue or assumption shall be made in such form and contain such matters as the Commission may prescribe. Every such application and every certificate of notification hereinafter provided for shall be made under oath, signed and filed on behalf of the public utility by its president, a vice-president, auditor, comptroller, or other executive officer duly  designated for that purpose by such utility. (1933, c. 307, s. 20; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1.)


§ 62-164.  Applications to receive immediate attention; continuances.

All applications for the issuance of securities or assumption of liability or obligation shall be placed at the head of the Commission's docket and disposed of promptly, and all such applications shall be disposed of in 30 days after the same are filed with the Commission, unless it is necessary for good cause to continue the same for a longer period for consideration. Whenever such application is continued beyond 30 days after the time it is filed, the order making such continuance must state fully the facts necessitating such continuance. (1933, c. 307, s. 21; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1.)


§ 62-165.  Notifying Commission as to disposition of securities.

Whenever any securities set forth and described in any such application for authority or certificate of notification as pledged or held unencumbered in the treasury of the utility shall, subsequent to the filing of such application or certificate, be sold, pledged, repledged, or otherwise disposed of, by the utility, such utility shall, within 10 days after such sale, pledge, repledge, or other disposition, file with the Commission a certificate of notification to that effect, setting forth therein all such facts as may be required by the Commission. (1933, c. 307, s. 22; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1.)


§ 62-166.  No guarantee on part of State.

Nothing herein shall be construed to imply any guarantee or obligation as to such securities on the part of the State of North Carolina. (1933, c. 307, s. 23; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1.)


§ 62-167.  Article not applicable to note issues and renewals; notice to Commission.

The provisions of the foregoing sections shall not apply to notes issued by a utility for proper purposes and not in violation of law, payable at a period of not more than two years from the date thereof, and shall not apply to like notes issued by a utility payable at a period of not more than two years from date thereof, to pay, retire, discharge, or refund in whole or in part any such note or notes, and shall not apply to renewals thereof from time to time not exceeding in the aggregate six years from the date of the issue of the original note or notes so renewed or refunded. No such notes payable at a period of not more than two years from the date thereof, shall, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, be paid, retired, discharged or refunded by any issue of securities or another kind of any term or character or from the proceeds thereof without the approval of the Commission. Within 10 days after the making of any such notes, so payable at periods of not more than two years from the date thereof, the utility issuing the same shall file with the Commission a certificate of notification, in such form as may be determined and prescribed by the Commission. (1933, c. 307, ss. 24, 25; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1.)


§ 62-168.  Not applicable to debentures of court receivers.

Nothing contained in this Article shall limit the power of any court having jurisdiction to authorize or cause receiver's certificates or debentures to be issued according to the rules and practice obtained in receivership proceedings in courts of equity. (1933, c. 307, s. 25; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1.)


§ 62-169.  Periodical or special reports.

The Commission shall require periodical or special reports from each public utility issuing any security, including such notes payable at periods of not more than two years from the date thereof, which shall show, in such detail as the Commission may require, the disposition made of such securities and the application of the proceeds. (1933, c. 307, s. 26; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1.)


§ 62-170.  Failure to obtain approval not to invalidate securities or obligations; noncompliance with Article, etc.

(a)        Securities issued and obligations and liabilities assumed by a public utility, for which the authorization of the Commission is required, shall not be invalidated because issued or assumed without such authorization therefor having first been obtained or because issued or assumed contrary to any term or condition of such order of authorization as modified by any order supplemental thereto entered prior to such issuance or assumption.

(b)        Securities issued or obligations or liabilities assumed in accordance with all the terms and conditions of the order of authorization therefor shall not be affected by a failure to comply with any provision of this Article or rule or regulation of the Commission relating to procedure and other matters preceding the entry of such order of authorization or order supplemental thereto.

(c)        A copy of any order made and entered by the Commission and certified by a clerk of the Commission approving the issuance of any securities or the assumption of any obligation or liability by a public utility shall be sufficient evidence of full and complete compliance by the applicant for such approval with all procedural and other matters required precedent to the entry of such order.

(d)       Any public utility which willfully issues any such securities,  or assumes any such obligation or liability, or makes any sale or other disposition of securities, or applies any securities or the proceeds thereof to purposes other than the purposes specified in an order of the Commission with respect thereto, contrary to the provisions of this Article, shall be liable to a penalty of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), but such utility is only required to specify in general terms the purpose for which any securities are to be issued, or for which any obligation or liability is to be assumed, and the order of the Commission with respect thereto shall likewise be in general terms. (1933, c. 307, s. 27; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1.)


§ 62-171.  Commission may act jointly with agency of another state where public utility operates.

If a commission or other agency or agencies is empowered by another state to regulate and control the amount and character of securities to be issued by any public utility within such other state, then the Utilities Commission of the State of North Carolina shall have the power to agree with such commission or other agency or agencies of such other state on the issue of stocks, bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness by a public utility owning or operating a public utility both in such state and in this State, and shall have the power to approve such issue jointly with such commission or other agency or agencies and to issue joint certificate of such approval: Provided, however, that no such joint approval shall be required in order to express the consent to an approval of such issue by the State of North Carolina if said issue is separately approved by the Utilities Commission of the State of North Carolina. (1933, c. 134, s. 8; c. 307, s. 28; 1941, c. 97; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1.)


§§ 62-172 through 62-179.  Reserved for future codification purposes.