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55-605. Enforcement of act; jurisdiction of commission over proceedings and hearings; notice; emergency rule, regulation or order; punishment for contempt; conduct of investigations and hearings by certain officers or employees; findings and recommendations; application of Kansas administrative procedure act. (a) Any person, or the attorney general on behalf of the state, or the state corporation commission on its own initiative, may institute proceedings before the commission upon any question relating to the enforcement of this act, or for the making, revocation, change, renewal or extension, or for the enforcement of, any rule, regulation or order thereunder, and jurisdiction is hereby conferred upon the commission to hear and determine the same. The commission shall set a reasonable time and place when such hearing shall be had, and, in the case of proceedings initiated by the attorney general or the commission, give reasonable notice thereof, in no case less than 10 days, to all persons interested therein by one publication of such notice, in some newspaper or newspapers having a general circulation in this state, as designated by the commission, and in some newspaper having a general circulation in the county or counties where such lands affected by such proceedings are located, and by the second-class mailing of a copy thereof to each such person who shall have filed with the commission such person's name and address for the purpose of receiving notice. In all other cases, reasonable notice shall be given by the person initiating the proceedings, in no case less than 10 days prior to the hearing, by publication of such notice in a newspaper having a general circulation in the state, as designated by the commission, and in some newspaper having a general circulation in the county or counties where such lands affected by such proceedings are located, and the commission shall mail by second-class mail, a copy of such notice to each person who shall have filed with the commission such person's name and address for the purpose of notice. Additional notice shall be given by the person initiating the proceedings when required in accordance with rules and regulations adopted by the commission. The commission may accept as proof of notice an affidavit sworn to by the person initiating such proceedings that such notice has been perfected. Any such affidavit shall be filed with the commission on or before the hearing date. Each such notice shall state the time and place of hearing and contain such other information as will briefly and adequately disclose the matter to be considered or the relief sought. In case an emergency is found by the commission to exist which in its judgment requires the making of a rule, regulation or order or taking an enforcement action, without first having a hearing, such emergency rule, regulation, order or action shall have the same validity as if a hearing with respect to the same had been held after due notice, but shall remain in force no longer than 30 days from its effective date. In the exercise and enforcement of such jurisdiction the commission is authorized to summon witnesses, administer oaths, make ancillary orders, and use such means and final process, including inspection of records and books analogous to proceedings under its control over public service corporations as now provided by law. In connection with the exercise and enforcement of its jurisdiction, the commission shall also have the right and authority to certify as for contempt to the district court of any county having jurisdiction, violations by any person of any of the provisions of this act or rules, regulations or orders of the commission, and if it is found by the district court that such person, firm or corporation has knowingly and willfully violated same, then such person shall be punished as for contempt in the same manner and to the same extent and with like effect as if such contempt had been of an order, judgment or decree of the district court to which the certification is made. Any person desiring notice of any such proceeding shall file with the commission such person's name and address accompanied by a fee established by rule and regulation of the commission. All such fees shall be remitted to the state treasurer who shall credit the same to the conservation fee fund.

(b) The state corporation commission is hereby authorized to designate or appoint its director of petroleum conservation or its assistant director of petroleum conservation or one of its attorneys as an examiner or referee to make investigations and conduct hearings that are required of the commission by this act. Such investigations and hearings shall be made and conducted in the same manner as by the commission. Such examiners and referees shall have the power to administer oaths and to subpoena witnesses. The commission may provide for a record to be made of any hearing or investigation. Such examiners and referees shall submit their findings and recommendations in writing to the commission.

(c) If the agency action contemplated by proceedings instituted before the commission under this section is an order as defined in subsection (d) of K.S.A. 77-502 and amendments thereto, proceedings on such order shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Kansas administrative procedure act. To the extent that the procedures contained in subsections (a) and (b) of this section are not in conflict, such procedures shall be supplemental to the procedures contained in the administrative procedure act.

History: L. 1931, ch. 226, § 5; L. 1939, ch. 227, § 4; L. 1957, ch. 317, § 1; L. 1984, ch. 203, § 1; L. 1988, ch. 356, § 169; July 1, 1989.

Law Review and Bar Journal References:

1953-55 survey of Kansas law, Bernard E. Nordling, 4 K.L.R. 162, 171 (1955).

Discussed in relation to K.S.A. 55-1310 notice requirement, Ernest E. Smith, 17 K.L.R. 133, 134 (1969).

"The Safe Drinking Water Act and the Petroleum Industry: An Overview of the Kansas Underground Injection Control Program," Rosemary O'Leary and Kathy Stover, 51 J.K.B.A. 218, 224 (1982).

"Oil and Gas: The Corporation Commission's Role in Evaluating the Prudence of Operations in Statutory Unitization," Richard A. Forster, 24 W.L.J. 191 (1984).


1. Party aggrieved by proration order must follow statutory procedure for redress. Continental Investment Corp. v. State Corporation Comm., 156 K. 858, 859, 868, 137 P.2d 166.

2. Purpose of act stated; power of commission; unlawful production; overage chargeable for excess production. Bennett v. Corporation Commission, 157 K. 589, 595, 142 P.2d 810.

3. Commission may fix state-wide minimum allowable production exceeding 15 barrels per well, when; statute construed. Aylward Production Corp. v. Corporation Commission, 162 K. 428, 429, 430, 433, 443, 176 P.2d 861.

4. Party aggrieved by commission's interpretation of own orders must follow statutory procedure. Columbian Fuel Corp. v. Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Co., 176 K. 441, 443, 271 P.2d 773.

5. Remedy to challenge validity of commission's order; additional evidence; procedure. Kansas-Nebraska Natural Gas Co. v. State Corporation Commission, 176 K. 561, 566, 568, 271 P.2d 1091.

6. Notice not mailed to one landowner; order ineffective as to him. Day v. State Corporation Commission, 185 K. 165, 167, 341 P.2d 1028; Matzen v. State Corporation Commission, 185 K. 404, 405, 345 P.2d 630. Modified on rehearing: 185 K. 382, 383, 345 P.2d 651.

7. 1939 act and corporation commission's order thereunder held valid; due process; equal protection. Bay Petroleum Corporation v. Corporation Commission, 36 F.Supp. 66, 67, 71.

8. Commission may charge against future allowables prior excess production; commission's allowable order presumed to be valid in collateral proceeding. State Corporation Commission of Kansas v. Wall, 113 F.2d 877, 878, 879, 880, 881.

9. Mentioned; Oil Conservation Act empowers the commission to promulgate rules and regulations to enforce act. Cities Service Gas Co. v. State Corporation Commission, 192 K. 707, 714, 391 P.2d 74.

10. Cited; KCC order amending basic proration order for Kansas Hugoton gas field to allow infill drilling examined. Southwest Kan. Royalty Owners Ass'n v. Kansas Corporation Comm'n, 244 K. 157, 174, 769 P.2d 1 (1989).

11. Argument by party that KCC adopted extension of time to produce canceled underage without notice fails. Mobil Exploration & Producing U.S. Inc. v. Kansas Corporation Comm'n, 258 K. 796, 842, 908 P.2d 1276 (1995).

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