Present governmental regulation of public utilities can be traced back to early English common law which imposed duties and obligations upon those who performed vital public services. Two theories justified the imposition of these controls. The first focused on the monopoly status of the regulated business, while the second relied on the "public calling" aspect of the enterprise. Today under the judicial power almost every state has a public utility commission which imposes a wide range of controls over the production and delivery of utility services. This can have far-reaching consequences because the due process clause of the fourteenth amendment requires that states, or entities acting under color of state law, give reasonable notice and an impartial hearing prior to the termination of privileges, services, entitlements, benefits, or rights.
Constitutional Law-Termination of Utility Services for Nonpayment of Bill Without A Hearing Does Not Violate Due Process Clause of Fourteenth Amendment,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
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