(b) If the public service commission shall determine that any utility is unable or unwilling to adequately serve its customers or has been actually or effectively abandoned by its owners, or that its management is grossly and willfully inefficient, irresponsible or unresponsive to the needs of its customers, the commission may petition to the circuit court of any county wherein the utility does business for an order attaching the assets of the utility and placing such utility under the sole control and responsibility of a receiver. If the court determines that the petition is proper in all respects and finds, after a hearing thereon, that the allegations contained in the petition are true, it shall grant the same and shall order that the utility be placed in receivership. The court, in its discretion and in consideration of the recommendation of the commission, shall appoint a receiver who shall be a responsible individual, partnership or corporation knowledgeable in public utility affairs and who shall maintain control and responsibility for the running and management of the affairs of such utility. In so doing, the receiver shall operate the utility so as to preserve the assets of the utility and to serve the best interests of its customers. The receiver shall be compensated from the assets of said utility in an amount to be determined by the court.
Control of and responsibility for said utility shall remain in the receiver until the same can, in the best interest of the customers, be returned to the owners, transferred to other owners or assumed by another utility or public service corporation: Provided, That if the court after hearing, determines that control of and responsibility for the affairs of the utility should not, in the best interests of its customers, be returned to the legal owners thereof, the receiver shall proceed to liquidate the assets of such utility in the manner provided by law.
The laws generally applicable to receivership shall govern receiverships created pursuant to this section.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session