Article XI, West Virginia Constitution
|West Virginia Constitution|
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| Text of Section 1:
The Legislature shall provide for the organization of all corporations hereafter to be created, by general laws, uniform as to the class to which they relate; but no corporation shall be created by special law: Provided, That nothing in this section contained, shall prevent the Legislature from providing by special laws for the connection, by canal, of the waters of the Chesapeake with the Ohio River by line of the James River, Greenbrier, New River and Great Kanawha.
| Text of Section 2:
Corporate Liability for Indebtedness
The stockholders of all corporations and joint-stock companies, except banks and banking institutions, created by laws of this state, shall be liable for the indebtedness of such corporations to the amount of their stock subscribed and unpaid, and no more.
| Text of Section 3:
Exclusive Privileges Prohibited
All existing charters or grants of special or exclusive privileges under which organization shall not have taken place, or which shall not have been in operation within two years from the time this constitution takes effect, shall thereafter have no validity or effect whatever: Provided, That nothing herein shall prevent the execution of any bona fide contract heretofore lawfully made in relation to any existing charter or grant in this state.
| Text of Section 4:
Rights of Stockholders
The Legislature shall provide by law that every corporation, other than a banking institution, shall have power to issue one or more classes and series within classes of stock, with or without par value, with full, limited or no voting powers, and with preferences and special rights and qualifications, and that in all elections for directors or managers of incorporated companies, every stockholder holding stock having the right to vote for directors, shall have the right to vote, in person or by proxy, for the number of shares of stock owned by him, for as many persons as there are directors or managers to be elected, or to cumulate said shares, and give one candidate as many votes as the number of directors multiplied by the number of his shares of stock shall equal, or to distribute them on the same principle among as many candidates as he shall think fit; and such directors or managers shall not be elected in any other manner.
| Text of Section 5:
No law shall be passed by the Legislature, granting the right to construct and operate a street railroad within any city, town or incorporated village, without requiring the consent of the local authorities having the control of the street or highway proposed to be occupied by such street railroad.
| Text of Section 6:
The Legislature may provide by general law for the creation, organization, and regulation of banking institutions.
| Text of Section 7:
Every railroad corporation organized or doing business in this state shall annually, by their proper officers, make a report under oath, to the auditor of public accounts of this state, or some officer to be designated by law, setting forth the condition of their affairs, the operations of the year, and such other matters relating to their respective railroads as may be prescribed by law. The Legislature shall pass laws enforcing by suitable penalties the provisions of this section.
| Text of Section 8:
Rolling Stock Considered Personal Property
The rolling stock and all other movable property belonging to any railroad company or corporation in this state, shall be considered personal property and shall be liable to execution and sale in the same manner as the personal property of individuals; and the Legislature shall pass no law exempting any such property from execution and sale.
| Text of Section 9:
Railroads Public Highways
Railroads heretofore constructed, or that may hereafter be constructed in this state, are hereby declared public highways and shall be free to all persons for the transportation of their persons and property thereon, under such regulations as shall be prescribed by law; and the Legislature shall, from time to time, pass laws, applicable to all railroad corporations in the state, establishing reasonable maximum rates of charges for the transportation of passengers and freights, and providing for the correction of abuses, the prevention of unjust discriminations between through and local or way freight and passenger tariffs, and for the protection of the just rights of the public, and shall enforce such laws by adequate penalties.
| Text of Section 10:
Stations to Be Established
The Legislature shall, in the law regulating railway companies, require railroads running through, or within a half mile of a town or village, containing three hundred or more inhabitants, to establish stations for the accommodation of trade and travel of said town or village.
| Text of Section 11:
Competing Lines -- Legislative Permission
No railroad corporation shall consolidate its stock, property or franchise with any other railroad owning a parallel or competing line, or obtain the possession or control of such parallel or competing line, by lease or other contract, without the permission of the Legislature.
| Text of Section 12:
Right of Eminent Domain
The exercise of the power and the right of eminent domain shall never be so construed or abridged as to prevent the taking, by the Legislature, of the property and franchises of incorporated companies already organized, and subjecting them to the public use, the same as of individuals.
- State constitution
- Constitutional article
- Constitutional amendment
- Constitutional revision
- Constitutional convention
- Bastress, Robert M. (2011). The West Virginia Constitution, New York, New York: Oxford University Press
- Stealey III, John E. (2013). West Virginia’s Civil War–Era Constitution, Kent State University Press