Laws Outlawing Activities By Telephone Company & Message Carriers Repealed – 2017 Oklahoma Laws #34

HB 1003 repealed seven laws. This included the prohibition against a telegraph company or employee transmitting any message to a person placing bets on a horse race. Six laws codifying the duties of message carriers were also repealed. The laws listed below were repealed on November 1, 2017

21 O.S. § 992 – Assisting Unlawful Business by Telegraph

Any telegraph company, its agent or employee that intentionally transmits or delivers any message to any pool room or person engaged in any manner in receiving, making or placing bets on any horse race, such company will be fined at least $500 and no more than 1,000 for each offense, and any agent or employee violating any of the provisions of this act will be fined at least $200 and no more than $500. The range of punishment in the county jail is 30-90 days. This law went into effect in 1913 and had not been amended since then.

13 O.S. § 171 – Delivery to Place or Person Intended

A carrier of messages for reward must deliver them at any place to which they are addressed, or to the persons for whom they are intended. This law went into effect in 1910 and had not been amended since then.

13 O.S. § 172 – Care and Diligence Required

A carrier of messages for reward must use great care and diligence in the transmission and delivery of messages. A carrier by telegraph must use the utmost diligence therein. This law went into effect in 1910 and was never amended.

13 O.S. § 173 – Telegraphs to be Transmitted Immediately – Order

A carrier of messages by telegraph must, if it is practicable, transmit every such message immediately upon its receipt. But if this is not practicable, and several messages accumulate upon his hands, he must transmit them in the following order:

  1. Messages from public agents of the United States, or of this state on public business.
  2. Messages intended in good faith for immediate publication in newspapers, and not for any secret use.
  3. Messages giving information relating to the sickness or death of any person.
  4. Other messages, in the order in which they were received.

This law went into effect in 1910 and was never amended.

13 O.S. § 174 -Messages Other than Telegraph – Order – Exception

A common carrier of messages, otherwise than by telegraph, must transmit messages in the order in which he receives them, except messages from agents of the United States or of this state on public business, to which he must always give priority. But he may fix upon certain times for the simultaneous transmission of messages previously received. This law went into effect in 1910 and was never amended.

13 O.S. § 175 – Actual Damages for Refusal or Postponement of Message

Every person whose message is refused or postponed, contrary to the provisions of this article, is entitled to recover from the carrier his actual damages, and $50 in addition thereto. This law went into effect in 1910 and was never amended.

13 O.S. § 176 – Telegraph Companies Liable

All telegraph companies doing business in this state for hire shall be liable for damages to any person injured thereby for mental anguish or suffering, even in the absence of bodily injury, or pecuniary loss, for negligence in receiving, transmitting or delivering messages; and in all actions of this kind, the jury, or court may award such damages as they conclude resulted from the negligence of such telegraph company. This law went into effect in 1917 and was never amended.