Any telegraph company owning or operating any telegraph line or lines wholly or partly
in this state and engaged in transmitting messages, for a consideration, who shall
refuse to receive for transmission any legible message tendered to it or to any of
its agents or employees for transmission at any office or place where such messages
are usually received for transmission during the usual hours in which the messages
are received at such office or place for transmission to the destination to which
the message so refused is addressed, provided, such destination is a place to which
messages are usually transmitted, together with the usual charge for the transmission
of such a message, shall be liable to the sender and addressee of such message in
a penalty of $50, and in addition thereto shall be liable both to the sender and to
the addressee of such message for all damages which they or either of them may sustain
in consequence of the refusal to receive, transmit and deliver such message unless
it shall be made to appear that the line or lines over which such message should be
transmitted is or are in such condition that such message could not be transmitted
by means thereof, and the burden of showing such a condition of said line or lines
shall be upon the company.
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