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Missouri Pacific Ry. Co. v. Nebraska, 217 U.S. 196 (1910)

Missouri Pacific Railway Company v. Nebraska

Nos. 127, 128

Argued March 7, 1910

Decided April 4, 1910

217 U.S. 196


There are constitutional limits to what can be required of the owners of railroads under the police power.

Requiring the expenditure of money takes property whatever may be the ultimate return for the outlay.

It is beyond the police power of a state to compel a railroad company to put in switches at its own expense on the application of the owners of any elevator erected within a specified limit. It amounts to deprivation of property without due process of law, and so held as to the applications for such switches made by elevator companies in these cases under the statute of Nebraska requiring such switch connections.

Quaere whether, even if a statute requiring railroad companies to make such switch connections at their own expense be construed as confined to such demands as are reasonable, it does not deprive the railroad company of its property without due process of law if it does not allow the company a hearing as to the reasonableness of the demand prior to compliance therewith where, as in this case, failure to comply involves heavy and continuing penalties.

81 Neb. 15 reversed.

The facts, which involve the constitutionality of a statute of the State of Nebraska requiring railroad companies to make switch connections with grain elevators under certain conditions, are stated in the opinion.

Page 217 U. S. 204

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