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San Joaquin & Kings River Co. v. Stanislaus County, 233 U.S. 454 (1914)

San Joaquin & Kings River Canal &

Irrigation Company v. Stanislaus County

No. 303

Argued March 18, 1914

Decided April 27, 1914

233 U.S. 454


As the franchise involved in this case provides that the rates for supplying water may be fixed by a public body, but so that the returns shall not be less than a specified percent on the value of all the property actually used and useful to the appropriation and furnishing of the water, the value of the water rights owned by the company must be taken into account in establishing such rates.

A party may wait until after a law is passed or a regulation is made which affects his interests and then stand upon his constitutional

Page 233 U. S. 455

rights, and so held that a public utility corporation may attack a rate as confiscatory after it has been made, although it offered no evidence as to the value of its property and of the service rendered before the governing body establishing the rate. Prentis v. Atlantic Coast Line, 211 U. S. 210.

The declaration in the California Constitution of 1879 that water appropriated for sale is appropriated for a public use is not to be construed as meaning that the water belongs to the public at large, but as meaning that those within reach may obtain it at a reasonable price.

191 F. 875 reversed.

The facts, which involve the validity under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of orders establishing water rates of an irrigation company in California, are stated in the opinion.

Page 233 U. S. 458

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