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Napa Valley Elec. Co. v. Railroad Comm'n, 251 U.S. 366 (1920)

Napa Valley Electric Company v.

Railroad Commission of California

No. 401

Argued December 12, 1919

Decided January 19, 1920

251 U.S. 366


Under § 67 of the Public Utilities Act of California, as construed by the supreme court of the state, a petition to that court for a writ of review to bring up proceeding of the Board of Railroad Commissioner in which rates for electric power were fixed in alleged violation of constitutional right and excess of the Board's jurisdiction may be disposed of upon the merits, by an order simply refusing the writ, if the facts are fully stated in the petition, the provisions for issuing such writ and for subsequent decision upon the record from the Board not being mandatory in such case. P. 251 U. S. 370.

In a suit brought in the district court to enjoin enforcement of rates fixed by such board, it will be presumed that a petition, not in the record, upon which the state supreme court refused a writ of review,

Page 251 U. S. 367

exhibited the Board's proceedings and presented the questions which that court was empowered to decide, viz., whether the Board pursued its authority and whether any constitutional right, state or federal, was violated, and the order refusing the writ will be deemed conclusive of such question, although not accompanied by an opinion of the state court. P. 251 U. S. 372.

257 F. 197 affirmed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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