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Southern Power Co. v. North Carolina Pub. Svc. Co., 263 U.S. 508 (1924)

Southern Power Company v.

North Carolina Public Service Company

No. 110

Argued November 28, 1923

Decided January 7, 1924

263 U.S. 508




A writ of certiorari, granted under the impression, induced by the petition, that a question of public importance is involved, will be dismissed when the argument reveals that the impression was erroneous.

Writ of certiorari to review, 282 F. 837, dismissed.

Certiorari to a decree of the circuit court of appeals which reversed in part a decree of the district court in a case removed from a court of North Carolina. The proceeding was brought by the Public Service Company and two cities, under North Carolina statutes, to compel the present petitioner to continue furnishing electric power to the Public Service Company for use in operating street cars in the cities, and for the use of the cities and their citizens for light and power. The decree of the district court, as modified by the court below, granted this relief.

Page 263 U. S. 509

MR. JUSTICE McREYNOLDS delivered the opinion of the Court.

This writ must be dismissed. The petition therefor stated that the cause involved a grave question of vital importance to the public, and alleged as special reason for its reexamination that the decree would deprive petitioner of property without due process of law and of freedom to contract, contrary to the federal Constitution. The opinion below is reported in 282 F. 837.

The argument developed that the controverted question was whether the evidence sufficed to establish actual dedication of petitioner's property to public use primarily a question of fact. That is not the ground upon which we granted the petition, and, if sufficiently developed, would not have moved us thereto.

Heretofore, we have pointed out the necessity for clear, definite, and complete disclosures concerning the controversy when applying for certiorari. Furness, withy & Co. v. Yang-Tsze Insurance Association, 242 U. S. 430; Layne & Bowler Corp. v. Western Well Works, 261 U. S. 387. The opinion first cited states that, during the 1915 Term, 154 petitions were presented, and suggests the probability of a largely increased number. During the last Term (1922), petitions were filed in 420 causes.

Obviously it is impossible for us critically to examine so many records before ruling upon applications, and we must rely very largely upon preliminary papers. Unless the requirements specified in Furness, Withy & Co. v. Yang-Tsze Insurance Association are observed, we cannot hope properly to dispose of an increasing docket.


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