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Chicago Great Western Ry. Co. v. Kendall, 266 U.S. 94 (1924)

Chicago Great Western Railway Company v. Kendall

Nos. 22 and 23

Argued October 7, 1924

Decided November 17, 1924

266 U.S. 94


1. Hearing of an interlocutory appeal from an order refusing a temporary injunction to restrain a tax but leaving a restraining order effective pending appeal should not be delayed to await the coming of a second appeal on the merits where the effect will be an undue delay of state action, contrary to the intent of Jud.Code § 266. P. 266 U. S. 96.

2. When the jurisdiction of the district court rests upon a substantial controversy under the federal constitution properly alleged by the bill, but the same relief would be afforded by the state constitution and laws, the case may be determined by the state rules, without deciding the federal question. P. 266 U. S. 97.

3. Unjust discrimination through intentional, systematic undervaluation by state officials of other taxable property of the same class when plaintiff's property is assessed and taxed much higher is ground for an injunction preventing the taxation of his property at a higher rate than the property so favored. P. 266 U. S. 98.

4. It is not enough, however, that taxing officials have made a mistake, or that the court, were its judgment properly invoked, might reach a different conclusion as to the taxes; there must be a clear, affirmative showing that the difference is an intentional discrimination adopted as a practice. Id.

5. Such discrimination being shown, the fact that the discriminating tax is imposed directly by a state board which deals with the other taxes only as a tribunal equalizing assessments between counties does not prevent equitable relief. P. 266 U. S. 99.

6. A judgment of the district court consisting of three judges under Jud.Code § 266, refusing a temporary injunction to restrain a state tax, and based on a finding that in fact the tax is not shown

Page 266 U. S. 95

to result from arbitrary and intentional discrimination as alleged, and upon an exercise of that court's sound discretion in the granting or withholding of such injunctions, will not be disturbed by this Court in the absence of a very clear case against it. P. 266 U. S. 100.


Appeals by the two railroad companies from orders of the district court denying motions for temporary injunctions.

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