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Duke Power Co. v. Greenwood County, 299 U.S. 259 (1936)

Duke Power Co. v. Greenwood County

No. 32

Argued November 10, 1936

Decided December 14, 1936

299 U.S. 259


1. A decree of the Circuit Court of Appeals remanding the cause to the District Court to be considered and determined anew, must vacate the decree appealed from. P. 299 U. S. 262.

2. Where it appears upon appeal that supervening facts require a retrial in the light of a changed situation, the appellate court should vacate the decree and revest the court below with jurisdiction of the cause, to the end that issues may be properly framed and the retrial had. P. 299 U. S. 267.

3. Upon an appeal from a decree of the District Court enjoining the performance of a contract, it was suggested to the Circuit Court of Appeals that a new contract had been made superseding the old one, and, upon that ground, the court was requested to remand the cause with leave to amend the pleadings and for a trial or other disposition on such amended pleadings. The cause

Page 299 U. S. 260

was thereupon remanded, but, in consequence of the ambiguity of the remanding order, the District Court considered that it was not revested with jurisdiction of the entire cause, but that its former decree was still effective. It therefore deemed the competent evidence on the new trial to be restricted to the effect of the new contract and the extent, if any, to which its provisions might require a reversal of the former determination, and ended with a decree simply adjudging that the former decree should not be set aside. Upon a certification of these proceedings, including the new evidence that had been received or rejected, the Circuit Court of Appeals treated its order as having reopened the entire cause, and ignoring the facts that the District Court had not so regarded it and that the pleadings had not been amended and the case properly retried, proceeded then to pass upon the merits, reversed the decree appealed from, and directed a dismissal of the bill for want of equity. Held that both courts had failed to act in accordance with the standards of proper procedure, and that the decree of the Circuit Court of Appeals should be reversed and the cause remanded with directions that the decrees entered by the District Court be vacated, and that the parties be permitted to amend their pleadings in the light of the existing facts, and that the cause be retried upon the issues thus presented. Pp. 299 U. S. 267-268.

81 F.2d 986 reversed.

10 F.Supp. 854; 12 id. 70, reversed.

Certiorari, 298 U.S. 651, to review a decree of the Circuit Court of Appeals reversing a decree of injunction, and directing that the bill be dismissed, in a suit brought by two electric power companies to prevent a county from constructing and operating a local electric power plant with the aid of federal funds, and to prevent Ickes, intervener-defendant, from lending the funds as Federal Emergency Administrator of Public Works.

Page 299 U. S. 261

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