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California Water Service Co. v. City of Redding, 304 U.S. 252 (1938)

California Water Service Co. v. City of Redding

No. 976

Motion to dismiss

Decided May 16, 1938

304 U.S. 252


1. A suit before a district court of three judges, convened under § 3, Act of Aug. 24, 1937, to enjoin enforcement of federal statutes on the ground of unconstitutionality, is without jurisdiction if no substantial federal question is presented, and, in the absence of such question the court cannot proceed to the determination of local questions, but must dismiss the bill. P. 304 U. S. 254.

2. Lack of a substantial federal question which thus defeats the jurisdiction of the district court may appear from a decision of this Court in another case rendered after the filing of the bill in the district court and after presentation of a motion for preliminary injunction. P. 304 U. S. 255.

3. A water service company sued to enjoin a city from receiving a grant of federal funds under Title II of the National Industrial Recovery Act and from using proceeds of city bonds, for the purpose of constructing a municipal water plant, claiming that the grant was in violation of the federal Constitution and federal statutes, and the bond issue in violation of the Constitution and statutes of California. Held, that, in view of this Court's later decision in Alabama Power Co. v. Ickes, 302 U. S. 464, there was no substantial federal question, and that the question of the bond issue was distinct and local. P. 304 U. S. 255.

22 F.Supp. 641 affirmed.

Page 304 U. S. 253

Appeal from a decree of the District Court of three judges, dismissing a bill for an injunction.

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