New Orleans Waterworks Co. v. Rivers - 115 U.S. 674 (1885)
U.S. Supreme Court
New Orleans Waterworks Co. v. Rivers, 115 U.S. 674 (1885)
New Orleans Waterworks Company v. Rivers
Submitted November 20, 1885
Decided December 7, 1885
115 U.S. 674
A legislative grant of an exclusive right to supply water to a municipality and its inhabitants, through pipes and mains laid in the public streets, and upon condition of the performance of the service by the grantee, is a grant of a franchise vested in the state, in consideration of the performance of a public service, and, after performance by the grantee, is a contract protected by the Constitution of the United States against state legislation to impair it.
An exclusive franchise granted to supply water to the inhabitants of a municipality by means of pipes and mains laid through the public streets is violated by a grant to an individual in the municipality of the right to supply his premises with water by means of a pipe or pipes so laid.
The facts which make the case are stated in the opinion of the Court.