New Orleans Waterworks Co. v. Rivers
115 U.S. 674 (1885)

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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

Syllabus

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.

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