Newport Light Co. v. Newport
151 U.S. 527 (1894)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Newport Light Co. v. Newport, 151 U.S. 527 (1894)

Newport Light Co. v. Newport

No. 1022

Submitted January 22, 1894

Decided February 5, 1894

151 U.S. 527


This Court must, when its jurisdiction is invoked to review a decision of the highest court of a state, determine for itself whether the suit involves such a federal question as can be reviewed here under Rev.Stat. § 709.

A gas company contracted with a municipal corporation in a state, to furnish gas in the streets of the municipality, to the exclusion of all others. Before the expiration of the term, the municipal corporation made a similar contract with another company. The first company, by means of a suit in equity against the municipality, begun in the court below and carried by appeal to the highest court of the state, obtained a decree restraining the municipality from carrying the second contract into execution and enjoining it from contracting with any other person for lighting the streets with gas during the lifetime of the first contract. The municipality then, the first contract being still in full force and unexpired, contracted with an electric light company to light the streets by electricity. Thereupon the first company procured a rule, in the suit in equity, against the municipality and its officers to show cause why they should not be punished "for contempt of court for the violation of the decree.

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