Rome Railway & Light Co. v. Floyd County - 243 U.S. 257 (1917)
U.S. Supreme Court
Rome Railway & Light Co. v. Floyd County, 243 U.S. 257 (1917)
Rome Railway & Light Company v. Floyd County
Argued January 25, 1917
Decided March 6, 1917
243 U.S. 257
A street railway company in Georgia, under special acts of the legislature, claimed a perpetual and unconditional franchise right to operate over certain county bridges irrespective of the county's consent. The claim being disputed by the county, the company entered into and fully acted upon certain written agreements with the county purporting to be grants by the county to the company of the right to lay, maintain, and operate tracks over the bridges upon certain conditions, including payment to the county for the use of the bridges, the county being governed in the transactions by a statute which limited its power to the granting af temporary uses and privileges, subject at all times to revocation. Held partly on the authority of City Electric Ry. Co. v. Floyd County, 115 Ga. 655, that whatever may have been the rights of the company originally,
the effect of the compromise agreement, and their execution, was to substitute a temporary grant subject at all times to revocation.
By act of the Georgia Legislature (August 15, 1914, Laws 1914, p. 271), Floyd County was authorized to reconstruct the old bridges in Rome, Georgia, requiring, in so doing, the removal of street railway tracks; to grant franchises to operate over new bridges and fix the terms thereof, including, as a condition precedent, that the grantee pay one-third of the cost of construction. The act, however, provides that "any corporation now having a franchise shall have the right to use any new bridge upon complying with the reasonable conditions imposed by the" county authorities and the terms of the act. Held that a company which had in effect surrendered its franchise right to use the old bridges in exchange for a temporary grant revocable at the will of the county authorities could not enjoin them from proceeding under the act to rebuild the bridges and charge the company one-third of the cost as a condition precedent to its use of the new structures.
228 F. 775 affirmed.
The case is stated in the opinion.