Louisville & Nashville R. Co. v. Western Union Tel. Co.
250 U.S. 363 (1919)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Louisville & Nashville R. Co. v. Western Union Tel. Co., 250 U.S. 363 (1919)

Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company

v. Western Union Telegraph Company

Nos. 176, 248

Argued January 22, 23, 1919

Decided June 9, 1919

250 U.S. 363

Syllabus

The Mississippi practice providing for assessment of damage and determination of the right of condemnation in separate proceedings is consistent with due process. P. 250 U. S. 365.

Consistently with the Fourteenth Amendment, the state law may allow condemnation for maintaining an existing telegraph line as well as for building a new one. Id.

And where the judgment in condemnation is for a new line, the state courts may, under the Amendment, reserve inquiry into an alleged purpose to use it for maintaining an existing line, in alleged infraction of the state law, until such use is attempted. Id.

Page 250 U. S. 364

A judgment of condemnation for a single telegraph line on a railroad right of way is not void under the Fourteenth Amendment for failure to describe the exact location of the poles when it requires them to be set so as not to interfere with train operations or the proper use of the right of way by the railroad or by other telegraphs already upon it, or endanger persons or property, and is subject to stipulations binding the condemnor to change its poles, etc., to conform to necessary changes or new construction of tracks. P. 250 U. S. 366.

Parts of an interstate railroad right of way and of bridges over navigable waters may be condemned for the use of a telegraph company pursuant to the state law. P. 250 U. S. 367.

The Post-Roads Act of July 24, 1866, waived any objection to such exercise of state sovereignty as an interference with interstate commerce, and no other act of Congress prevents. Id.

Whether the district court properly dismissed a bill on the ground of res judicata held not necessary to determine where a correct decision on the merits must have resulted the same. Id.

An injunction by a federal court forbidding a railroad company to interrupt a telegraph company in the use of its wires on the railroad right of way during a certain period or until the telegraph company could condemn held binding on the federal court of another circuit. P. 250 U. S. 368.

233 F. 82, 107 Mis. 626, affirmed.

The cases are stated in the opinion.

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