Southern Iowa Electric Co. v. Chariton - 255 U.S. 539 (1921)
U.S. Supreme Court
Southern Iowa Electric Co. v. Chariton, 255 U.S. 539 (1921)
Southern Iowa Electric Company v. City of Chariton
Nos. 180, 189, 190
Argued January 26, 28, 1921
Decided April 11, 1921
255 U.S. 539
I. In the absence of a contract obligation, the grantee of a franchise to supply the public with electricity or gas cannot constitutionally be required by the state or its agencies to observe rates which in effect are confiscatory of its property. P. 255 U. S. 541.
2. The acceptance from a municipality of a franchise to supply the public with gas or electricity for a term of years at specified maximum rates does not bind the grantee with a contractual obligation to charge no more if the rates become in effect confiscatory where the law of the state (Iowa Code of 1897, § 720, 725) reposes in the municipality the continuing power to regulate such rates and, that the public may be protected from improvident bargains, forbids any abridgment of the power by ordinance, resolution, or contract. P. 255 U. S. 542.
256 F. 929 reversed.