Southwestern Bell Tel. Co. v. Oklahoma
303 U.S. 206 (1938)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Southwestern Bell Tel. Co. v. Oklahoma, 303 U.S. 206 (1938)

Southwestern Bell Tel. Co. v. Oklahoma

No. 560

Argued February 7, 1938

Decided February 28, 1938

303 U.S. 206

Syllabus

Upon appeal from the State Corporation Commission, the Supreme Court of Oklahoma affirmed an order fixing the rates of a telephone company, such affirmance being, under the state constitution, a legislative act, and therefore not reviewable by appeal to this Court. The company then filed a petition for rehearing asking for a judicial review, which petition was denied without statement of reason. Upon appeal to this Court, the company contended that the denial of the petition was a judicial review, while the State's Attorney General insisted that the whole proceeding was legislative in character, and that adequate judicial

Page 303 U. S. 207

review could be obtained under the power of the state court to issue writ of mandamus and prohibition to the Commission.

Held:

1. That, in the absence of a definite decision to that effect by the state court, this Court cannot conclude that the state law provides no judicial review of such order. P. 303 U. S. 212.

2. Assuming that the State affords a judicial remedy, there is no means of knowing whether the state court denied the petition because an application for rehearing, after the legislative determination, was not the proper way under the state practice to invoke the judicial power, or whether it entertained the application and by it ruling passed upon the controversy in a judicial capacity. Id.

3. This Court is therefore without jurisdiction to review the denial of the petition. Id.

Appeal dismissed.

Appeal from a judgment denying a petition for rehearing in the nature of a judicial review after a decision, 181 Okla. 246, affirming an order of the Corporation Commission of the State fixing rates for telephone service.

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