Central States Electric Co. v. City of Muscatine
324 U.S. 138 (1945)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Central States Electric Co. v. City of Muscatine, 324 U.S. 138 (1945)

Central States Electric Co. v. City of Muscatine

No. 85

Argued December 8, 1944

Decided February 12, 1945

324 U.S. 138

Syllabus

1. The Circuit Court of Appeals, which, upon review of a valid rate order of the Federal Power Commission under the Natural Gas Act, had impounded pendente lite amounts paid to the natural gas company by the petitioner (a local distributor) in excess of lawful rates, was without jurisdiction to adjudicate the rights of consumers in the fund or to order payment of the fund to officers of municipalities for the benefit of those ultimately found entitled. P. 324 U. S. 145.

2. In this situation, the most that the court below should do, in view of the apparent controversy as to the consumers' right to a refund of rates paid to the petitioner, is to order that the fund be held for a reasonable time to permit interested persons to litigate the issue in a tribunal having jurisdiction, the order to be conditioned that, if such litigation is not instituted within a reasonable time and prosecuted to final adjudication, the fund shall be paid over to the petitioner, and that, if it be adjudged as a result of such litigation that the petitioner is indebted to its consumers because of the reduction of wholesale rates in this proceeding, further application may be made to the court as to disposition of the fund. P. 324 U. S. 145.

3. United States v. Morgan,307 U. S. 183, and Inland Steel Co. v. United States,306 U. S. 153, distinguished. P. 324 U. S. 145.

Reversed.

Certiorari, 322 U.S. 724, to review orders of the court below which directed payment to certain municipal officers of impounded funds claimed by the petitioner.

Page 324 U. S. 139

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