Pomona v. Sunset Tel. & Tel. Co.,
224 U.S. 330 (1912)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Pomona v. Sunset Tel. & Tel. Co., 224 U.S. 330 (1912)

Pomona v. Sunset Telephone and Telegraph Company

No. 215

Argued March 14, 15, 1912

Decided April 8, 1912

224 U.S. 330


A provision in a state constitution that municipal corporations may establish and operate public utility plants, and that persons and corporations may establish and operate works for supplying public service upon such conditions and under such regulations as the municipality may prescribe is a step towards municipal control or ownership, and is not a grant to others of a right to occupy streets without the consent of the municipality; nor does it limit the municipality to regulations under its police power. The conditions are of general import, and so held as to the provision in Article XI, § 19, of the constitution of California as amended October 11, 1911.

There is no sufficient reason why this Court should not follow the highest court of California in construing "telegraph" corporations as used in § 536 of the Civil Code of that state as not including " telephone " corporations.

Page 224 U. S. 331

Where a statute is amended so as to bring a certain class thereunder, the amendment to take effect at subsequent date, before which date another act is passed relating to the same subject with a general repealing act enumerating exceptions, the amended statute is repealed, subject only to the exceptions before any rights accrue under the amendment.

In the absence of any apparent policy inducing it, it will be assumed that an exception to the repealing clause of an act to regulate franchises of "lines doing an interstate business" was made unwillingly and because the legislature assumed it was bound to exempt such lines from regulations.

In this case, held that, under the statutes of California, a telephone corporation operating interstate and local lines in Pomona, a city of the fifth class, obtained rights to maintain its main line in the streets, but not its local posts and wires except subject to regulations of the city.

172 F. 829 reversed.

The facts, which involve the validity and constitutionality of certain provisions of the constitution and statutes of California in regard to the use of streets by telephone companies, are stated in the opinion.

Page 224 U. S. 342

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