Hendersonville Light & Power Co. v. Blue Ridge Ry.,
243 U.S. 563 (1917)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Hendersonville Light & Power Co. v. Blue Ridge Ry., 243 U.S. 563 (1917)

Hendersonville Light & Power Company v.

Blue Ridge Interurban Railway Company

No. 497

Argued April 10, 1917

Decided April 23, 1917

243 U.S. 563


Where the answer in a state condemnation case attacked the taking as a taking for private use in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment and a dissenting opinion in the state supreme court bore evidence that the federal Constitution was invoked against a construction of the state laws by which the taking was justified, held that this Court had jurisdiction to review.

Charter and state laws authorized a corporation to build and operate an electric railroad, to condemn water power and employ it in generating electricity for use in running the road, to sell the surplus of current so generated, and, in connection with these objects, to construct buildings and factories, and operate machinery. In condemnation proceedings whereby the corporation took water rights of a riparian owner, the state court found that the purpose was in good faith to carry on the business of building and operating the road, that the taking of all the water power was necessary for that purpose, and that the purpose was public.


(1) That, in the absence of definite proof that a surplus would result, this Court could not say that sale of surplus power was the real object of the enterprise or anything more than a possible incident, necessary to prevent waste, of the railway use.

(2) Even if sale of surplus power were likely to occur, the taking, upon the case as made, would be justified by Mt. Vernon-Woodberry Cotton Duck Co. v. Alabama Interstate Power Co., 240 U. S. 30, 240 U. S. 32.

171 N.C. 314 affirmed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

Page 243 U. S. 568

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