Bullock v. Railroad Commission of Florida,
254 U.S. 513 (1921)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Bullock v. Railroad Commission of Florida, 254 U.S. 513 (1921)

Bullock v. Railroad Commission of Florida

No. 262

Argued December 6, 7, 1920

Decided January 17, 1921

254 U.S. 513


1. The judgment of the state supreme court was reviewable in this case by certiorari, and not by writ of error. P. 254 U. S. 518.

2. Where a judgment of a state supreme court prohibiting proceedings in a lower court was essentially based on the denial of a substantive right claimed by a party, this Court is not precluded from reviewing, on a constitutional ground, by the fact that the judgment was in terms based on a denial of the prohibited court's jurisdiction. P. 254 U. S. 520.

Page 254 U. S. 514

3. Apart from statute or express contract, those who invest in a railroad, though built under a charter and the eminent domain power received from the state, are not bound to go on operating at a loss if there is no reasonable prospect of future profit, and their right to stop does not depend upon the consent of the state. P. 254 U. S. 520.

4. Where a state supreme court prohibited a lower court, in foreclosing a railroad, from authorizing and confirming a sale with liberty to the purchaser to dismantle the railroad, basing its decision upon the ground that the state was not a party and that the dismantling could not be so authorized without the state's consent, held that the prohibition could not affect the constitutional rights of the mortgagor, since the right to dismantle, as against the state, could not be conferred by a foreclosure decree in the state's absence, and would pass to the purchaser, if it existed, whether the decree so provided or not. P. 254 U. S. 521.

5. Whether a state is bound by a foreclosure proceeding to which it voluntarily makes itself a party before final decree is a local question the decision of which this Court will not review in a case from a state court. P. 254 U. S. 522.

82 So. 866 affirmed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

Page 254 U. S. 518

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