Lawrence v. St.L.-S.F. Railway Co.,
274 U.S. 588 (1927)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Lawrence v. St.L.-S.F. Railway Co., 274 U.S. 588 (1927)

Lawrence v. St. Louis-San Francisco Railway Company

No. 894

Argued April 20, 21, 1927

Decided May 31, 1927

274 U.S. 588


1. Section 17 of the Act of October 15, 1914, providing that every restraining order shall define the injury and state why it is irreparable and why the order was granted without notice, and that no temporary injunction shall be granted without notice

"unless it shall clearly appear from specific facts shown by affidavit or by the verified bill that immediate and irreparable injury, loss or damage will result to the applicant before notice can be served and a hearing had thereon,"

applies to suits brought under § 266 of the Judicial Code. P. 274 U. S. 595.

2. An order granting a temporary injunction without setting forth specific reasons for issuing it is contrary to the Act of October 15, 1914, c. 323, § 19, but not therefore void. P. 274 U. S. 591.

3. A decree of the district court temporarily enjoining action of state officials for the enforcement of a state law should be accompanied by an opinion setting forth fully the reasons. P. 274 U. S. 596.

4. Evidence of danger of irreparable injury is essential to justify issuance of a temporary injunction. P. 274 U. S. 592.

5. Where a railway company, after acquiescing for years in an order of a state Commission enjoining removal of its shops and division point from one place to another pending determination by the Commission of objections made by citizens of the place where they were located, indicated its purpose to make the change, and the matter was set for hearing by the Commission, and the railway failed to show that an emergency required an immediate change or that delay in applying to a federal court would subject it to penalties under the state law, the case was not one of such threatened irreparable injury as to justify the federal court in issuing an interlocutory injunction against the Commission's hearing the case, it being clear that the railway, by participating in such hearing, would not waive its right to contest in the federal court the constitutionality of the state law under which the Commission was acting. P. 274 U. S. 592.

Page 274 U. S. 589

6. Whether the Oklahoma law forbidding railroads from removing shops and division points, in certain cases, without previously securing permission of the state corporation Commission, is constitutional as applied to a railroad engaged in interstate as well as intrastate commerce is not here determined, but to require such a regulating body to be advised of such changes is not such an obvious interference with interstate commerce that, on application for a preliminary injunction, the Act should lightly be assumed to be beyond the power of the state. P. 274 U. S. 594.


Appeal from an interlocutory decree of the district court which enjoined the Corporation Commission of Oklahoma from enforcing an order by which the railway was required not to remove its shops and division point from the City of Sapulpa, and from preventing it from putting into effect a contemplated passenger train schedule, and which enjoined the other defendants -- the Attorney General of the state and citizens of Sapulpa -- from participation in proceedings before the Commission.

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