St. Louis-San Francisco Ry. Co. v. Public Svc. Comm'n,
279 U.S. 560 (1929)

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U.S. Supreme Court

St. Louis-San Francisco Ry. Co. v. Public Svc. Comm'n, 279 U.S. 560 (1929)

St. Louis-San Francisco Railway Company v.

Alabama Public Service Commission

No. 568

Argued April 24, 25, 1929

Decided May 20, 1929

279 U.S. 560


Where a carrier, having discontinued some of its interstate trains without first applying to the state commission, under Ala.Code (1923) § 9713, for permission to abandon the intrastate service which they had furnished, applied to the federal court for an injunction against infliction of heavy penalties prescribed by the statute, claiming that to deny the right to discontinue without such permission would violate the commerce clause of the Constitution and that to require reinstatement of the service without prior hearing would violate due process, and where the admitted facts made it clear that no constitutional right would have been impaired or serious financial loss incurred by applying first to the commission, and that there had been no emergency requiring immediate action,


1. That the carrier should not have discontinued the intrastate service without applying to the commission for permission. P. 279 U. S. 563.

2. That its discontinuance of the intrastate service without such application does not justify exposing it and its officers and employees to the statutory penalties. Id.

3. The Commission should give the carrier an opportunity to present facts, and, if the application is made promptly, should determine the matter without subjecting the carrier to any prejudice because of its failure to apply earlier. Id.

4. To this end, a decree denying a preliminary injunction should be vacated, and a restraining order be kept in force, leaving the

Page 279 U. S. 561

case open for further proceedings in the District Court if the Commission should insist on having the intrastate service restored. P. 279 U. S. 563.

27 F.2d 893 reversed.

Appeal from a decree of a district court which denied an interlocutory injunction in a suit by the Railway against the above-named commission and divers Alabama officials.

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