Richmond, F. & P. R. Co. v. Louisiana R. Co.
Annotate this Case
54 U.S. 71 (1851)
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U.S. Supreme Court
Richmond, F. & P. R. Co. v. Louisiana R. Co., 54 U.S. 13 How. 71 71 (1851)
Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad
Company v. Louisa Railroad Company
54 U.S. (13 How.) 71
The Legislature of Virginia incorporated the stockholders of the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad Company, and in the charter pledged itself not to allow any other railroad to be constructed between those places or any portion of that distance; the probable effect would be to diminish the number of passengers traveling between the one city and the other upon the railroad authorized by that act, or to compel the said company, in order to retain such passengers, to reduce the passage money.
Afterwards the legislature incorporated the Louisa Railroad Company, whose road came from the West and struck the first-named company's track nearly at right angles at some distance from Richmond, and the legislature authorized the Louisa Railroad Company to cross the track of the other and continue their road to Richmond.
In this latter grant, the obligation of the contract with the first company is not impaired within the meaning of the Constitution of the United States.
In the first charter there was an implied reservation of the power to incorporate companies to transport other articles than passengers, and if the Louisa Railroad Company should infringe upon the rights of the Richmond Company, there would be a remedy at law, but the apprehension of it will not justify an injunction to prevent them from building their road.
Nor is the obligation of the contract impaired by crossing the road. A franchise may be condemned in the same manner as individual property.
(MR. JUSTICE DANIEL did not sit in this cause.)
The facts in the case are stated in the opinion of the Court.