123 A. 77 (Md. 1923), 42, Chenoweth v. Maloy

Docket Nº:42.
Citation:123 A. 77, 143 Md. 622
Opinion Judge:BOYD, C.J.
Party Name:CHENOWETH ET AL. v. MALOY ET AL., PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION.
Attorney:John E. Dempster, of Baltimore, for appellants. N. Charles Burke, of Towson, and Joseph C. France, of Baltimore, for appellees. William H. Maltbie and Joseph C. France, both of Baltimore, for United Rys. & Electric Co.
Judge Panel:Argued before BOYD, C.J., and BRISCOE, THOMAS, PATTISON, URNER, and OFFUTT, JJ.
Case Date:June 26, 1923
Court:Court of Appeals of Maryland
 
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Page 77

123 A. 77 (Md. 1923)

143 Md. 622

CHENOWETH ET AL.

v.

MALOY ET AL., PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION.

No. 42.

Court of Appeals of Maryland

June 26, 1923

Appeal from Circuit Court of Baltimore City; Henry Duffy, Judge.

Suit by Oscar B. Chenoweth and others against Wm. M. Maloy and others, constituting the Public Service Commission. From a decree of dismissal, complainants appeal. Affirmed.

Argued before BOYD, C.J., and BRISCOE, THOMAS, PATTISON, URNER, and OFFUTT, JJ.

John E. Dempster, of Baltimore, for appellants.

N. Charles Burke, of Towson, and Joseph C. France, of Baltimore, for appellees.

William H. Maltbie and Joseph C. France, both of Baltimore, for United Rys. & Electric Co.

BOYD, C.J.

This is an appeal from a decree sustaining a demurrer to and dismissing the bill of complaint filed by the appellants against the appellees, constituting the Public Service Commission of Maryland. The bill alleges that the plaintiffs (appellants) individually and acting as the civic committee of the Sixteenth Ward Republican League, are residents of the city of Baltimore, and are daily riders and passengers on the street railways of said city, and as such riders and passengers are financially interested in the rate of fare charged by the United. Railways & Electric Company of Baltimore city within the corporate limits of said city, as defined and limited by chapter 313 of the Acts of the General Assembly of Maryland of the year 1900.

The sole question in this case, as stated in the brief of the counsel for the Commission, is:

"Has the Public Service Commission power to grant the United Railways & Electric Company of Baltimore the right to collect a greater rate of fare for passengers over its road than

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that prescribed by chapter 313 of the Acts of 1900?"

That act is now section 796 of the Revised Charter of Baltimore City of 1915, being section 768 of article 4 of Public Local Laws, title "City of Baltimore," and is as follows:

"796. The United Railways and Electric Company of Baltimore, its successors and assigns, shall charge five cents, and no more, as a fare for the conveyance of each passenger over twelve years of age, and three cents, and no more, for each child between the ages of four and twelve years, from any point on any of its lines to any other point on such lines within the city of Baltimore: Provided, that such company shall give a free transfer, when the same shall be requested, upon the payment of each cash fare, which transfer shall be good at all points of intersection of lines of said railway for a continuous ride, except at such points on said lines where such form a route so as to permit a passenger to return in the same general direction of the line upon which the transfer was issued, the privilege of the transfer not to apply to the terminus of any line or route: Provided, that nothing in this act shall be construed to affect any of the interests of the mayor and city council of Baltimore in the said United Railways and Electric Company of Baltimore, or any of the railways consolidated under the corporate name."

The Public Service Commission on the 31st day of December, 1919, passed order No. 5327, providing that on and after January 1, 1920, and until midnight December 31, 1920, and no longer, unless such time be extended, the United Railways & Electric Company should be permitted to charge 7 cents fare for each passenger 12 years of age and 4 cents for each child between the ages of 4 and 12 years on any of its lines, and there are certain other provisions in it not necessary to mention. Then, on the 28th of December, 1922, the Commission ordered that changes be made in certain of the existing zones as there set forth, which continued the increase of fare set out above until midnight on the 30th day of April, 1924, unless modified or superseded by the Commission, etc.

The Act of 1910, chapter 180, p. 338, created and established the Public Service Commission, prescribed its powers and duties, and provided for the regulation and control of public service corporations and public...

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