239 U.S. 121 (1915), 38, Glenwood Light & Water Company v. Mutual Light, Heat & Power Company

Docket NºNo. 38
Citation239 U.S. 121, 36 S.Ct. 30, 60 L.Ed. 174
Party NameGlenwood Light & Water Company v. Mutual Light, Heat & Power Company
Case DateNovember 15, 1915
CourtUnited States Supreme Court

Page 121

239 U.S. 121 (1915)

36 S.Ct. 30, 60 L.Ed. 174

Glenwood Light & Water Company

v.

Mutual Light, Heat & Power Company

No. 38

United States Supreme Court

November 15, 1915

Submitted October 29, 1915

APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO

Syllabus

The jurisdictional amount involved in suits for injunction to restrain nuisance or a continuing trespass is to be tested by the value of the object to be gained by complainant.

The amount involved in a suit brought by a telephone company to restrain another company from so erecting poles and wires as to injure complainant's poles, wires, and business held, in this case, not to be the expense of defendant's removing its conflicting poles and wires, but the value of the right of complainant to maintain and operate its plant and conduct its business free from wrongful interference by defendant.

Complainant's right to conduct its business free from the acts of defendant sought to be enjoined having an uncontroverted value of $3,000, held that the district court had jurisdiction under Judicial Code, § 24, so far as jurisdictional amount in controversy is concerned.

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The facts, which involve the jurisdiction of the district court under Judicial Code, § 24, and the determination of the amount in controversy in a case for injunction, are stated in the opinion.

PITNEY, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE PITNEY delivered the opinion of the Court.

This is an appeal from a decree of the district court dismissing a bill of complaint for want of jurisdiction, the jurisdiction having been invoked upon the ground that the suit was between citizens of different states, and that the matter in controversy exceeded the sum or value of $3,000 (Jud.Code, § 24, Act of March 3, 1911, c. 231, 36 Stat. 1087, 1091). The bill, besides the requisite averments as to the citizenship of the parties, alleges in substance that complainant is the owner by assignment of a franchise granted in the year 1887 by the Town of Glenwood Springs, in the State of Colorado, and subsequently renewed, entitling complainant to erect and maintain a plant for the purpose of supplying the town and its inhabitants with electric light and power; that complainant and its predecessors, prior to 1911, constructed an electric light and power system and erected poles and wires in the alleys of the town in the manner provided for in the ordinance, and complainant has continued to carry on its business and supply electric current to the town and its inhabitants, and still continues to maintain its poles and wires in the streets and alleys of the town; that in April, 1911, the town attempted to grant to defendant the right to erect a plant and construct

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a system for furnishing the town and its inhabitants with electric current, and defendant commenced the construction of a plant, and began to furnish light to the town on or about October first, 1912, since which date its wires have been used for carrying electric current for the purpose of lighting the town and furnishing light to some of its inhabitants; that complainant's poles were erected, so far as practicable, in the alleys of the town, as was provided in its ordinance, and its...

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