240 U.S. 30 (1916), 200, Mt. Vernon-Woodberry Cotton Duck Company

Docket Nº:No. 200
Citation:240 U.S. 30, 36 S.Ct. 234, 60 L.Ed. 507
Party Name:Mt. Vernon-Woodberry Cotton Duck Company
Case Date:January 24, 1916
Court:United States Supreme Court

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240 U.S. 30 (1916)

36 S.Ct. 234, 60 L.Ed. 507

Mt. Vernon-Woodberry Cotton Duck Company

No. 200

United States Supreme Court

January 24, 1916

v. Alabama Interstate Power Company

Submitted January 10, 1916




Prohibition is a distinct suit, and the judgment finally disposing of it is a final judgment by common law as well as under the statutes of Alabama within the meaning of Judicial Code, § 237.

The fact that the denial of a petition for writ of prohibition does not decide the merits of the principal suit is immaterial so far as finality of the judgment is concerned.

Where the state court has denied a petition for writ of prohibition, all the points urged exclusively under the the Constitution must be taken to have been decided adversely to plaintiff in error, and this Court in such respect follows the state court.

To manufacture, supply, and sell to the public power produced by water as motive force held in this case, following the judgment of the state court, to be a public use justifying the exercise of eminent domain, and the statute of Alabama providing for condemnation of property for water power purposes is not unconstitutional as taking property without due process of law.

186 Ala. 622 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the construction, application, and constitutionality of statutes of Alabama providing for proceedings to condemn land and water powers, are stated in the opinion.

HOLMES, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE HOLMES delivered the opinion of the Court.

This is a petition for a writ of prohibition to prevent the probate court of Tallapoosa County from taking

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jurisdiction of condemnation proceedings instituted by the Alabama Interstate Power Company to take land, water, and water rights belonging to the petitioner. An alternative writ was issued, but the supreme court of the state ordered it to be quashed and the writ to be dismissed. 186 Ala. 622. The grounds of the petition are that the statutes of Alabama do not authorize the proceedings, and that, if they do, they contravene the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. The supreme court upheld the statutes and the jurisdiction of the probate court, but left the sufficiency of the petition for condemnation, whether every subject of which condemnation was sought could be condemned, and the ability of the Power Company to prove its case, to be determined in the condemnation case. There is a motion to dismiss the writ of error on the ground that the present decision is not final because it does not determine the merits, but this motion must be denied. Prohibition is a distinct suit, and the judgment finally disposing of it is a final judgment within the meaning of the Judicial Code, Act of March 3, 1911, c. 231, § 237, 36 Stat. 1087, 1156, under the statutes of Alabama and by the common law. Code of 1907, §§ 4864-4867, 4872; Weston v. Charleston, 2 Pet. 449, 464-465. The fact that it does not...

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