269 U.S. 190 (1925), 37, Central Union Telephone Company v. City of Edwardsville

Docket Nº:No. 37
Citation:269 U.S. 190, 46 S.Ct. 90, 70 L.Ed. 229
Party Name:Central Union Telephone Company v. City of Edwardsville
Case Date:November 23, 1925
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 190

269 U.S. 190 (1925)

46 S.Ct. 90, 70 L.Ed. 229

Central Union Telephone Company


City of Edwardsville

No. 37

United States Supreme Court

Nov. 23, 1925

Argued October 13, 1925




1. A system of state appellate practice (as in Illinois) which allows review of constitutional questions, with any others involved in the case, by direct appeal to the Supreme Court of the state, but provides that, if the appeal be taken to an intermediate court, empowered to review nonconstitutional questions, the constitutional questions shall be waived, is reasonable and valid as applied to a suitor who lost his opportunity to have his claim under the federal Constitution reviewed, in the state court or here, by appealing to the intermediate court. P. 194.

2. An Illinois statute providing that " cases . . . in which the validity of a statute or construction of the Constitution is involved"

Page 191

shall be taken directly to the Supreme Court of the state, was construed by that court as including case involving the federal, as well as those involving the state, constitution, with the result that a party asserting a federal right was adjudged by that court to have waived it by appealing in the first instance to the intermediate appellate court. Held that a writ of error from this Court to the state Supreme Court must be dismissed, since the construction, even though not anticipated by any earlier decision, was not an unfair or unreasonable one amounting in its application to an obstruction of the federal right, and therefore this Court was bound by it. P. 195.

Writ of error to review 309 Ill. 482 dismissed.

Error to review a judgment of the Supreme Court of Illinois, affirming a judgment of the Illinois Appellate Court which sustained a recovery by the city in an action against the telephone company to collect taxes levied on its poles in the city streets. See also 302 Ill. 362, 227 Ill.App. 424.

Page 192

TAFT, J., lead opinion

MR. CHIEF JUSTICE TAFT delivered the opinion of the Court.

The City of Edwardsville in July, 1882, by ordinance granted to the Central Union Telephone Company a right in its streets to erect and maintain the necessary poles and wires for the operation of a telephone system. The Central Telephone Company transferred its rights to the Central Union Telephone Company. Later, the city council adopted a resolution requesting the Central Union Telephone Company to furnish to the city, free of charge, one telephone and such additional telephones as the city council might call for at a reduction of 25 percent from the regular rates, and the right to attach, without charge, fire and police alarm wires to the top cross-arm of each pole. The company filed its acceptance of this resolution as...

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