Detroit United Railway v. City of Detroit, No. 1047

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtDay
PartiesDETROIT UNITED RAILWAY, Plff. in Err., v. CITY OF DETROIT
Docket NumberNo. 1047
Decision Date26 May 1913

229 U.S. 39
33 S.Ct. 697
57 L.Ed. 1056
DETROIT UNITED RAILWAY, Plff. in Err.,

v.

CITY OF DETROIT.

No. 1047.
Submitted May 5, 1913.
Decided May 26, 1913.

Page 40

Messrs. John C. Donnelly, William L. Carpenter, and Fred A. Baker for plaintiff in error.

Messrs. Richard I. Lawson and Alfred Lucking for defendant in error.

Mr. Justice Day delivered the opinion of the court:

This is a suit in equity, originating in the circuit court for the county of Wayne, of the state of Michigan, brought by the city of Detroit against the Detroit United Railway, to determine that certain franchises of the railway have expired, and to require it to pay a temporary rental, or to vacate the streets operated under the franchises. The decree of the circuit court in favor of the city was affirmed by the supreme court of Michigan. The case comes here on writ of error, and is now before us on motion of the city to dismiss, affirm, or advance.

The Detroit United Railway owns and operates all the street railways in Detroit. Its principal east and west line is called the Fort Street Line, in connection with which three franchises have been granted to the railway and

Page 41

its predecessors. One of the franchises was granted by the township of Springwells, part of which has since been annexed to the city of Detroit by legislative act, and the other two were granted by the city. By their terms the franchises expired June 17, June 30, and July 24, 1910, respectively.

The township of Springwells had also granted certain other franchises (the part of the railway system covered by such franchises not being involved in this suit, however) to the railway in 1889 and 1891, to expire in 1921, naming a certain rate of fare, and providing that the tracks constructed under such grants should be deemed, for the purpose of collecting fares, an extension of the tracks theretofore laid in the township and city. Upon the inclusion of that part of the township of Springwells within the city which contained the lines of railway covered by the franchises of 1889 and 1891, the city, which had theretofore made certain contracts with the railway for the reduction of fare upon the lines then within the city limits at certain hours, under a system of tickets called workingmen's tickets, by an ordinance passed May 2, 1906, entitled, 'An Ordinance in Relation to Rates of Fare on Fort Street Lines of the Detroit United Railway,' amended the township franchises so that the agreement between the railway and the city with reference to workingmen's tickets should apply to the lines embraced in the grants of 1889 and 1891 for the term of such grants, but provided that the other provisions of the township grants should remain unchanged.

Shortly before the expiration of the three franchises involved in this suit the city passed three resolutions under date of June 14, June 21, and July 19, 1910, the third being like but superseding the other two. The resolution of July 19, 1910, after reciting the fact that two of the ordinances had expired and the other soon would expire; that, because of the pendency of a certain suit and

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injunctions issued therein, an ordinance prescribing the terms and conditions under which the railway might continue to operate its lines after the expiration of its franchises could not be enforced; that under the Constitution of Michigan it was impossible for the city to grant a term franchise without the affirmance of the electors of the city, and that the railway was denied the right to operate its lines without a franchise, provided that the railway might temporarily operate under the same terms and conditions as theretofore existed upon the payment of $200 a day to the city, and that, except upon such terms, consent to operate its railway was denied and refused to the railway. The railway, by written communication, denied that the franchises had expired, insisted that the demands of the city were illegal, and declined to pay the sum named in the resolution.

The railway, among other...

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37 practice notes
  • Boston Elevated Ry. Co. v. Commonwealth
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • January 8, 1942
    ...174 N.E. 306;City of Detroit v. Detroit United Railway, 172 Mich. 136, 158, 137 N.W. 645, affirmed, Detroit United Railway v. Detroit, 229 U.S. 39, 45, 46, 33 S.Ct. 697, 57 L.Ed. 1056. Indeed, the company makes no contrary contention as to the effect of a forfeiture. Furthermore, by such fo......
  • City of Detroit v. Michigan, Case No. 10–12427.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Michigan)
    • July 10, 2012
    ...In City of Detroit v. Detroit United Ry., 172 Mich. 136, 137 N.W. 645 (1912), aff'd sub nom. Detroit United Ry. v. City of Detroit, 229 U.S. 39, 33 S.Ct. 697, 57 L.Ed. 1056 (1913), the Michigan Supreme Court held that a railcar company that continued to operate in Detroit after its franchis......
  • United States v. Toledo Newspaper Co.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Ohio
    • January 23, 1915
    ...case is in no wise affected by the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, affirming the Supreme Court of Michigan, reported 229 U.S. 39, 33 Sup.Ct. 697, 57 L.Ed. 1056. One incident affecting jurisdiction counsel overlook: The ordinance did not provide specifically that, as an a......
  • State ex Inf. McKittrick v. Mo. Utilities Co., No. 34073.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • September 8, 1936
    ...ex rel. v. Pub. Serv. Comm., 82 S.W. (2d) 105; State ex inf. v. Mo. Standard Tel. Co., 337 Mo. 642; Detroit United Ry. Co. v. Detroit, 229 U.S. 39; Louisville Trust Co. v. Cincinnati, 76 Fed. 296; Cedar Rapids Water Co. v. Cedar Rapids, 118 Iowa, 234; Scott County Road Co. v. Hines, 215 U.S......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
41 cases
  • State ex Inf. McKittrick v. Mo. Utilities Co., No. 34073.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • September 8, 1936
    ...ex rel. v. Pub. Serv. Comm., 82 S.W. (2d) 105; State ex inf. v. Mo. Standard Tel. Co., 337 Mo. 642; Detroit United Ry. Co. v. Detroit, 229 U.S. 39; Louisville Trust Co. v. Cincinnati, 76 Fed. 296; Cedar Rapids Water Co. v. Cedar Rapids, 118 Iowa, 234; Scott County Road Co. v. Hines, 215 U.S......
  • State ex Inf. Shartel v. Mo. Utilities Co., No. 31441.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • October 5, 1932
    ...after the expiration of a franchise is not depriving any person of property without due process of law. Detroit United Railway v. Detroit, 229 U.S. 39. (6) The right to grant the use of the streets is in the city. At the expiration of a period fixed by agreement or franchise the city may or......
  • City of Detroit v. Michigan, Case No. 10–12427.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Michigan)
    • July 10, 2012
    ...In City of Detroit v. Detroit United Ry., 172 Mich. 136, 137 N.W. 645 (1912), aff'd sub nom. Detroit United Ry. v. City of Detroit, 229 U.S. 39, 33 S.Ct. 697, 57 L.Ed. 1056 (1913), the Michigan Supreme Court held that a railcar company that continued to operate in Detroit after its franchis......
  • United States v. Toledo Newspaper Co.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Ohio
    • January 23, 1915
    ...case is in no wise affected by the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, affirming the Supreme Court of Michigan, reported 229 U.S. 39, 33 Sup.Ct. 697, 57 L.Ed. 1056. One incident affecting jurisdiction counsel overlook: The ordinance did not provide specifically that, as an a......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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