Essex Co. v. Atlantic Enterprises, Inc.

Citation372 N.E.2d 530,6 Mass.App.Ct. 844
PartiesESSEX COMPANY v. ATLANTIC ENTERPRISES, INC. Appeals Court of Massachusetts, Essex
Decision Date14 February 1978
CourtAppeals Court of Massachusetts

Page 530

372 N.E.2d 530
6 Mass.App.Ct. 844

Appeals Court of Massachusetts, Essex.
Argued Jan. 12, 1978.
Decided Feb. 14, 1978.

Page 531

[6 Mass.App.Ct. 845] Gerald Gillerman, Boston, for defendant.

Reginald H. Howe, Boston, Daniel O. Mahoney, Boston, with him, for plaintiff.


[6 Mass.App.Ct. 844] RESCRIPT.

The defendant has appealed from a judgment for the plaintiff for the [6 Mass.App.Ct. 845] dollar equivalent of three years of the perpetual annual rent reserved by the plaintiff with respect to the mill powers which are annexed to a portion of the defendant's land. See Essex Co. v. Goldman, 357 Mass. 427, 428-432, 258 N.E.2d 526 (1970). Only two points need be considered. 1. The proposals involved in the present case are virtually identical to those considered in Whiting Paper Co. v. Holyoke Water Power Co., 276 Mass. 542, 177 N.E. 574 (1931), and the argument advanced by the defendant in support of its sixth defence and its first counterclaim is effectively foreclosed by the decision in that case. 2. The plaintiff does not have a license from the Federal Power Commission (FPC) under the provisions of 16 U.S.C. § 817 (1970) to operate or maintain its dam or its system of locks and canals. The common predicate of all the arguments advanced by the defendant in support of its third through fifth defences and its third counterclaim is that the plaintiff was and is required to have such a license. Whether any such license was or is required is the core question which will have to be decided by the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit on the petition which the plaintiff has filed there for review of the 1976 order of the FPC which purports to require the plaintiff (as well as the defendant) to apply for such a license. The resolution of that question lies within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals, subject only to possible review by the United States Supreme Court. 16 U.S.C. § 825l (b) (1970). Tacoma v. Taxpayers of Tacoma, 357 U.S. 320, 334-337, 78 S.Ct. 1209, 2 L.Ed.2d 1345 (1958). South Cent. Rural Elec. Coop. v. Swidler, 228 F.Supp. 875, 876-877 (S.D.Ohio 1963). Minnkota Power Coop. v. Swidler, 228 F.Supp. 968 (D.N.D.1963). Compare North Carolina v. FPC, 393 F.Supp. 1116, 1121-1122, 1127-1128 (D.N.C.1975). It was not the province of the Superior Court to speculate as to how that question might ultimately be resolved by the...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT