Illinois Central R. Co. v. MISSISSIPPI PUBLIC SERV. COM'N, Civ. A. No. 2220.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Southern District of Mississippi
Writing for the CourtHOLMES, Circuit , and MIZE and THOMAS
Citation135 F. Supp. 304
Docket NumberCiv. A. No. 2220.
Decision Date27 October 1955
PartiesILLINOIS CENTRAL RAILROAD COMPANY, Plaintiff, v. MISSISSIPPI PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION, and Alton Massey, Ike Sanford, and Howard Little, as Members of and Constituting the Public Service Commission of the State of Mississippi; and J. P. Coleman, as Attorney General of the State of Mississippi, Defendants.

135 F. Supp. 304

ILLINOIS CENTRAL RAILROAD COMPANY, Plaintiff,
v.
MISSISSIPPI PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION, and Alton Massey, Ike Sanford, and Howard Little, as Members of and Constituting the Public Service Commission of the State of Mississippi; and J. P. Coleman, as Attorney General of the State of Mississippi, Defendants.

Civ. A. No. 2220.

United States District Court S. D. Mississippi, Jackson Division.

October 27, 1955.


135 F. Supp. 305

Byrd, Wise & Smith, Jackson, Miss., for plaintiff.

J. P. Coleman, Atty. Gen. of the State of Mississippi, James T. Kendall, Sp. Asst. Atty. Gen. of the State of Mississippi, Jackson, Miss., for defendants.

Before HOLMES, Circuit Judge, and MIZE and THOMAS, District Judges.

HOLMES, Circuit Judge.

This is a civil action of an equitable nature, in which the plaintiff seeks to enjoin the defendants from the enforcement of an order of the Mississippi Public Service Commission, dated October 18, 1950, which requires the plaintiff to continue its passenger service on trains between Gulfport and Jackson, Mississippi. A temporary injunction restraining the enforcement of said order has been granted by this court, and is now in effect. There has been prior litigation on this subject in the state courts, which culminated in a decision by the Supreme Court of Mississippi, reported in Illinois

135 F. Supp. 306
Cent. R. Co. v. Mississippi Public Service Commission, Miss., 71 So.2d 176. Said court held that the plaintiff had a plain, adequate, and complete, remedy at law by appeal from the order of the Commission, and could not maintain a bill in chancery to restrain enforcement thereof

The same matter is now submitted to this court on the motion of defendants for a summary judgment. The answer of defendants denies the allegations of the complaint and sets up three affirmative defenses: first, res judicata; second, plaintiff had a plain, adequate, and complete, remedy at law; and, third, an insufficient showing by the plaintiff of threatened or impending irreparable injury of such an extraordinary nature as to warrant the exercise of this court's injunctive powers. As an exhibit to their answer, the defendants have filed a complete copy of all the pleadings, evidence, and other proceedings in the state court and before the Public Service Commission. The motion for summary judgment is submitted on these records, on affidavits, and on admissions made by the plaintiff in response to requests made by the defendants. We discern no substantial controversy as to the facts except that the defendants deny the plaintiff's allegations as to the loss of enormous sums of money sustained by it in the operation of its trains.

The Supreme Court of Mississippi, in 71 So.2d 176, did not consider the suit on its merits but denied the plaintiff any relief; and affirmed the judgment dismissing the bill, on the ground that the plaintiff had a plain, adequate, and complete remedy at law in the state court by appeal to the state circuit court. There is no contention here by the defendants that the plaintiff did not exhaust its administrative remedies before resorting to the federal court. We quote the following from the brief of defendants on the motion for a summary judgment: "Therefore, our initial conclusion that an appeal to the Circuit Court from the order of the Public Service Commission would have been a judicial proceeding leads us to the conclusion that, after such an appeal, the railroad company could have removed the proceeding to the Federal District Court. We do not wish our position in this matter to be a matter of confusion or doubt. We have nowhere urged the proposition that this Court should not accept jurisdiction because the plaintiff has not exhausted its administrative remedies. As set forth above, we do not now take such a position."

Among other authorities, the defendants rely upon Angel v. Bullington, 330 U.S. 183, 67 S.Ct. 657, 662, 91 L.Ed. 832, wherein the court was sharply divided, and in which the majority opinion said: "Of course, where resort is had to a federal court not on grounds of diversity of citizenship but because a federal right is claimed, the limitations upon the courts of a State do not control a federal court sitting in the state. Holmberg v. Armbrecht, 327 U.S. 392, 66 S.Ct. 582, 90 L.Ed. 743." In the case at bar, the plaintiff does not rely upon diversity of citizenship for federal jurisdiction, but solely upon the violation of a federal right. The complaint alleges that the order of the Commission, dated October 18, 1950, is contrary to and in violation of plaintiff's rights which are secured by the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, and that the impending enforcement of said order constitutes the taking of plaintiff's property without due process of law. The citizenship of the parties does not appear upon the face of the complaint. It is true that the plaintiff did not appeal from the judgment of the Supreme Court of Mississippi or apply for certiorari, as it might have done; but there is no doctrine of exhaustion of judicial remedies. If a judgment of dismissal is rendered on jurisdictional grounds, the losing party may accept it; and, instead of seeking a review, may institute another action where one will not be met by the jurisdictional bar. Cf. Restatement, Judgments (1942), Sec. 49, pp.

135 F. Supp. 307
193-195; Cook, The Logical & Legal Bases of the Conflict of Laws (1942) pp. 133-135

The equitable jurisdiction of the federal courts is defeated only by an adequate legal remedy available in said courts. It is not sufficient to defeat federal equity jurisdiction that there be a remedy at law, but the remedy at law must be plain, adequate, and complete; that is, it must be as complete and as efficient as the equitable remedy. In case of serious doubt as to the adequacy of the remedy at law, the federal courts resolve this doubt in favor of their jurisdiction in equity; and, as federal equity...

To continue reading

Request your trial
6 cases
  • Billis v. State, Nos. 88-311
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • October 5, 1990
    ...or controversy; such power is ordinarily vested in a court of justice. Illinois Cent. R. Co. v. Mississippi Public Service Commission, 135 F.Supp. 304, 308 (S.D.Miss.1955). Judicial power consists of three elements: examination of the truth, determination of the law arising upon that fact, ......
  • Hollander v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., Civ. No. H-74-398.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • March 27, 1975
    ...another action where one will not be met by the jurisdictional bar." Illinois Cent. R. R. Co. v. Mississippi Pub. Serv. Comm'n, 135 F.Supp. 304, 306 (S.D.Miss.1955); Kipbea Baking Co. v. Strauss, 218 F.Supp. 696, 699 (E. Accordingly, the defendant's motion to dismiss is denied, and it is So......
  • Darnell v. Lloyd, Civ. No. H-75-33.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • May 13, 1975
    ...another action where one will not be met by the jurisdictional bar.' Illinois Cent. R. R. Co. v. Mississippi Pub. Serv. Comm'n, 135 F.Supp. 304, 306 (S.D.Miss.1955); Kipbea Baking Co. v. Strauss, 218 F. Supp. 696, 699 Hollander v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 392 F.Supp. 90, at 95 (D.Conn.1975). T......
  • Weyenberg v. United States, Civ. A. No. 6141.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Eastern District of Wisconsin
    • October 27, 1955
    ...and submit them to the Court within ten days. These proposed findings shall be submitted to counsel for the defendant before being filed 135 F. Supp. 304 with the Court, and counsel for the defendant will have five days thereafter in which to make specific objections. Should there be any di......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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