South Porto Rico Sugar Company v. Munoz, No. 2271.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
Writing for the CourtJOHNSON and ANDERSON, Circuit , and HALE
Citation28 F.2d 820
PartiesSOUTH PORTO RICO SUGAR COMPANY et al. v. MUNOZ et al.
Docket NumberNo. 2271.
Decision Date26 October 1928

28 F.2d 820 (1928)

SOUTH PORTO RICO SUGAR COMPANY et al.
v.
MUNOZ et al.

No. 2271.

Circuit Court of Appeals, First Circuit.

October 26, 1928.


Francis E. Neagle, of New York City (Rounds, Dillingham, Mead & Neagle, of New York City, on the brief), for appellants.

William Cattron Rigby, of Washington, D. C. (John A. Hull, Judge Advocate General, of Washington, D. C., James R. Beverley, Atty. Gen., of Porto Rico, and J. A. Lopez Acosta, Asst. Atty. Gen., of counsel), for appellees.

Before JOHNSON and ANDERSON, Circuit Judges, and HALE, District Judge.

ANDERSON, Circuit Judge.

On May 28, 1928, the Public Service Commission of Porto Rico issued to appellants an order of notice to appear on June 4, 1928, and show cause why said commission should not cancel a franchise granted, on March 19, 1901, to appellants' predecessors in title, by the Executive Council of Porto Rico, to use daily

28 F.2d 821
20,000,000 gallons of the waters of Lake Guanica for irrigation, for the construction and operation of a private railroad to run in part over lands subject to public rights, and to construct and maintain a dock on the Bay of Guanica. Without appearing before the commission, the appellants filed on June 2, 1928, a bill in equity seeking an injunction to restrain the commission from interfering in any way with the enjoyment of their powers under this franchise, and from asserting any jurisdiction over the appellants in respect to said franchise. The court below sustained a motion to dismiss filed by the Attorney General of Porto Rico, holding, in a well-reasoned and cogent opinion, both that the suit was premature and that the Public Service Commission had jurisdiction. This decision was right on both points

Courts have no general supervisory power over such tribunals as public service commissions. Judicial interference, apart from express statutory delegation, must be grounded on illegal encroachment upon property rights. American Coal Mining Co. v. Special Coal & Food Commission (D. C.) 268 F. 563; Sayers v. Montpelier & Wells River R. R., 90 Vt. 201, 97 A. 660, Ann. Cas. 1918B, 1050.

If we assume for the moment that this Public Service Commission has no jurisdiction, the issuance of an order of notice was no such assertion of authority or threat of irreparable injury as to warrant injunctive interference by the court. It would not follow that, on appearance and argument, the commission would adhere to an erroneous view as to the nature and extent of its jurisdiction. The appellants' case in that regard is not supported by the cases relied upon by their learned counsel. Philadelphia Co. v. Stimson, 223 U. S. 605, 32 S. Ct. 340, 56 L. Ed. 570, and cases cited; Work v. Louisiana, 269 U. S. 250, 46 S. Ct. 92, 70 L. Ed. 259; Gallardo v. Porto Rico Light & Power Co. (C. C. A.) 18 F.(2d) 918; Benedicto v. West India & Panama Tel. Co. (C. C. A.) 256 F. 417.

Affirmation of the decree below (dismissing the bill) would doubtless be warranted on this ground alone. But it is plainly in the interest of the parties that we deal now, rather than possibly in a later suit, with the fundamental question of the jurisdiction of the commission to maintain proceedings looking to the repeal, alteration or modification of the appellants' franchise.

Under the first Organic Act of Porto Rico — the Foraker Act of April 12, 1900, 31 Stat. 77 (48 USCA § 731 et seq.) — Congress provided for this recently acquired possession a legislative assembly, consisting of an elective lower chamber, and, in lieu of a senate, an Executive Council, consisting of six heads of the executive departments,...

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5 practice notes
  • Utah Fuel Co. v. National Bituminous Coal Commission, No. 7247.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • December 5, 1938
    ...57 App.D.C. 360, 23 F.2d 968, certiorari denied 274 U.S. 743, 47 S.Ct. 588, 71 L.Ed. 1321; South Porto Rico Sugar Co. v. Munoz, 1 Cir., 28 F.2d 820. Cf. Appalachian Elec. Power Co. v. Smith, 4 Cir., 67 F.2d 451, certiorari denied 291 U.S. 674, 54 S.Ct. 458, 78 L.Ed. 1063; Carolina Aluminum ......
  • United Ins. Co. of Chicago, Ill. v. Maloney
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • August 18, 1954
    ...R. Co., supra, 244 U.S. 82, page 89, 37 S.Ct. 584 [61 L.Ed. 1007].' To the same effect is South Porto Rico Sugar Co. v. Munoz, 1 Cir., 28 F.2d 820. In this case the court said, 28 F.2d at page 821: 'If we assume for the moment that this Public Service Commission has no jurisdiction, the iss......
  • Woodard v. Broadway Federal Savings & Loan Ass'n of LosAngeles
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • May 19, 1952
    ...Power Commission v. Metropolitan Edison Co., 304 U.S. 375, 58 S.Ct. 963, 82 L.Ed. 1408; South Porto Rico Sugar Co. v. Munoz, 1 Cir., 28 F.2d 820; 48 Yale L.J. 981, 992-995.' United States v. Superior Court, 19 Cal.2d 189, 195, 120 P.2d 26, 29. The importance of giving the administrative age......
  • Aycock v. O'BRIEN, No. 5501.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • October 29, 1928
    ...be true that representations then made in good faith would, if now made in the light of greater scientific knowledge, and in the light 28 F.2d 820 of greater experience in the use of these medicines themselves, be wholly inconsistent with the theory of good faith or any honest belief in the......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
5 cases
  • Utah Fuel Co. v. National Bituminous Coal Commission, No. 7247.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • December 5, 1938
    ...57 App.D.C. 360, 23 F.2d 968, certiorari denied 274 U.S. 743, 47 S.Ct. 588, 71 L.Ed. 1321; South Porto Rico Sugar Co. v. Munoz, 1 Cir., 28 F.2d 820. Cf. Appalachian Elec. Power Co. v. Smith, 4 Cir., 67 F.2d 451, certiorari denied 291 U.S. 674, 54 S.Ct. 458, 78 L.Ed. 1063; Carolina Aluminum ......
  • United Ins. Co. of Chicago, Ill. v. Maloney
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • August 18, 1954
    ...R. Co., supra, 244 U.S. 82, page 89, 37 S.Ct. 584 [61 L.Ed. 1007].' To the same effect is South Porto Rico Sugar Co. v. Munoz, 1 Cir., 28 F.2d 820. In this case the court said, 28 F.2d at page 821: 'If we assume for the moment that this Public Service Commission has no jurisdiction, the iss......
  • Woodard v. Broadway Federal Savings & Loan Ass'n of LosAngeles
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • May 19, 1952
    ...Power Commission v. Metropolitan Edison Co., 304 U.S. 375, 58 S.Ct. 963, 82 L.Ed. 1408; South Porto Rico Sugar Co. v. Munoz, 1 Cir., 28 F.2d 820; 48 Yale L.J. 981, 992-995.' United States v. Superior Court, 19 Cal.2d 189, 195, 120 P.2d 26, 29. The importance of giving the administrative age......
  • Aycock v. O'BRIEN, No. 5501.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • October 29, 1928
    ...be true that representations then made in good faith would, if now made in the light of greater scientific knowledge, and in the light 28 F.2d 820 of greater experience in the use of these medicines themselves, be wholly inconsistent with the theory of good faith or any honest belief in the......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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