Springfield Television, Inc. v. City of Springfield, Mo., No. 19909.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtMATTHES, MEHAFFY and LAY, Circuit
Citation428 F.2d 1375
PartiesSPRINGFIELD TELEVISION, INC., a Missouri Corporation, Independent Broadcasting Company, Inc., a Missouri Corporation, and Springfield (Mo)-CATV, Inc., a Missouri Corporation, Arch A. Watson, John O. Cooper, Keith G. Wells, G. Pearson Ward and Ralph Stufflebaum, Suing for Themselves and All Other Persons Similarly Situated, Appellants, v. The CITY OF SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI, a Municipal Corporation, David R. Burkhalter, City Manager of the City of Springfield, E. L. Anderson, Lucille Upton, David James, James F. Payne, Lauren Nance, Gus Wickman, Carl Stillwell, Joe Bill Turner and Clyde H. Martin, Members of and Constituting the Council of the City of Springfield, Missouri, Carl Stillwell, Mayor of Springfield, Missouri, and International Telemeter of Springfield Corp., a Missouri Corporation, Appellees.
Docket NumberNo. 19909.
Decision Date23 June 1970

428 F.2d 1375 (1970)

SPRINGFIELD TELEVISION, INC., a Missouri Corporation, Independent Broadcasting Company, Inc., a Missouri Corporation, and Springfield (Mo)-CATV, Inc., a Missouri Corporation, Arch A. Watson, John O. Cooper, Keith G. Wells, G. Pearson Ward and Ralph Stufflebaum, Suing for Themselves and All Other Persons Similarly Situated, Appellants,
v.
The CITY OF SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI, a Municipal Corporation, David R. Burkhalter, City Manager of the City of Springfield, E. L. Anderson, Lucille Upton, David James, James F. Payne, Lauren Nance, Gus Wickman, Carl Stillwell, Joe Bill Turner and Clyde H. Martin, Members of and Constituting the Council of the City of Springfield, Missouri, Carl Stillwell, Mayor of Springfield, Missouri, and International Telemeter of Springfield Corp., a Missouri Corporation, Appellees.

No. 19909.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.

June 23, 1970.


428 F.2d 1376

Richard Farrington, of Farrington, Curtis & Strong, Springfield, Mo., for appellants; John K. Hulston, Springfield, Mo., and Mayte Boylan Hardie, Springfield, Mo., were on the brief with Mr. Farrington.

Joseph E. Stevens, Jr., of Lathrop, Righter, Gordon & Parker, Kansas City, Mo., for appellees; F. B. Freeman, of Neale, Newman, Bradshaw & Freeman, Springfield, Mo., was on the brief with Mr. Stevens (attorneys for International Telemeter of Springfield Corp.). Don G. Busch, Springfield, Mo., filed brief for appellee City of Springfield.

Before MATTHES, MEHAFFY and LAY, Circuit Judges.

MATTHES, Circuit Judge.

This appeal is from the order of the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri dismissing appellants' complaint for lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter. We hold that the district court possessed jurisdiction and accordingly reverse for further proceedings.

The salient facts in this controversy are set forth in appellants' complaint. For the purpose of the motion to dismiss, we are obliged to regard as admitted all well-pleaded facts contained therein. McCleneghan v. Union Stock Yards Co. of Omaha, 298 F.2d 659, 662 (8th Cir. 1962); Creswell-Keith, Inc. v. Willingham, 264 F.2d 76, 81 (8th Cir. 1959).

The complaint shows that the appellants are three Missouri corporations and five individual taxpayers residing in the City of Springfield, Missouri. Two of the corporations, Springfield Television Inc., and Independent Broadcasting Company, Inc., each own and operate separate television stations located in Springfield and are duly licensed by the Federal Communications Commission hereafter FCC. The third corporation, Springfield (Mo)-CATV, Inc., is authorized by its corporate charter to operate a community antenna television (CATV) system.1 Its principal place of business is in Springfield, and the stock of the corporation is owned in equal amounts by the other two corporate appellants. The appellees are the City of Springfield, its city manager, the members of the Council of the City of Springfield, and International Telemeter of Springfield Corp., a Missouri corporation, with its principal place of business in Kansas City, Missouri.

428 F.2d 1377

On July 1, 1968, the City Council of Springfield adopted Resolution No. 4932 (Council Bill No. 7426) which established procedures for the submission of competitive bids for a CATV franchise to be granted by the City. The Resolution provided that the franchise award would be made to the bidder offering the highest percentage of gross annual receipts to be paid to the City, in addition to a lump sum of $100,000 payable upon acceptance of the bid. Appellant Springfield (Mo)-CATV, Inc., did not submit a proposal for the franchise, but has alleged in its complaint that it "intends to bid for any community antenna television system franchise in said city legally available to prospective bidders." On August 12, the City Council, by adoption of Resolution No. 4962 (Council Bill No. 7509), found the bid of appellee International Telemeter to be the highest submitted. Accordingly, on August 26, the Council adopted Special Ordinance No. 15121, granting the CATV system franchise to International Telemeter and setting forth in detail the terms and conditions accompanying the grant. International Telemeter accepted the franchise in writing.

On August 29, 1968, this suit was filed. The gravamen of the complaint is that the two Council Resolutions and Special Ordinance No. 15121 are invalid as repugnant to the Constitution of the United States in certain specified particulars, as violative of the Missouri constitution and laws, and as exceeding the authority granted under the Charter of the City of Springfield. All of the appellants alleged that they would be irreparably injured as taxpayers of the City of Springfield if the City were to relinquish to appellee International Telemeter any interest in its streets, alleys, and public ways for construction of a CATV system under an invalid ordinance. Appellants Springfield Television, Inc., and Independent Broadcasting Company, Inc., alleged that their rights under their licenses from the FCC, under the Federal Communications Act of 1934, and under the coverage and nonduplication requirements established by §§ 21.172, 74.1033, 74.1103, 74.1109, and 91.559 of the FCC's Second Report and Order in Dockets 14895, 15233, and 15971, FCC Order 66-220, issued on March 8, 1966, would be illegally damaged and/or destroyed by the franchise grant. Appellant Springfield (Mo)-CATV, Inc., alleged that it was deprived of its right to compete fairly for a legal franchise.

The complaint averred that the district court had jurisdiction of the proceeding by virtue of 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331(a) and 1337, Rule 56(b, c), Fed.R. Civ.P., Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. §§ 151 et seq., various provisions of the FCC's Second Report and Order, issued March 8, 1966, and FCC Order 68-658, June 25, 1968, and certain sections of the United States Constitution. Appellants prayed for a permanent injunction, enjoining all appellees from taking any action to implement the two Council resolutions and Special Ordinance No. 15121 or any agreement or contract with respect to any CATV franchise granted by such legislation, and for such further relief as may be found just, lawful, and equitable.

Appellees International Telemeter and the City of Springfield filed separate motions to dismiss the complaint on the ground that (1) the complaint failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted, (2) the complaint failed to allege sufficient jurisdictional facts to give the court jurisdiction of the subject matter and over the parties, (3) appellants did not have legal capacity or standing to bring the alleged causes of action, and (4) appellants improperly joined a multitude of local questions with alleged Federal questions. In a memorandum opinion filed July 2, 1968, not reported, the district court granted the motions and dismissed the complaint, finding a lack of subject-matter jurisdiction under either 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (a) or § 1337...

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23 practice notes
  • Olson v. REMBRANDT PRINTING COMPANY, No. 73 C 838 (A).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Missouri)
    • April 12, 1974
    ...is a part. See Johnson v. Butler Brothers, 162 F.2d 87 (8th Cir. 1947); Springfield Television, Inc. v. City of Springfield, Missouri, 428 F. 2d 1375 (8th Cir. 1970), note 3 at page 1380; Goettel v. Glenn Berry Mfrs., Inc., 236 F.Supp. 884 (N.D.Okl.1964); Crouse v. North American Aviation o......
  • Network Project v. Corporation for Public Broadcasting, No. 75-1963
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • July 22, 1977
    ...739, 741 (2d Cir. 1960) aff'd, 365 U.S. 458, 81 S.Ct. 650, 5 L.Ed.2d 678 (1961); Springfield Television, Inc. v. City of Springfield, 428 F.2d 1375, 1378 (8th Cir. 1970); Weiss v. Los Angeles Broadcasting Co., 163 F.2d 313, 314 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 333 U.S. 876, 68 S.Ct. 895, 92 L.Ed. ......
  • Weigand v. Afton View Apartments, No. 72-1340.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • February 15, 1973
    ...Express Agency, Inc., 316 U.S. 350, 353, 62 S.Ct. 1171, 86 L.Ed. 1525 (1942); Springfield Television, Inc. v. City of Springfield, Mo., 428 F.2d 1375, 1378 (8th Cir. 1970); Eickhof Construction Co. v. Great Northern Ry. Co., 291 F.Supp. 44, 48 Finally, appellant's effort to join HUD officia......
  • Smith v. SMITH, BARNEY, ETC., Civ. A. No. 80-0590-CV-W-2.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Western District of Missouri
    • January 16, 1981
    ...well pleaded material allegations of the complaint are taken as admitted. Springfield Television, Inc. v. City of Springfield, Missouri, 428 F.2d 1375 (8th Cir. 1970); Seven-Up Bottling Company v. Seven-Up Company, 420 F.Supp. 1246 (E.D.Mo.1976), aff'd 561 F.2d 1275 (8th Cir. 1977). The com......
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23 cases
  • Olson v. REMBRANDT PRINTING COMPANY, No. 73 C 838 (A).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Missouri)
    • April 12, 1974
    ...is a part. See Johnson v. Butler Brothers, 162 F.2d 87 (8th Cir. 1947); Springfield Television, Inc. v. City of Springfield, Missouri, 428 F. 2d 1375 (8th Cir. 1970), note 3 at page 1380; Goettel v. Glenn Berry Mfrs., Inc., 236 F.Supp. 884 (N.D.Okl.1964); Crouse v. North American Aviation o......
  • Network Project v. Corporation for Public Broadcasting, No. 75-1963
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • July 22, 1977
    ...739, 741 (2d Cir. 1960) aff'd, 365 U.S. 458, 81 S.Ct. 650, 5 L.Ed.2d 678 (1961); Springfield Television, Inc. v. City of Springfield, 428 F.2d 1375, 1378 (8th Cir. 1970); Weiss v. Los Angeles Broadcasting Co., 163 F.2d 313, 314 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 333 U.S. 876, 68 S.Ct. 895, 92 L.Ed. ......
  • Weigand v. Afton View Apartments, No. 72-1340.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • February 15, 1973
    ...Express Agency, Inc., 316 U.S. 350, 353, 62 S.Ct. 1171, 86 L.Ed. 1525 (1942); Springfield Television, Inc. v. City of Springfield, Mo., 428 F.2d 1375, 1378 (8th Cir. 1970); Eickhof Construction Co. v. Great Northern Ry. Co., 291 F.Supp. 44, 48 Finally, appellant's effort to join HUD officia......
  • Lumberman's Underwriting Alliance v. Hills, Civ. A. No. 20234-3.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Western District of Missouri
    • May 3, 1976
    ...90 L.Ed. 873 (1946); Garrett v. Time-D.C., Inc., 502 F.2d 627 (9th Cir. 1974); Springfield Television, Inc. v. City of Springfield, Mo., 428 F.2d 1375 (8th Cir. III. Merits. A. Uncontroverted Facts. This action challenges the validity, and application to plaintiff, of Section 1906.21(c), Ti......
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