페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub
[blocks in formation]

The contention of appellee in support of the court's decree is that the statute creating the corporation commission and conferring juris. diction over public utilities requires that be fore a rate can be changed there must be an affirmative order by the commission authorize ing it, and that there must be a notice published weekly for 30 days, and that the statute was not complied with in either of these re. spects. We think that this is not the proper construction of the statute. Crawford & Moses Digest 37; Acts 1919, p. 411. The statute con. fers jurisdiction on the commission over all public utilities in the state, with power to control and regulate rates of charges and other matters in connection with service to the pub. lic. Section 7 of the act of 1919, which is section 1612 of Crawford & Moses' Digest, reads as follows:

"No person, firm or corporation subject to the provisions of this act, shall modify, change, cancel or annul any rate, joint rates, fares, classifications, charge or rental, except after thirty days' notice to the commission and the public, which shall plainly state the changes proposed to be made in the schedule then in force and the time when the changed rates, fares or charges shall go into effect, provided, the commission may enter an order prohibiting such person, firm or corporation from putting such proposed new rates into effect pending hearing and final decision of the matter by the commission, and, whenever there shall be filed with the commission any schedule proposing a change in any rates, charges or regulations, the commission shall have, and it is hereby given authority, either upon complaint or upon its own initiative, upon reasonable notice, to en. ter upon a hearing concerning the propriety of such rate, charge or regulation; and pending such hearing, and the decision thereon, the commission upon filing with such schedule and delivering to the carrier or carriers or public service corporation affected thereby, a state. ment in writing of its reasons for such suspension, may suspend the operation of such sched. ule and defer the use of such rate or charge, but not for a longer period than six months be. yond the time when such rate, fare or charge, or regulation would otherwise go into effect; and after full hearing, whether completed before or after the rate, charge or regulation goes into effect, the commission may make such order in reference to such rate, fare, charge, or regulation as shall be deemed proper and just. Provided, that if said commission shall suspend the operation of any such schedule, and defer the use of such new rate or charge, as herein described, then the person, firm or corporation making such new rate may file with the commission its bond, to be approved by the commission, conditioned that it will pay over in money to the commission for the use and benefit of the persons or patrons entitled there to, the difference between the sums it shall collect under such new rate and the sums which would have been collected under the rate final. ly adjudged reasonable and just, with interest

McCULLOCH, C. J. Appellant is a domestic corporation owning and operating the electric light plant at Harrison, Ark., and appellee. Citizens' Ice & Storage Company, is an industrial consumer of electric current, and a patron of appellant. Appellee claims the right under a contract with appellant's predecessor to obtain electric current for its manufacturing plant at the maximum rate of $400 per month. Appellant changed the rate on April 1, 1920, after having filed the same with the corporation commission, but appellee refused to pay the increased rate. Appellant then cut off the supply of electric current, and appellee insti. tuted this action in the chancery court of Boone county to enjoin appellant from cutting off the current, and to recover damages in the sum of $2,000 for the interference with its business in cutting off the current. Appellant answered, setting up its change of rates pursuant to the statutes and under authority from the corporation commission. On the final hearing of the cause the chancery court decided that the change of rates was void, for the reason that proper notice had not been given by appellant in accordance with the statute, and rendered a decree in favor of appellee, enjoining appellant from maintaining the increased rates, and for the recovery of damages in the sum of $100.

[ocr errors]

upon such difference at the rate of eight per Jurisdiction is conferred on the commission centum per annum. Upon the filing of said

to institute an investigation on its own ini. bond, the order of the commission suspending such new schedule or charge shall become in

tiative or to grant a hearing on the protest operative until final adjudication of the mat- of a patron. The fact that the changed schedter,”

ule becomes eff tive does not deprive the paIt will be observed that, while the statute

trons, however, of an opportunity to appear at provides that no change in the rates shall be

any time to contest the rates fixed in the new made "except after 30 days' notice to the con- schedule. The rates thus established are not mission and the public," there is no specification final, and it is the privilege of any patron, or as to the method in which the notice is to be

of the commission itself on its own initiative given. The contention of counsel for appellee

to contest the correctness of the rate. Consid. is that the provision for notice in this statute ering the statute in this light it is clear that is controlled by the provision of the statute the framers of the act did not intend to require with reference to the length of time for pub

the publication of a formal notice, nor that the lishing legal notices (Crawford & Mose;' Di.

commission should make an order before the gest, § 6809); but this contention is obviously rates became effective. It appears from the unsound, for the reason that the section just

record in the present case that the commission cited only fixes the number of publications,

made a ruling requiring that in cases of local and does not supply any other defects in an public utilities there must be publication for imperfect provision for notice. The section two insertions in a weekly newspaper, and the we are now dealing with does not specify either

proof shows that this rule of the commission the method or place of the publication. The

was complied with. only reasonable interpretation of the statute We are of the opinion, therefore, that the is that the framers meant that the filing of the schedule of increased rates promulgated by schedule in the prescribed form with the com- appellant was valid, and, the statute having mission was sufficient notice to the commission

been complied with, the new rates superseded and to the public. This is in accord with our any contractual rates theretofore established decisions to the effect that notice must be taken

between the parties. There could be no valid of all proceedings and regulations promulgated contract as against the power of public control by public boards. Kansas City Southern Ry. by the commission. It would not constitute an Co. v. State, 90 Ark. 343, 119 S. W. 288; Cazort impairment of the obligation of the contract V. State, 130 Ark. 453, 198 S. W. 103. The for the new rates to be put into effect under the statute is patterned, to a considerable extent, commissioner's control. City of Camden V. after the federal statute creating the Inter- Arkansas Light & Power Co., 145 Ark. 205, 224 state Commerce Commission, and regulating its S. W. 444; Clear Creek Oil & Gas Co. v. Ft. proceedings, and it has been decided not only Smith Spelter Co., 230 S. W. 897. by the Interstate Commerce Commission, but

It follows that the decree of the chancery also by the Supreme Court of the United States,

court is erroneous, and the same is reversed, that the filing of a schedule of rates by a com

and the cause remanded, with directions to mon carrier with the Commission constitutes enter a decree dismissing the complaint of apnotice to the public and puts the new rates into

pellee for want of equity, and for further prooperation. Texas Railway Co. v. Cisco Oil Min, į ceedings not inconsistent with this opinion. 204 U, S. 449, 27 Sup. Ct. 358, 51 L, Ed. 562; Kansas City Sou. Ry. Co. v. Albers Comm. Co.,

NOTE-Power of State to Change Public Utility 223 U. S. 573, 32 Sup. Ct. 316, 56 L. Ed. 556; U.

Rates Fired by Contract With Consumers.- PriS. v. Miller, 223 U. S. 599, 32 Sup. Ct. 323, 56 L. vate contract rights must yield to the public welEd. 568; Berwind-White Coal Mining Co. v. fare where the latter is appropriately declared Chicago & Erie R. Co., 235 U. S. 371, 35 Sup. Ct.

and defined and the two conflict. Hence, reason

able rates for public service such as electric light 131, 59 L. Ed. 275.

and power, telephone, etc., prescribed by a State in Nor does the statute require an affirmative the exercise of its police power, are not repugorder of the commission authorizing that the

nant to the contract or due process of law clauses new rates be put into effect. The rates become

of the Federal Constitution merely because, if

given effect, they will surengride the sa docioeffective upon the maturity of the period of

nated in a private contract between the utility 30 days specified in the schedule, unless there company and a customer entered into prior to is an order of the commission suspending the

the making of the order by the commission vested

by the State with jurisdiction over such matrates pending a hearing. Suburban Water Co.

ters. Union Dry Goods Company v. Georgia Pubv. Borough of Oakmont, 268 Pa. 243, 110 Atl. lic Service Corp., 248 U, S. 372, 63 L. ed. 309, 39 778.

Sup. Ct. 117, 9 A. L. R. 1420.

This question seems to be very well settled and a large number of cases are cited and quoted from in quite an exhaustive note in 9 A. L. R. 1423.

In Kansas City Bolt & Nut Company v. Kansas City L. & P. Company, 275 Mo. 529, 204 S. lv. 1074, the Court held that a contract entered into between an electric utility and a private corporation, for the furnishing of electricity at specified rates, was superseded by a higher rate schedule fixed by the Public Service Commission, and said that "no valid reason can be stated why a rate contract entered into between a private manufacturing corporation and a public service corporation would not be just as much an abridgment of the rate-making power of the state, if permitted to stand, as would a rate contract between a municipality and such public service corporation."

Followed by the citation of a large number of cases from various jurisdictions, it is said in 9 A. L. R. 1424: "It is quite generally held that rate regulations do not unconstitutionally impair existing contracts between public service corporations and consumers.

This does not mean, necessarily, that the state may not authorize the making of a contract with a public utility for a limited period, with which it could not interiere without unconstitutional impairment of contracts, but it does mean that such authorization has not been generally given, and that private contracts with such utilities are regarded as entered into subject to reserved authority in the state, under the police power or express statute or constitutional provision, to modify the contract rate in the interest of the public welfare. Modification of the rates is, of course, generally made through the delegation of power to the various state public service commissions. The following cases support the doctrine, above indicated, that the state may change private contract rates with public utilities, without unconstitutional impairment of contracts."

The police power, is generally regarded as the basis of the decisions holding that the state may modify private rate contracts with public utilities. And the clause in the Federal Constitution, forbidding the passage of laws impairing the obligation of contracts, it has been said, is not applicable to legislation within the scope of the police power. Raymond Lumber Company v. Raymond Light & Water Company, 92 Wash. 330 L. R. A. 1917C, 546, P. U. R. 1916F, 437, 159 Pac. 133.

issue for 26th August of our American contemporary, the Central Law Journal. To this we would refer those readers who have written asking us for further details. The working of the Psychopathic Clinic attached to the Court, its system of intelligence tests, its elab. orate indexing of records, its carefully prepared written reports to the trial judge or magis. trate, and the very extraordinary correctness of its prophecy as to the future of various defectives charged with crime; these are all de. scribed by Hon. Harry Olson, in the article re ferred to. But the most useful work of the La boratory has been its practically conclusive demonstration of the close connection between mental or nervous instability and the commission of anti-social acts. Dr. Hickson, the leading pioneer worker of the Laboratory, must be congratulated on his remarkable penological success.

There will always be crime because there will always be individuals whose inherent powers and reactions are far below the normal of social and legal standards. A raising of these standards automatically increases the number of delinquents. In our intensive civilization many acts are crimes which in a primitive society would be but little out of place and among savages rate as virtues.

But at the present time there is a great deal more crime than is necessary, especially of the more brutal kinds. All over the country we hear of crime waves. Even discounting the excess due to transitory causes following the war, there is left in the United States a great body of preventable crime. Attempts have been made to excuse this on the ground that lawlessness of all kinds is inseparable from political liberty. This reason fails when we compare U. S. conditions and U. S. crime statistics with such democratic countries as Switzerland, Norway and Canada.

The psychopathic laboratory in connection with a criminal court enables us to test prac. tically the operation of penological theories to ascertain how they have actually worked in the cases of specific individuals. This is but carrying the scientific method into a new do. main, comparable in principle with experimental tests made in recent years with respect to physiological theories. We have seen, in the latter field, how opinions, hoary with tradition and supported by many illustrious names, have been destroyed by simple practical tests carried out in the unprejudiced spirit of scientific inquiry.

The scientific method has been by no means restricted, in practical investigation, to pure

ITEMS OF PROFESSIONAL

INTEREST.

PSYCHO-ANALYSIS AND IMPROVEMENT

OF THE CRIMINAL LAW.

We discussed last week some of the chief results of the vastly important research work undertaken in the case of every accused person by the Psycho-therapeutic Laboratory of the Chicago Municipal Court. An exceedingly interesting article on the subject appears in the

HUMOR OF THE LAW.

"Go to the aunt, thou sluggard;"

He went-she would give him no more; So he had to go to his uncle,

Where oft he had been before.

"You must have kept a great many people out of the Penitentiary during your professional career."

"Oh, yes,” said the eminent criminal lawyer,

"Did you ever regret defeating the ends of justice?"

"Only once. I got a pickpocket acquitted and discovered later that he was a distant rel. ative of mine.”Birmingham Age-Herald.

science. A vast new basis for the materials of industry has been created through analytic and synthetic chemistry--the work of the patient laboratory investigator-incalculably augmenting our wealth, in the past few decades. In such eminently practical, and equally scientific fields as agriculture and animal husbandry a revolution has been worked; many inherited theories have been disproved; others have survived and received scientific explanations, and many new reactions have been observed and given place in a scheme of natural law.

In method and purpose modern psycho-pathology now takes its place among these great studies for human advancement. Its laboratory is comparable with the laboratory oi the physicist, the chemist, the metallurgist, the zoologist, the biologist; in broad terms its methods are identical. The material is intensively studied from every angle and class.fied in accordance with its nature and reactions. Of course the particular technique of the psy. chopathic laboratory is peculiar to itself, having but little in common even with such a closely allied field as normal psychology.

Until recently, in our own country, at least, there has been no conveniently accessible body of material available for this study. The criminal court clinic and the segregation of detectives are of recent origin in the United States. The clinics are at present, and probably will for a considerable time, be more varied in material and more fruitful than the institutions for defectives, which are only just coming into being.

The keeping of precise, signed records by the Laboratory not only conserves personal re. sponsibility, but also mahes it possible to ab. stract informacion on any category, with individual figures and averages. It is possible, as illustrated by the numerous tables accom: panying the earlier report, to show the situation with respect to any class of offenses, or any age group, either sex, or any of the vari. ous types of defectives. By this means all the information acquired in routine work remains available for comparison and analysis criminology, and to some extent sociology, derives from this body of knowledge proved laws which can be relied upon.-Solicitors' Journal, London.

[The interest in the subject of Psycho-Analysis as applied to the administration of criminal law is growing and the Central Law Journal is planning to publish further articles on this subject. Judge Olson of the Chicago Municipal Court, has, by summarizing the interesting experiments of the Psychopathic Laboratory of that Court, given the subject a place of great practical importance in the adminis. tration of the criminal law.-Editor.]

Among the witnesses called in a trial in a Southern court was an old darky.

"Do, you swear that what you tell shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?" intoned the clerk.

"Well, sah," returned the witness, shifting uneasily, “dis lawyer gemmun kin make it a pow'ful lot easier on hisself an' relieve me of a mighty big strain ef he'll leave out anything about gin and chickens. 'Ceptin' fo' dose, Ah guess Ah kin stick to de truth."--The American Legion Weekly.

A New York silk merchant went to the bank to get his note renewed.

"I am sorry," said the banker, “but it will be absolutely impossible for me to renew your note."

The silk merchant's face paled. After a moment of thought he looked up at the banker and asked:

"Were you ever in the silk business?” “Why of course not,” answered the banker.

"Well, you're in it now," said the silk merchant as he picked up his hat and went out.Cincinnati Enquirer.

“How do you manage to make both ends meet ?" we said to the happy little housekeeper.

"Oh, but I don't make both ends meet," she corrected. "I keep house like the United States, and never make ends meet."

“Like the United States?" we queried, puzzled.

"Yes; I get what I want whether I can af. ford it or not, and then at the end of the year I give my husband a deficiency bill. You know; just like Congress does every session, to make the public think it has lived within its income." Whereat we were lost in admiration.-Leslie's. WEEKLY DIGEST.

Weekly Digest of Important Opinions of the

State Courts of Last Resort and of the Federal

6. Banks and Banking-Dishonor of Draft.In an action against a trust company on a dishonored draft drawn by it on an Italian banking institution, through the commissioner of banks had taken charge of the property and business of the defendant, plaintiff was entitled to a judgment measuring its damages in strir conformity under Rev. Laws, c. 73, § 9, where the action was at law. without the intervention of the commissioner of banks.-American Ex press Co. v. Cosmopolitan Trust Co., Mass., 132 N. E. 26.

Courts.

Copy of Opinion in any case referred to in this digest may be procured by sending 25 cents to us or to the West Pub. Co., St. Paul, Minn.

Alabama

.34, 54 California.

-31, 47, 55 Delaware..

.........3, 21 District of Columbia.

56, 65 Florida..

25, 36, 37, 38 Indiana.

41, 49, 52 Jowa..

.42, 43 Louisiana.

..9, 50 Massachusetts

.6, 14, 57 Michigan.

20, 22, 59 Minnesota.

.11, 30, 35, 45 Missouri.

.15, 16, 39, 46, 53, 64 Montana.

1, 13 New Jersey.

.32, 60 New York ..., 8, 10, 18, 26, 28, 29, 33, 48, 51, 58, 61 Ohio....

.2, 12, 27 Pennsylvania..

..7, 40 United States C. C. A.

.4, 17, 19 United States D. C..

5, 63 Washington..

24, 44 Wisconsin.

-23, 62

7. -Forgery.-The opportunity to proceed at once against the forger of a check is a valuable one, deprivation of which by failure of the bank on which the check is drawn to give notice promptly to the bank which cashed or collected the check conclusively determines that the loss has resulted, unless it is shown there is on hand a fund belonging to the forger out of which defendant collecting bank can reimburse itself in whole or in part.-Union Nat. Bank v. Farmers' & Mechanics' Nat. Bank, Pa., 114 Atl. 506.

1. Adverse Possession-Government Land.Although islands in a stream were in possession of plaintiff and her predecessor for over 30 years, no title to them was thereby acquired; they being government land.-Bode v. Rollwitz, Mont., 199 Pac. 688.

8. Bills and Notes-Duress.-The rule that notes given to prevent threatened prosecution of a relative for criminal misappropriation of funds are void for duress or compounding a felony, and that, both parties being wrongdoers in stifting a charge of crime, payments made on such notes cannot be recovered, is not affected by the possible innocence of accused, at least where the charge of crime is not made in bad faith, nor by the fact that the prosecution had not been actually initiated but merely threatened.—Union Exch. Nat. Bank V. Joseph N. Y., 131 N. E. 905.

9.-Holder in Due Course.-Allegation and inference, unsupported by proof, or facts, are insufficient to overcome positive evidence showing that the plaintiff in a suit upon negotiable promissory notes against the makers acquiren such notes "in due course," and hence that his right of recovery could not be affected by any want failure of consideration between the makers and the original pavee.-Monticello State Bank v. Martin, La., 89 So. 210.

а

or

as

an

10.-Notice of Defect.-Under Negotiable Instruments Law, 8$ 94, 95, 98, 115, the transferee of negotiable paper, to have notice of a defect in the title of transferor. must have had actual knowledge of the defect, or of such facts that his action in taking the paper amounts to bad faith.-Vogel v. Pyne, N. Y., 189 N. Y, S. 285.

2. - Use Conferred by Grant.-Where right to use is conferred by grant, any use reasonably consistent with such grant will be referable to such grant, and will not be deemed adverse.-Kelley v. Armstrong, Ohio, 132 N. E. 15.

3. Assault and Battery-Intent.-Any laying of hands upon child of tender years by one without authority or control over such child is un. lawful, and constitutes assault.-State V. Brewer, Del., 114 Atl. 604.

4. Bankruptcy-Civil Contempt.-Bankruptcy Act, 41b, prescribing procedure for contempts before a referee, does not apply to a proceeding in contempt against a bankrupt for violation of an order of the court, which may be prosecuted in usual form by his trustee.-Biderman v. Cooper, U. S. C. C. A., 273 Fed. 683.

5.-Mistake.-The trustee of a deceased bankrupt joined in a conveyance or real estate and received a share of the proceeds, in the mistaken belief, shared by all the parties, that bankrupt before his death was owner of a vested interest in remainder in the property, whereas his interest was contingent and was terminated by his death prior to that of the life tenant. Held that the mistake, under the law of Pennsylvania, was not one of law only, but of law and fact, and the court, unrer Bankruptcy Act, $ 2. subi. 7, had jurisdiction to order the fund paid over to the lawful owners of the property sold.-In re Russell, U. S. D. C., 273 Fed. 724.

11.- -Renewal.--A note given in renewal of a valid note is good in the hands of an assignee of the payee, without proof of his good faith, though when the payee took the renewal he promised the maker that he would place it as collateral to a loan then contemplated and would not otherwise negotiate it, and, failing to procure such loan, negotiated it in violation of his promise.-Farmers' State Rank of Cologne v. Skellet, Minn., 183 N. W. 831.

12. Bridges-Liability of Muncipality.-The county primarily is obligated to construct and repair bridges upon state or county roads and the approaches thereto over streams within the limits of municipalities, but municipalities

« 이전계속 »