263 US 508 Southern Power Co v. North Carolina Public Service Co

263 U.S. 508

44 S.Ct. 164

68 L.Ed. 413


No. 110.

Argued Nov. 28, 1923.

Decided Jan. 7, 1924.

Messrs. R. V. Lindabury, of Newark, N. J., Wm. P. Bynum, of Greensboro, N. C., and W. S. O'B. Robinson, Jr., of Charlotte, N. C., for petitioner.

Messrs. John W. Davis, of New York City, and A. L. Brooks, of Greensboro, N. C., for respondents.

Mr. Justice McREYNOLDS delivered the opinion of the Court.

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This writ must be dismissed. The petition therefor stated that the cause involved a grave question of vital importance to the public, and alleged as special reason for its re-examination that the decree would deprive petitioner of property without due process of law and of freedom to contract, contrary to the federal Constitution. The opinion below is reported in 282 Fed. 837.


The argument developed that the controverted question was whether the evidence sufficed to establish actual dedication of petitioner's property to public use—primarily a question of fact. That is not the ground upon which we granted the petition, and, if sufficiently developed, would not have moved us thereto.


Heretofore we have pointed out the necessity for clear, definite, and complete disclosures concerning the controversy when applying for certiorari. Furness, withy & Co. v. Yang-Tsze Insurance Association, 242 U. S. 430, 37 Sup. Ct. 141, 61 L. Ed. 409; Layne & Bowler Corporation v. Western Well Works, 261 U. S. 387, 43 Sup. Ct. 422, 67 L. Ed. 712. The opinion first cited states that during the 1915 term 154 petitions were presented, and suggests the probability of a largely increased number. During the last term (1922) petitions were filed in 420 causes.


Obviously it is impossible for us critically to examine so many records before ruling upon applications, and we must rely very largely upon preliminary papers. Unless the requirements specified in Furness, Withy & Co. v. Yang-Tsze Insurance Association are observed, we cannot hope properly to dispose of an increasing docket.