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UNION DRY GOODS COMPANY v. GEORGIA PUBLIC SERVICE CORPORATION

January 7, 1919

UNION DRY GOODS COMPANY
v.
GEORGIA PUBLIC SERVICE CORPORATION



ERROR TO THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF GEORGIA

White, McKenna, Holmes, Day, Van Devanter, Pitney, McReynolds, Brandeis, Clarke

Author: Clarke

[ 248 U.S. Page 373]

 MR. JUSTICE CLARKE delivered the opinion of the court.

The Georgia Public Service Corporation and The Union Dry Goods Company, both corporations organized under Georgia law and doing business in Macon, on July 18, 1912, contracted together in writing for the term of five years, the former to supply electric light and power to the latter, which agreed to pay stipulated rates for the service.

The contract was performed for almost two years until in April, 1914, when the Dry Goods Company refused to pay a bill for service rendered during March, in which a rate higher than that of the contract was charged. The Service Corporation claimed that this rate was authorized and required by an order of the Railroad Commission of Georgia, entered after investigation and hearing.

Soon thereafter the Dry Goods Company commenced this suit to compel specific performance of its contract, which had three years yet to run; to enjoin the Service Corporation from charging the higher rate, and from executing a threat to cut it off from a supply of electricity, because of failure to pay the increased rate.

The trial court and the Supreme Court of Georgia both held against the claims of the Dry Goods Company and the case is here for review on writ of error.

The order of the Railroad Commission of Georgia, entered on February 24, 1914, reads:

"Ordered: That on and after March 1, 1914, and until the further order of this Commission, the following schedules of rates shall be the maximum schedules of rates to be charged by the Georgia Public Service Corporation."

Then follow the rates complained of.

No opinion was rendered in this case, but on the same date, in prescribing the same rates in a proceeding instituted by the Macon Railway & Light Company, also of Macon, the Commission said:

[ 248 U.S. Page 374]

     "The rates prescribed herein are in the opinion of the Commission at this time just and reasonable. We have no power to compel the company to accept less, except as implied in the power to prevent unlawful discrimination." "All special rates, whether in the form of contracts for ...


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