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Supreme Court of the United States
February 19, 1932, Argued ; March 21, 1932, Decided
[*271] [**750] MR. JUSTICE SUTHERLAND delivered the opinion of the Court.
The New State Ice Company, engaged in the business of manufacturing, selling and distributing ice under a license or permit duly issued by the Corporation Commission of Oklahoma, brought this suit against Liebmann in the federal district court for the western district of Oklahoma to enjoin him from manufacturing, selling and distributing ice within Oklahoma City without first having obtained a like license or permit from the commission. The license or permit is required by an act of the Oklahoma legislature, c. 147, Session Laws, 1925. That act declares that the manufacture, sale and distribution of ice is a public business; that no one shall be permitted to manufacture, sell or distribute ice within the state without first having secured a license for that purpose from the commission; that whoever shall engage in such business without obtaining the license shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by fine not to exceed $ 25, each day's violation constituting a separate offense, and that by general order of the commission, a fine not to exceed [***17] $ 500 may be imposed for each violation.
Section 3 of the act provides:
"That the Corporation Commission shall not issue license to any person, firm or corporation for the manufacture, sale and distribution of ice, or either of them, within this State, except upon a hearing had by said Commission at which said hearing, competent testimony and proof shall be presented showing the necessity for the manufacture, sale or distribution of ice, or either of them, [*272] at the point, community or place desired. If the facts proved at said hearing disclose that the facilities for the manufacture, sale and distribution of ice by some person, firm or corporation already licensed by said commission at said point, community or place, are sufficient to meet the public needs therein, the said Corporation Commission may refuse and deny the applicant [application] for said license. In addition to said authority, the said Commission shall have the right to take into consideration the responsibility, reliability, qualifications and capacity of the person, firm or corporation applying for said license and of the person, firm or corporation already licensed in said place or community, as to afford [***18] all reasonable facilities, conveniences and services to the public and shall have the power and authority to require such facilities and services to be afforded the public; provided, that nothing herein shall operate to prevent the licensing of any person, firm or corporation now engaged in the manufacture, sale and distribution of ice, or either of them, in any town, city or community of this State, whose license shall be granted and issued by said Commission upon application of such person, firm or corporation and payment of license fee."
The portion of the section immediately in question here is that which forbids the commission to issue a license to any applicant except upon proof of the necessity for a supply of ice at the place where it is sought to establish the business, and which authorizes a denial of the application where the existing licensed facilities "are sufficient to meet the public needs therein." The district court dismissed the bill of [**751] complaint for want of equity, on the ground that the manufacture and sale of ice is a private business which may not be subjected to the foregoing regulation. 42 F.2d 913. The court of appeals affirmed. 52 F.2d 349.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
285 U.S. 262 *; 76 L. Ed. 747 **; 1932 U.S. LEXIS 785 ***; 52 S. Ct. 371
NEW STATE ICE CO. v. LIEBMANN
Prior History: [***1] APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE TENTH CIRCUIT.
APPEAL from a decree sustaining the dismissal by the District Court, 42 F.2d 913, of a bill by the appellant, a licensed ice company, to enjoin the defendant from engaging in the ice business, at a place in Oklahoma, without having first procured a license.
Disposition: 52 F.2d 349, affirmed.
manufacture, license, regulation, sale and distribution, public utility, monopoly, conditions, plant, prices, public use, electric, public interest, cotton gin, ice plant, experimentation, distributing, selling, manufacturing business, facilities, evils, certificate of public convenience, certificate, supplying, cotton, cases, public welfare, circumstances, localities, consuming, engaging
Governments, State & Territorial Governments, Licenses, Business & Corporate Compliance, Governments, Agriculture & Food, Distribution, Processing & Storage, Constitutional Law, Substantive Due Process, Scope