Logourl black

Louisville & Nashville Railroad v. Mottley

United States Supreme Court
211 U.S. 149 (1908)


Facts

In 1871, the Mottleys (plaintiffs) were injured in a railway accident. The railroad, Louisville & Nashville Railroad (defendant), settled the Mottleys’ claims with a lifetime pass for free transportation on its line. In 1906, Congress passed an act forbidding passes granting free transportation. In 1907, the railroad refused to renew the Mottleys' passes. The Mottleys brought suit in federal district court, seeking specific performance of their settlement agreement with the railroad. The Mottleys alleged that the act did not apply to their free pass and that, if the law is construed as prohibiting such passes, it deprives them of their property in violation of the Fifth Amendment. The railroad demurred to the Mottley’s complaint. The trial court overruled the demurrer and entered judgment in favor of the Mottleys. The railroad appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Holding and Reasoning (Moody, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.