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Marseilles Hydro Power, LLC v. Marseilles Land and Water Company

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
299 F.3d 643 (7th Cir. 2002)


Marseilles Hydro Power, LLC (power company) (plaintiff) had a contract with the Marseilles Land and Water Company (canal company) (defendant) to rent the canal supplying water to its plant. The parties stopped performing when the plant fell into disuse. The power company wanted to operate the plant again and asked the canal company to repair a canal wall. The canal company said no, and the power company sued to enforce the contract and for a preliminary injunction. Subsequently, the canal wall collapsed. The power company requested: (1) an injunction allowing entrance onto canal company property to repair the wall, (2) a lien against the canal company property for the repairs, and (3) a declaratory judgment that it had no duty to pay rent on the unmaintained canal. The canal company counterclaimed for the rent. Within 10 days, the canal company demanded a jury trial, but the district court refused. The judge concluded the issue of the rent was raised by the power company’s claim for a declaratory judgment and demand had to be made within 10 days of that filing. The judge found for the power company. The canal company appealed chiefly based on the denial of a jury trial.

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Holding and Reasoning (Posner, J.)

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