From our private database of 33,800+ case briefs...
Pennsylvania Coal Co. v. Mahon
United States Supreme Court
260 U.S. 393 (1922)
In 1878, Pennsylvania Coal Co. (Pennsylvania Coal) (defendant) conveyed the surface of a plot of land it owned to Mahon (plaintiff). In this transfer, Pennsylvania Coal retained the right to mine underneath the property, and an explicit provision in the deed stated that Mahon was taking the land subject to any risks associated with mining beneath the land. In 1921, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania enacted a statute preventing coal mining that could possibly affect the integrity of any surface land. Mahon then sued Pennsylvania Coal, arguing that the new state law barred Pennsylvania Coal from mining under the property. The trial court concluded that Pennsylvania Coal would damage the surface of the land if it kept mining, but declined to issue an injunction on the ground that the statute was unconstitutional. Mahon appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which concluded that the statute was a valid exercise of the state's police powers and ordered judgment be entered in Mahon's favor. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court then sent the case to the United States Supreme Court by writ of error, which was granted.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Holmes, J.)
Dissent (Brandeis, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 606,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 606,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 33,800 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.