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Toledo Edison Company v. City of Bryan

90 Ohio St. 3d 288, 737 N.E.2d 529 (2000)

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Toledo Edison Company v. City of Bryan

Ohio Supreme Court

90 Ohio St. 3d 288, 737 N.E.2d 529 (2000)

Facts

Toledo Edison Company (Toledo) (plaintiff) was a public utility company that generated, transmitted, distributed, and sold electric power. Under the Certified Territories Act, Toledo exercised the exclusive right to sell to the inhabitants in the area assigned by the Ohio Public Utilities Commission (commission). Toledo was assigned to northwest Ohio, which included Williams County. Toledo provided electricity to Chase Brass & Copper Company (company), a smelting company, for 33 years. The cities of Bryan, Pioneer, Montpelier and Edgerton (cities) (defendants) constructed a power-transmission line from a municipal electrical substation in Bryan directly to the company. The company was in Williams County, but it was not within any of the city’s geographic boundaries. After each city adopted ordinances authorizing them to sell electricity to the company on the transmission line, the company terminated its contract with Toledo. Toledo sued the cities, seeking injunctive and declaratory relief that declared the cities’ sale of electricity to the company illegal and unconstitutional under § 4, Article XVII of the Ohio constitution, which limited a municipality’s resale of electricity to 50 percent of the municipality’s own consumption. The trial court dismissed Toledo’s lawsuit for failure to state a claim. The court of appeals reversed and remanded for trial on whether the cities exceeded the constitutional limits. The state supreme court accepted a discretionary appeal.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lundberg Stratton, J.)

Dissent (Hadley, J.)

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