Porto Rico Railway, Light and Power Company v Amador

JurisdicciónPuerto Rico
EmisorTribunal de Distrito (US)
Fecha27 Enero 1919
Número de expediente49
United States District Court for Porto Rico.
Case No. 49
Porto Rico Railway, Light and Power Co.
and
Amador et Al.

State Succession — Binding Force of Laws — Distinction between Private and Political Rights.

The Facts.—This was a suit by a duly licensed street car company of San Juan, Porto Rico, to restrain the defendants from operating jitneys as common carriers without a licence. The Spanish civil law was the private law of Porto Rico. The Jones Act (39 U.S. Stat. L, 964) had provided that all grants of licences in Porto Rico should be made by a public service commission. The defendants claimed that they were engaging in this business by common law right and needed no licence.

Held: Against the defendants. “Although private rights and civil law were retained in Porto Rico by the will of the American government when it succeeded to the sovereignty formerly held by Spain, political rights of all kinds were thenceforward to be the same in Porto Rico as on the mainland of the United States. … It is only this class of rights...

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