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Arizona Corporation Commission v. Mountain States Tel. & Tel. Co

Supreme Court of Arizona

March 12, 1951

ARIZONA CORPORATION COMMISSION et al.
v.
MOUNTAIN STATES TEL. & TEL. CO

Judgment affirmed.

Fred O. Wilson, Atty. Gen., Richard C. Briney, Asst. Atty. Gen., and Mr. Joseph P. Ralston, Phoenix, of counsel, for appellants.

Fennemore, Craig, Allen & Bledsoe, of Phoenix, and J. H. Shepherd, Denver, Colorado, of counsel, for appellee.

La Prade, Justice. Udall, C. J., and Stanford, Phelps and De Concini, JJ., concur.

OPINION

La Prade, Justice.

Page 750

[71 Ariz. 406] The Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company, a public service corporation engaged in the telephone business in Arizona and elsewhere, hereinafter called the company, on January 26, 1949 applied to the Arizona Corporation Commission, hereinafter called the commission, for permission to raise its telephone rates for its intrastate exchange and long distance telephone service, theretofore fixed for the company by the commission, on the ground that the same were not just and reasonable and were confiscatory. After a full hearing, at which much evidence was presented, all requested increases were denied by the commission on July 29, 1949. On August 9th a petition for rehearing was filed, which was granted, and a rehearing was had October 24th through October 28th at which additional evidence was presented. On November 4th, any increase was again denied.

On November 12th a suit to set aside these orders was commenced in the Superior Court of Maricopa County and on November 29th the company filed a motion for temporary relief by allowing it to charge certain rates set forth in the motion, and it was stipulated that the motion and the case on its merits might be considered on the record and evidence already made before the commission and a certain transcript of evidence in an independent matter, a complaint upon the telephone service in the Bisbee exchange. The whole case was argued and briefed and the court finally rendered its judgment on February 28, 1950, upon its findings of fact, that:

(a) the previous schedule of rates retained by the orders of the corporation commission do not provide a fair and reasonable return on the company's property and result in the confiscation of the company's property, contrary to the provisions of law;

(b) that the commission failed to find the fair value of the company's property, and the fair rate of return to be allowed thereon;

[71 Ariz. 407] (c) that although the commission found a deficiency in the existing telephone facilities, they failed to make an allowance for a fair return on the additional investment required to create such facilities;

(d) that a deficiency still exists in the quantity of facilities available;

(e) and that confiscation of the company's property will continue to exist under the then existing schedules pending a determination of just ...


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