Tag Archives: Public Utilities

Taxation – Public Utilities – ‘Telephone Company’ – Cell Phone Service Providers – Statutory Ambiguity (access required)

Alltel Communications, Inc. v. South Carolina Department of Revenue S.C. Code Ann. § 12-20-100 imposes higher license fees on certain companies, including every “telephone company.” Since the statute does not define “telephone company”, it is ambiguous. We construe the ambiguity in favor of the petitioner-taxpayers – cellular telephone service providers – and rule that the statute does not apply to petitioners.

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Civil Practice – Class Action Certification Motion – Denied – Individual Issues Predominate – Real Property – Public Utilities – Easements (access required)

Dutton v. Carolina Power & Light Co. Defendant has been granted several types of easements, and defendant gave notice, by various methods, that it was using its electric power easements for general telecommunications purposes. Individual issues predominate as to what use is allowed by the various types of easements and as to whether property owners received notice of the use of the easements for telecommunications purposes. Plaintiff’s motion to certify a class is denied.

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Real Property – Easements – Contract – Unjust Enrichment – Matters Outside Easement – Public Utilities (access required)

Dutton v. Carolina Power & Light Co. Even though there is an express contract between the parties – an easement – since plaintiff contends that defendant is using the easement for purposes not covered by the easement, plaintiff has made out a claim for unjust enrichment. Defendant’s motion for partial summary judgment is denied.

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