As falling within this class of illegal contracts may also be mentioned agreements by public or quasi public corporations which interfere with their duties to the public.73 Railroad companies and other common carriers, for instance, are regarded to some extent as public servants, and it is contrary to public policy for them to make any agreement whereby they may be hindered in serving the public. A contract by which a railroad corporation agrees to establish a station at a particular point or to build along a particular route to the exclusion of others, or not to build along a particular route or at a particular place, is void as tending to interfere with the duty of the railroad to serve the public.74
72 Sedgwick v. Stanton, 14 N. T. 289; Burbridge v. Fackler, 2 MacArtkur (9 D. C.) 407; Painter v. Drum, 40 Pa. 467, ante, p. 357. Contract to procure by legitimate means a pardon, commutation of sentence, etc., in a proper case. Note 65, supra. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig-. (Key-No.) § 131; Cent. Dig. §§ 594-607.
73 "Any contract which will disable a public or quasi public corporation from performing the duty which it has undertaken, or which has been imposed upon it, for the public weal, or compels it to make the public accommodation or convenience subservient to its private interests, is void." Greenh. Pub. Pol. rule 269; Chicago Gas-Light & Coke Co. v. Coke Co., 121 I11. 530, 13 N. E. 169, 2 Am. St Rep. 124; Doane v. Railway Co., 160 I11. 22, 45 N. E. 507, 35 L. R. A. 588; South Chicago City Ry. Co. v. Railway Co., 171 I11. 391, 49 N. E. 576; West Va. Transportation Co. v. Ohio River Pipe Line Co., 22 W. Va. 600, 46 Am. Rep. 527; Charleston Natural Gas Co. v. Kanawha Natural Gas, Light & Fuel Co., 58 W. Va. 22, 50 S. E. 876, 112 Am. St. Rep. 936, 6 Ann. Cas. 154. The same doctrine has been applied so as to render void a contract by the proprietors of a hotel by which a telephone company was given the exclusive right to install telephones in the hotel. Central New York Telephone & Telegraph Co. v. Averill, 55 Misc. Rep. 346, 105 N. Y. Supp. 378 [affirmed 199 N. Y. 128, 92 N. E. 206, 32 L. R. A. (N. S.) 494, 139 Am. St. Rep. 878]. See "Contracts;' Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 115, 123; Cent. Dig. §§ 542-552, 510-575.
74 Cumberland Valley R. Co. v. Baab, 9 Watts (Pa.) 458, 36 Am. Dec. 132; St Joseph & D. C. R. Co. v. Ryan, 11 Kan. 602, 15 Am. Rep. 357; St. Louis, J. & C. R. Co. v. Mathers, 71 I11. 592, 22 Am. Rep. 122; Id., 104 I11. 257; Williamson v. Railroad Co., 53 Iowa, 126, 4 N. W. 870, 36 Am. Rep. 206; Florida, C. & P. R. Co., v. State, 31 Fla. 482, 13 South. 103, 20 L. R. A. 419, 34 Am. St. Rep. 30. See "Railroads," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 46, 58; Cent. Dig. §§ 105, 180-136.
In like manner, contracts by officers or agents of a railroad company, or by other individuals, under the assumption of influence with the company, for compensation to them for the exercise of their influence in favor of a particular location of route or station, is void, as tending to perpetrate a fraud on the company and to prevent the most efficient service to the public.75 Some courts have even gone so far as to hold that any contract by a railroad company for the construction of its line along a particular route or the establishment of a station at a particular place is void as tending to interfere with its free choice from the sole standpoint of the public interest.76
On principle, however, and by the decided weight of authority, a contract of a railroad company is valid by which, in return for the subscription of stock, conveyance of land, or other consideration, it agrees merely to build along a particular line or to establish a station at a particular place, but not to the exclusion of other routes or locations.77
So, also, any other agreement by a railroad company or other corporation chartered as a common carrier, or for other quasi public purposes, as in the case of water or gas companies, by which it prevents itself from performing the duties which it owes to the public, is void.78 A combination, therefore, between two railroad companies owning competing lines, by which one line is to be discontinued or leased to the other, will not be sustained.79 This principle, it has been said, does not apply to individuals engaged in the business of common carriers. The owner of one line of steamers, it has been held, may make a contract with an individual owner of a competing line, by which the latter is to discontinue his vessels.80
75 Woodstock Iron Co. v. Extension Co., 129 U. S. 643, 9 Sup. Ct. 402, 32 L. Ed. 819; Holladay v. Patterson, 5 Or. 182; Bestor v. Wathen, 60 I11. 138; Reed v. Johnson, 27 Wash. 42, G7 Pac. 381, 57 L. It. A. 404. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 121; Cent. Dig. § 495.
76 Fuller v. Dame, 18 Pick. (Mass.) 472; Burney's Heirs v. Ludeling, 47 La. Ann. 73, 16 South. 507; Ford v. Oregon Electric By. Co., 60 Or. 278, 117 Pac. 809, 36 L. R. A. (N. S.) 358. See "Railroads," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 46; Cent. Dig. § 105.
77 McCowen v. Pew, 153 Cal. 735, 96 Pac. 893, 21 L. R. A. (N. S.) 800, 15 Ann. Cas. 630; Baltimore, etc., R. Co. v. Ralston, 41 Ohio St. 587; Cumberland Valley R. Co. v. Baab, 9 Watts (Pa.) 458, 36 Am. Dec. 132; Farrington v. Stucky, 165 Fed. 325, 91 C. C. A. 311; Griswold v. Minneapolis, St. P. & S. S. M. Ry. Co., 12 N. D. 435, 97 N. W. 538, 102 Am. St Rep. 572; Louisville, N. A. & C. R. Co. v. Sumner, 106 Ind. 55, 5 N. E. 404, 55 Am. Rep. 719; Swartwout v. Railroad Co., 24 Mich. 389; First Nat. Bank v. Hendrie, 49 Iowa. 402, 31 Am. Rep. 153; Harris v. Roberts, 12 Neb. 631, 12 N. W. 89, 41 Am. Rep. 779; International & G. N. Ry. Co. v. Dawson, 62 Tex. 260; Texas & St. L. R. Co. v. Robards, 60 Tex. 545, 48 Am. Rep. 268; Telford v. Railroad Co., 172 I11. 559, 50 N. E. 105; Lyman v. Railroad Co., 190 I11. 320, 60 N. E. 515, 52 L. R. A. 615. "If the law were otherwise, it would be equivalent to a declaration that a community desiring the advantages of a line of railway, where chartered privileges permit its construction, would be, under the law, prevented and prohibited from inducing such construction by aiding the same." Piper v. Choctaw Northern Townsite & Imp. Co., 16 Okl. 436, 85 Pac. 965. See "Railroads," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 40-58; Cent. Dig. §§ 109, 133; "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 123; Cent. Dig. §§ 570-575.
Under this head may also be mentioned contracts by which a common carrier or other quasi public corporation makes an undue discrimination in favor of a particular person. Such a contract is not only generally prohibited by statute, but is contrary to public policy independently of any statutory provision on the subject.81 Of this nature, for example, are contracts by railroad companies for "rebates" to particular shippers.82 And, by the weight of authority, a contract by which a railroad company grants a telegraph company the exclusive privilege of operating a telegraph along the line of its road is contrary to public policy and void.88
78 Central Transp. Co. v. Palace-Car Co., 139 U. S. 24, 11 Sup. Ct 478, 35 L. Ed. 55; York & M. Line R. Co. v. Winans, 17 How. 31, 15 L. Ed. 27; Peoria & R. I. R. Co. v. Mining Co., 68 I11. 489; Gibbs v. Gas Co., 130 U. S. 396, 9 Sup. Ct. 553, 32 L. Ed. 979; Peters v. Rylands, 20 Pa. 497, 59 Am. Dee. 746; State v. Railroad Co., 29 Conn. 538; Denver & N. O. R. Co. v. Railroad Co. (C. C.) 15 Fed. 650. See, also, Chicago, I. & L. Ry. Co. v. Southern Indiana Ry. Co. (Ind. App.) 70 N. E. 843, holding that a contract between two railroad companies by which one agrees not to furnish sidings to stone quarries near its line is illegal and void. A contract by a railroad company for the construction and maintenance of a spur track for the benefit of another corporation or an individual is not void if the performance of the contract does not interfere with any of the company's duties to the public. McKell v. Chesapeake & O. Ry. Co.. 186 Fed. 39, 108 C. C. A. 141 [affirming 175 Fed. 321, 99 C. C. A. 109, 20 Ann. Cas. 1097]; Riley v. Louisville, H. & St. L. Ry. Co., 142 Ky. 67, 133 S. W. 971, 35 L. R. A. (N. S.) 636, Ann. Cas. 1912D, 230. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 116, 123; Cent. Dig. §§ 542-552, 570-575.
79 Thomas v. Railroad Co., 101 U. S. 71, 25 L. Ed. 950; Greenh. Pub. Pol. p. 318 (collecting cases); Gulf, C. & S. F. Ry. Co. v. Morris, 67 Tex. 692, 4 S. W. 156. This is expressly prohibited or regulated by statute in most states. See "Railroads," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 119-121, 136, 131; Cent. Dig. §§ 376-385, 434, 435.
80 Leslie v. Lorillard, 110 N. Y. 519, 18 N. E. 363, 1 L. R. A. 456. But see Anderson v. Jett, 89 Ky. 375, 12 S. W. 670, 6 L. R. A. 390. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 117, 123; Cent. Dig. §§ 554-575.
81 Indianapolis, D. & S. R. Co. v. Ervin, 118 I11. 250, 8 N. E. 862, 59 Am. Rep. 369; Scofield v. Railroad Co., 43 Ohio St 571, 3 N. E. 907, 54 Am. Rep. 846; Chesapeake & P. Telephone Co. v. Telegraph Co., 66 Md. 399, 7 Atl. 809, 59 Am. Rep. 167. See "Carriers," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 199; Cent. Dig. §§ 901-905.
82 See cases cited supra, note 81.