Harper v. Southern Pine Electric Cooperative, No. 20-60451 (5th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiffs' complaint alleging that Southern Pine is required to distribute to them $112.5 million in "excess revenues." Because the previously-enacted 1936 Electric Power Association Act, Miss. Code Ann. 77-5-201, did not grant plaintiffs a vested right, the court concluded that the modern statute provides the applicable law. Under the modern statute, the court concluded that plaintiffs have not stated a claim for relief. In this case, plaintiffs seek to impose a specific asset-to-equity ratio beyond which any and all revenues must be deemed excessive and returned to the member-ratepayers. The court explained that plaintiffs do not have a right to revenues until the board deems that those revenues are "not needed" for other purposes. Because the board has not done so, plaintiffs fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.