229 U.S. 381 (1913), 652, United States v. Adams Express Company

Docket Nº:No. 652
Citation:229 U.S. 381, 33 S.Ct. 878, 57 L.Ed. 1237
Party Name:United States v. Adams Express Company
Case Date:June 09, 1913
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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Page 381

229 U.S. 381 (1913)

33 S.Ct. 878, 57 L.Ed. 1237

United States

v.

Adams Express Company

No. 652

United States Supreme Court

June 9, 1913

Argued April 7, 1913

ERROR TO THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO

Syllabus

The decision of the court below, granting a motion to quash the service on the ground that the statute on which the indictment is based does not include the defendant, is equivalent to a decision sustaining a demurrer to the indictment, and is based upon the construction of the statute, and this Court has jurisdiction under the Criminal Appeals Act of March 2, 1907.

Under § 10 of the Act to Regulate Commerce, as amended by the Act of June 29, 1906, c. 3591, 34 Stat. 584, express companies are included in the term common carrier and made amenable to the act. Congress at that time had knowledge of the fact that some of the great express companies were organized as joint stock associations, and the amendment was intended to bring such associations under the act.

A joint stock association is amenable to the provisions of the Act to Regulate Commerce, and is subject to indictment for violations thereof.

Congress has power to charge the assets of joint stock associations with liability and to personify them so far as to collect fines by proceeding against them in the respective names of the associations.

The facts, which involve the question of whether a joint stock association is amenable to the anti-discrimination provisions of the Act to Regulate Commerce are stated in the opinion.

Page 387

HOLMES, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE HOLMES delivered the opinion of the Court.

This is an indictment, under the Act to Regulate Commerce, of the Adams Express Company, by that name, alleging it to be "a joint stock association, organized and existing under and by virtue of the common law of the State of New York." A summons to the Adams Express Company was issued and returned served on Charles F. Barrett, general agent for said company. Thereupon Barrett moved to quash the service and return

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"on the ground that the same are not authorized by law." The entry with regard to the action upon this motion is that the court,

treating said motion as a demurrer to the indictment, finds that the indictment cannot be maintained against the Adams Express Company for the...

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