241 U.S. 252 (1916), 348, Terminal Taxicab Company, Incorporated v. Kutz

Docket Nº:No. 348
Citation:241 U.S. 252, 36 S.Ct. 583, 60 L.Ed. 984
Party Name:Terminal Taxicab Company, Incorporated v. Kutz
Case Date:May 22, 1916
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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Page 252

241 U.S. 252 (1916)

36 S.Ct. 583, 60 L.Ed. 984

Terminal Taxicab Company, Incorporated

v.

Kutz

No. 348

United States Supreme Court

May 22, 1916

Argued May 2, 3, 1916

APPEAL FROM THE COURT OF APPEALS

OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Syllabus

In determining whether a corporation is or is not a common carrier, the important thing is what it actually does, and not what its charter says it may do.

A corporation authorized by its charter to carry passengers and goods by automobiles, taxicabs, and other vehicles, but not to exercise any of the powers of a public service corporation, and which does such business, including the carrying of passengers to and from railroad terminals and hotels under contracts therewith, and also does a garage business with individuals, held, in this case, to be a common carrier within the meaning of the District of Columbia Public Utility Act of 1913, and subject to the jurisdiction of the Public Utilities Commission, as to the terminal and hotel business, but not as to the garage business.

Such a corporation is bound under the Public Utilities Act to furnish information properly required by the Commission in regard to its terminal and hotel business, but not as to its private garage business, and an order of the Commission requiring information as to all classes of business should be so modified and limited as not to include an inquiry into such garage business.

In this case, held that the omission from a general order of the Commission of concerns doing such a small volume of business as, in the opinion of the Commission, did not bring them within the meaning of the Act did not amount to such a preference as to deny those affected by the order the equal protection of the law.

43 App.D.C. 120 modified.

The facts, which involve the construction and application of the provisions of the Act of March 4, 1913, creating

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the Public Utilities Commission of the District of Columbia, are stated in the opinion.

HOLMES, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE HOLMES delivered the opinion of the Court.

This is a suit to restrain the Public Utilities Commission of the District of Columbia from exercising jurisdiction over the plaintiff. The Commission was created and its powers established by a section (§ 8) of an appropriation act, divided into numbered paragraphs. Act of March 4, 1913, c. 150, § 8, 37 Stat. 938, 974. By paragraph.2 of the section, "every public utility is hereby...

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