273 F. 272 (S.D.N.Y. 1921), Belt Line Ry. Corporation v. Newton

Citation:273 F. 272
Party Name:BELT LINE RY. CORPORATION v. NEWTON, Atty. Gen., et al.
Case Date:January 25, 1921
Court:United States District Courts, 2nd Circuit, Southern District of New York

Page 272

273 F. 272 (S.D.N.Y. 1921)



NEWTON, Atty. Gen., et al.

United States District Court, S.D. New York.

January 25, 1921

Page 273

Alfred T. Davidson, of New York City, for plaintiff.

Winthrop & Stimson, of New York City, amici curiae.

Wilber W. Chambers, Ely Neumann, M. Maldwin Fertig, and Charles Horowitz, all of New York City, for defendants.

Before HOUGH, Circuit Judge, and LEARNED HAND and MAYER, District Judges, holding the court pursuant to section 256 of the Judicial Code (Comp. St. Sec. 1233).


This motion in substance seeks to have abrogated as confiscatory, and therefore unconstitutional, the system by which the Fifty-Ninth Street crosstown surface line is obliged to issue to and receive transfers from passengers desiring to exchange at the intersection of Fifty-Ninth street with Seventh, Sixth, Lexington, Second, and First avenues, in the borough of Manhattan, the result of which system is that for each passenger so exchanging and from a through rate of five cents the plaintiff receives two cents and no more. As the result of this long-standing system, the major portion of the passengers on plaintiff's crosstown line pay a fare of two cents only to plaintiff-- the proportion of two-cent passengers to five-cent passengers being (with sufficient accuracy for present purposes) in the proportion of 10 to 7.

The facts presented are simple and not in dispute. The propositions of law are easy to state, and their elaborate discussion unnecessary in a court of first instance. For these reasons we shall content ourselves with briefly stating our findings of fact and legal conclusions therefrom.

1. Plaintiff is a corporation organized in 1911, which by purchase in foreclosure acquired the franchises, property, and rights formerly of the Central Park, North & East River Railroad Company, and by virtue of such acquisition became authorized to operate a surface railway on Fifty-Ninth street, between First and Tenth avenues, on First avenue, between Fifty-Ninth street and Fourteenth street, and on Tenth avenue and West street, between Fifty-Ninth street and the Battery.

2. It is still operating what is known as the Crosstown Line on Fifty-Ninth street, and that on West street and Tenth avenue; but the operation of the line on First avenue south of Fifty-Ninth street has been abandoned with...

To continue reading