St. Louis & S. F. R Co. v. Williams

Decision Date18 February 1910
Docket NumberCase Number: 774
Citation1910 OK 52,107 P. 428,25 Okla. 662
PartiesST. LOUIS & S. F. R CO. v. WILLIAMS et al.
CourtOklahoma Supreme Court

¶0 1. CORPORATION COMMISSION--Orders--Conformity to Pleading. Though a petition may be filed with the Corporation Commission for the regulation of interstate commerce, yet, if the order made thereon has not the effect to interfere with such commerce, it has jurisdiction to enter same; its jurisdiction not depending upon any special form of pleadings, and the test being, not the relief prayed for, but that granted.

2. CORPORATION COMMISSION--Orders--Effect of partial Invalidity. Where the order is separable, and a part is without error, the other part being erroneous, the former part will be affirmed and the latter reversed.

Appeal from the Corporation Commission.

Proceedings by J. J. Williams and others against the St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad Company before the Corporation Commission. From the order rendered, defendant appeals. Affirmed in part, and reversed in part.

On the 27th day of January, 1908, the appellees, J. J. Williams, R. A. Billups, and J. J. McCurley, filed their complaint with the Corporation Commission, alleging: That they were residents of Washita and Custer counties and were interested and affected by lack of adequate train service on the Enid-Vernon Division of said railroad and proper facilities at its station in the city of Cordell. That said appellant operated a line of railway between Tulsa, Okla., and Vernon, Tex., a distance of over 200 miles, traversing one of the most fertile and populous sections of the state. That it operated but one through train from Tulsa to Vernon, which was inadequate to serve the traveling public. That it refused to make proper connections with the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway Company at Clinton, and therefore greatly inconvenienced the traveling public. That its depot at Cordell is far removed from the center of population of said city, and that it refused to install a telephone therein for the convenience of the public. The complainants pray that the defendant company be required to "operate two passenger trains from Enid, Okla., to Vernon, Tex., * * * requiring said trains to make connections with the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway Company at Clinton, Okla., both east and west with both of said trains, and also to install a telephone in the depot at Cordell, Okla., and for such other and further order as the commission may deem necessary and just in the premises." Afterwards J. C. Fisher and others, of Okeene, on said line, joined in said petition, asking that appellant be required to establish additional passenger service on its line between Enid and Clinton. Notice was duly served on the appellant. A hearing was had on February 9, 1908, the appellees being represented by R. A. Billups, Esq., and the appellant by J. E. Hutchinson, general superintendent. A motion was made for continuance, but the case was closed that day. On the 6th day of March, 1908, the order was entered.

On the 13th day of March, the appellant filed his motion for new trial on the ground (1) of irregularity in proceedings by which it was prevented from having a fair trial and (2) because said order and every part thereof is not sustained by sufficient evidence, and (3) because it is contrary to law, and (4) because of errors of law growing out of the trial, excepted to by the defendant, and (5) because the order, and each part thereof, is unjust and unreasonable, and (6) because said order is in violation of the Constitution of the United States, which provides that no man's property may be taken without due process of law, and (7) because said order and each part thereof is in violation of the provisions of the Constitution of the United States which provides that no person's property may be taken without just compensation. On the 15th day of March, 1908, the motion for new trial was overruled; exceptions being saved. The defendant was given time to make and serve case-made and to file supersedeas or suspension bond, which was accordingly done, and this order is now properly before this court on appeal from the Corporation Commission for review.

W. F. Evans, R. A. Kleinschmidt, and A. G. C. Bierer, for appellant.--Citing: Hanley v. K. C. Southern Ry. Co., 187 U.S. 617; Milk Producers, etc., Assn. v. Railroad Co., 7 I. C. C. Rep. 92; Gulf, C. & S. F. Ry. Co. v. State, 23 Okla. 524; Chicago, M. & St. P. Ry. Co. v. Minnesota, 134 U.S. 418.

G. A. Henshaw, Asst. Atty. Gen., and R. A. Billups, for appellee.--Citing: Interstate Com. Com. v. Baird, 194 17. S. 25; Nollenberger v. Railway Co., 15 I. C. C. Rep. 595; Crane R. Co. v. P. & R. R. Co., 15 I. C. C. Rep. 253; Logan v. Postal T. & C. Co., 157 F. 570; Atlantic C. L. R. Co. v. Wharton, 207 U.S. 328; Lake Shore & M. S. R. Co. v. Ohio, 173 U.S. 285; Hennington v. Georgia, 163 U.S. 299.


¶1 (after stating the facts as above). The following questions are raised on this record: (1) The main petition having asked for an additional train to be installed by appellant and operated between the points of Tulsa, Okla., and Vernon, Tex., which would be an interstate train, has the Corporation Commission jurisdiction on said hearing to order an intrastate train to be installed? (2) Is said order, sustained by the evidence in the record, supported by its prima facie presumption to such an ex, tent that we cannot say that it is unjust and unreasonable?

¶2 Section 18, art. 9, Const. (section 224, Bunn's Ed.), provides as follows:

"Before the commission shall prescribe or fix any rate, charge or classification of traffic, and before it shall make any order, rule, regulation, or requirement directed against any one or more companies by name, the company or companies to be affected by such rate, charge, classification, order, rule, regulations, or requirement, shall first be given, by the commission, at least ten days' notice of the time and place when and where the contemplated action in the premises will be considered and disposed of, and shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity to introduce evidence and to be heard thereon, to the end that justice may be done. * * *"

¶3 The Corporation Commission, by virtue of the provisions of article 9 of the Constitution, is invested with extraordinary powers, being authorized to exercise not only legislative, but also executive, administrative, and judicial, powers. Section 22 (section 234,Bunn's Ed.) of said article provides:

"In no case of appeal from the commission, shall any new or additional evidence be introduced in the Supreme Court; but the chairman of the commission, under the seal of the commission, shall certify to the Supreme Court all the facts upon which the action appealed from was based and which may be essential for the proper decision of the appeal, together with such of the evidence introduced before, or considered by, the commission as may be selected, specified, and required to be certified, by any party in interest, as well as such other evidence, so introduced or considered as the commission may deem proper to certify. The commission shall, whenever an appeal is taken therefrom, file with the record of the case, and as a part thereof, a written statement of the reasons upon which the action appealed from was based, and such statement shall be read and considered by the Supreme Court, upon disposing of the appeal."

¶4 Section 5939, Comp. Laws Okla. 1909 (section 4308, St. Okla. 1893), provides that the record shall be made up from the petition, the process, return, the pleadings subsequent thereto, reports, verdicts, orders, judgments, and all material acts and proceedings of the court, etc. Whether we look to the term record from the Statutes of Oklahoma, which when not repugnant to the provisions of the Constitution, or locally inapplicable, were continued in force by the Enabling Act (Act June 16, 1906, c. 3335, 34 Stat. 267) and section 2 of the schedule, or to the procedure in Virginia from which this provision was transplanted, the result is the same. Section 156, art. 12, Const. 1902. In that state, the record is the pleading on either side, the usual impaneling of the jury, the verdict, and judgment. Magarity v. Shipman, 82 Va. 806, 7 S.E. 381.

"If the opinion of the trial judge is referred to in the decree reciting the cause, it also becomes a part of the record." ( Todd v. Sykes, 97 Va. 143, 33 S.E. 517.)

¶5 Except as modified by section 22, supra, section 5939 applies. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry. Co. v. Love, 23 Okla. 192, 99 P. 1081; K. C. S. Ry Co. v. Love, 23 Okla. 224, 100 P. 22.

¶6 Though it may be necessary for the commission to make and preserve a record, it does not follow that a strict or narrow rule as to procedure shall prevail as in trials at common law. Interstate Commerce Com. v. Baird, 194 U.S. 25, 24 S. Ct. 563, 48 L. Ed. 860. The fact that the petition may have asked for the regulation of interstate commerce, yet if the order of the Corporation Commission made thereon did not interfere with interstate commerce, the commission had jurisdiction to enter same. Its jurisdiction does not depend upon any special form of pleading, the test being, not the relief prayed for, but that granted. In fact, it is not essential for any petition to be filed, but that notice shall be had. Such notice as prescribed by section 18 of article 9 of the Constitution being that the particular carrier or carriers or parties to be affected might have adequate opportunity to defend, and the fact that the petition called for the installing of an interstate train, after notice and hearing thereon and an order entered for the installing of an intrastate train, if it could be made to appear that this was prejudicial to the appellant, in that it was misled, and not having prepared for a hearing on the issue as to an intrastate train, but as to an interstate train, in that event the appellant Would...

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