Stoddard v. Pub. Utilities Comm'n

Citation19 A.2d 427
PartiesSTODDARD v. PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION.
Decision Date15 April 1941
CourtSupreme Judicial Court of Maine (US)

Report from Supreme Judicial Court, Kennebec County in Equity.

Bill in equity by Fred W. Stoddard against Public Utilities Commission to enjoin the enforcement of a rule of the commission. On report.

Case remanded to the sitting justice for the entry of a decree dismissing the bill.

Argued before STURGIS, C. J., and THAXTER, HUDSON, MANSER, WORSTER, and MURCHIE, JJ.

Locke, Campbell & Reid, of Augusta, for plaintiff.

Frank E. Southard, Jr., of Augusta, for defendant.

THAXTER, Justice.

The plaintiff brings this bill in equity to enjoin the enforcement of a rule of the Public Utilities Commission known as Regulation 1 K. The case is before us on report on bill, answer, replication and agreed statement.

The plaintiff is a contract carrier who has been doing a trucking business in the state since 1929. In 1933 the legislature took the first step to bring this class of corporations under the control of the Public Utilities Commission. Pub.Laws 1933, Ch. 259. Under the provisions of Section 5, par. A of this act, all such carriers were required to obtain a permit to operate within the state. Section 5, par. C, the so called "grandfather clause", provides that the permit shall "be granted as a matter of right when it appears to the satisfaction of the commission, after hearing, that the applicant has been regularly engaged in the business of a contract carrier as herein defined within this state, from the 1st day of March, 1932; and in such cases, operation may lawfully be continued pending the issuance of such permit, provided application therefor is made within 15 days from the effective date of this act." The plaintiff, claiming to be entitled to a permit under this provision of the act, filed an application June 28, 1933. January 26, 1934, the Public Utilities Commission filed a decree certifying that he was a contract carrier and entitled to a permit "covering the transportation of shipments between First National Stores located in Maine, and such other traffic wherein it is indicated that said National Stores is either the consignor or consignee, subject however to the rate provisions contained in Section 5, Paragraph D, Chapter 259, Public Laws of 1933." A permit was issued in accordance with this decree as of December 30, 1933, "authorizing said applicant to operate a motor vehicle or motor vehicles as a Contract Carrier within the general area and/or for the general purpose within which and for which said applicant has been regularly engaged in transporting freight or merchandise for hire over the highways of this state from March 1, 1932, to June 30, 1933, the effective date of said Chapter 259." Neither an exception nor an appeal was taken to the order of the commission. Renewal permits were granted from year to year in slightly different form but carrying the same general provisions. In the permit issued February 26, 1940, and running to March 1, 1941, the limitation imposed on the plaintiff is set forth as follows: "To transport commodities between First National Stores located in Maine; and to transport such other traffic between points in Maine where it is indicated that the First National Stores is either the consignor or consignee."

Regulation 1 K adopted in 1935 sets forth the limitations under which such permits to that time had been issued and the limitations under which all such subsequent permits were issued. It provides that permits shall be limited as follows:

"Within the general area and/or for the general purposes within which and for which said applicant has been regularly engaged in transporting freight or merchandise for hire over the highways of this State from March 1, 1932, to June 30, 1933, the effective date of said Chapter 259."

December 21, 1939, the plaintiff filed a petition before the Public Utilities Commission "for the purpose of clarifying their existing permit; also for the purpose of altering, amending or setting aside the decree of the commission dated...

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19 cases
  • New England Tel. & Tel. Co. v. Public Utilities Commission
    • United States
    • Supreme Judicial Court of Maine (US)
    • 28 Junio 1978
    ...It is axiomatic that the powers of the Public Utilities Commission are derived wholly from statute. Stoddard v. Public Utilities Commission, 137 Me. 320, 323, 19 A.2d 427, 428 (1941). The Public Utilities Commission is an administrative body of limited, though extensive, authority, having s......
  • Lewiston, Greene & Monmouth Telephone Co. v. New England Tel. & Tel. Co.
    • United States
    • Supreme Judicial Court of Maine (US)
    • 26 Enero 1973
    ...is reflected in Maine, specifically in relation to the Maine Public Utilities Commission, by the case of Stoddard v. Public Utilities Commission, 137 Me. 320, 19 A.2d 427 (1941). As an actual decision confined to its strict facts Stoddard, supra, really signified nothing new in principle. I......
  • Public Advocate v. Public Utilities Com'n
    • United States
    • Supreme Judicial Court of Maine (US)
    • 28 Septiembre 1998
    ..." New England Tel. & Tel. Co. v. Public Utils. Comm'n, 362 A.2d 741, 753 (Me.1976) (NET II ) (citing Stoddard v. Public Utils. Comm'n, 137 Me. 320, 19 A.2d 427, 428 (1941)). Thus, when reviewing the actions of the Commission, "we must look to the statutes creating the Commission and endowin......
  • Central Maine Power Co. v. Public Utilities Com'n
    • United States
    • Supreme Judicial Court of Maine (US)
    • 14 Enero 1983
    ...of that authority. The powers of the Public Utilities Commission "are derived wholly from statute." Stoddard v. Public Utilities Commission, 137 Me. 320, 323, 19 A.2d 427, 428 (1941). The statute conferring on the Commission its ratemaking authority clearly focuses on the primacy of the pur......
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