United States v. Village of Hubbard, Ohio Same v. City of Wellsville, Ohio, Nos. 25 and 26

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtBRANDEIS
Citation69 L.Ed. 389,266 U.S. 474,45 S.Ct. 160
Decision Date05 January 1925
Docket NumberNos. 25 and 26
PartiesUNITED STATES et al. v. VILLAGE OF HUBBARD, OHIO. SAME v. CITY OF WELLSVILLE, OHIO

266 U.S. 474
45 S.Ct. 160
69 L.Ed. 389
UNITED STATES et al.

v.

VILLAGE OF HUBBARD, OHIO. SAME v. CITY OF WELLSVILLE, OHIO.

Nos. 25 and 26.
Argued Dec. 3, 1924.
Decided Jan. 5, 1925.

The Attorney General and Messrs.

Page 475

P. J. Farrell, of Washington, D. C., Union C. De Ford, of Youngstown, Ohio, and T. H. Hogsett, of Cleveland, Ohio, for appellants United States and others.

Messrs. Douglass D. Storey, of Harrisburg, Pa., and Union C. De Ford, of Youngstown, Ohio (Messrs. Hause, Evans & Baker, of Harrisburg, Pa., and Harrington, De Ford, Huxley & Smith, of Youngstown, Ohio, of counsel), for appellant Pennsylvania-Ohio Power & Light Co.

Messrs. Thomas H. Hogsett, of Cleveland, Ohio, and Agnew Hice, of Beaver, Pa., for appellant Steubenville, E. L. & B. V. Traction Co.

Mr. P. J. Farrell, of Washington, D. C., for appellant Interstate Commerce Commission.

Messrs. Edmond H. Moore, John J. Boyle, and Moore, Barnum & Hammond, all of Youngstown, Ohio, for Village of Hubbard.

Messrs. Charles Boyd and George D. Ingram, City Sol., both of Wellsville, Ohio, for appellant City of Wellsville.

Page 476

Harry Brokaw, City Sol., of East Liverpool, Ohio, amicus curiae.

Mr. Justice BRANDEIS delivered the opinion of the Court.

These cases were argued together. They present, on substantially similar facts, the question whether interurban electric railroads engaged in interstate commerce are subject generally to regulation by the Interstate Commerce Commission.

Each case is a direct appeal, under Act Oct. 22, 1913, c. 32, 38 Stat. 208, 220, from a final decree of the federal court for Northern Ohio setting aside an order of the Commission. In each the plaintiff below was an Ohio municipality, and the carrier, who intervened as defendant, an independent interurban electric railroad. The carriers operate lines within and between Ohio municipalities, and also between these and a city in an adjoining state. The orders require the carriers to raise intrastate interurban passenger fares which, as the Commission found, subject interstate commerce to unjust discrimination. Fares within the Ohio municipalities are not affected. Ohio Rates, Fares, and Charges, 64 Interst. Com. Com'n R. 493; Ohio and Pennsylvania Rates, Fares, and Charges, 64 Interest. Com. Com'n R. 517.

The Commission granted the relief under the rule of The Shreveport Case, 234 U. S. 342, 34 S. Ct. 833, 58 L. Ed. 1341, and Railroad Commission of Wisconsin v. Chicago, Burlington & Quincy R. Co., 257 U. S. 563, 42 S.Ct. 232, 66 L. Ed. 371, 22 A. L. R. 1086. The District Court held the orders void, on the ground that the jurisdiction conferred by Congress upon the Commission did not extend to interurban electric railroads of the character of those here involved; that its jurisdiction was limited to those which are operated as part of a general steam railroad system,

Page 477

or which, if operated independently, are engaged in the general transportation of freight, in addition to their passenger and express business; and that these carriers possessed neither of 'these dominating characteristics.' Village of Hubbard, Ohio, v. United States et al. (D. C.) 278 F. 754; City of Wellsville, Ohio, v. United States et al. (D. C.) 278 F. 769. We have no occasion to inquire into the correctness of the latter ruling, as we are of opinion that the Commission's jurisdiction to prevent unjust discrimination by interurban electric railroads against interstate commerce is not so limited.1

In 1897, the Commission assumed jurisdiction over the passenger fares of an electric railroad which operated between the District of Columbia and a neighboring village in Maryland. Willson v. Rock Creek Ry. Co., 7 Interst. Com. Com'n R. 83. The development of interurban roads became general about 1902.2 The authority to regulate them has been consistently exercised by the Commission in many cases and for many purposes. Since 1915, interurban electric roads have been required to file with it annual reports of their finances and operations.3 Jurisdiction over Urban Electric Lines, 33 Interst. Com. Com'n R. 536. In exercising authority over their passenger fares, no distinction has been made between those interurban roads which were engaged in the general transportation of freight in addition to their

Page 478

passenger and express business and those which were not.4 On the other hand the distinction suggested in Omaha & Council Bluffs Street Ry. Co. v. Interstate Commerce Commission, 230 U. S. 324, 337, 33 S. Ct. 890, 57 L. Ed. 1501, 46 L. R. A. (N. S.) 385, between interurban railroads and urban or suburban street railways has been carefully observed.

Neither in the Act to Regulate Commerce Feb. 4, 1887, c. 104, 24 Stat. 379, nor in any amendments thereto prior to that of Act June 18, 1910, c. 309, 36 Stat. 539, 552, is there any specific reference to electric railroads. The basis for the jurisdiction of the Commission over them is the generality of the language of the original act, which declared in section 1 (Comp. St. § 8563) that its provisions 'shall apply to any common carried engaged in the transportation of passengers or of property * * * by railroad.' As the act made no distinction between railroads operated by steam and those operated by electricity, the

Page 479

Commission made none. Similarly, the words 'common carrier by railroad' contained in the federal Employers' Liability Act of April 22, 1908, c. 149, 35 Stat. 65, being Comp. St. §§ 8657-8665 (Kansas City Ry. Co. v. McAdow, 240 U. S. 51, 36 S. Ct. 252, 60 L. Ed. 520), in the...

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17 practice notes
  • Rochester Telephone Corporation v. United States, No. 481
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 17, 1939
    ...weight is given to administrative practice in ascertaining the meaning of such legislation. Compare United States v. Village of Hubbard, 266 U.S. 474, 45 S.Ct. 160, 69 L.Ed. 389. 12 The initial decision in this group of cases, the Inter-Mountain Rate Case, 234 U.S. 476, 34 S.Ct. 986, 58 L.E......
  • Norman v. Baltimore Co United States v. Bankers Trust Co, Nos. 270
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • February 18, 1935
    ...and carriers. New York v. United States, 257 U.S. 591, 600, 601, 42 S.Ct. 239, 66 L.Ed. 385; United States v. Village of Hubbard, 266 U.S. 474, 477, note, 45 S.Ct. 160, 69 L.Ed. 389. See, also, Armour Packing Co. v. United States, 209 U.S. 56, 80—82, 28 S.Ct. 428, 52 L.Ed. 681; Union Dry Go......
  • Island Airlines, Inc., Application of, No. 4339
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Hawai'i
    • June 21, 1963
    ...rates of carriers transporting both intrastate and interstate passengers. See also United States v. Village Page 549 of Hubbard, 266 U.S. 474, 45 S.Ct. 160, 69 L.Ed. But Congress in the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 has not authorized economic regulation of airlines which are not required to......
  • Utah Citizens Rate Association v. United States, Civ. No. C-58-60.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. United States District Court of Utah
    • January 6, 1961
    ...with its denial of relief to parties with only an indirect or sentimental interest. United States v. Village of Hubbard, Ohio, 1925, 266 U.S. 474, 45 S.Ct. 160, 69 L.Ed. 389; Chicago Junction Case, supra; Skinner & Eddy Corporation v. United States, 1919, 249 U.S. 557, 39 S.Ct. 375, 63 L.Ed......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
17 cases
  • Rochester Telephone Corporation v. United States, No. 481
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 17, 1939
    ...weight is given to administrative practice in ascertaining the meaning of such legislation. Compare United States v. Village of Hubbard, 266 U.S. 474, 45 S.Ct. 160, 69 L.Ed. 389. 12 The initial decision in this group of cases, the Inter-Mountain Rate Case, 234 U.S. 476, 34 S.Ct. 986, 58 L.E......
  • Norman v. Baltimore Co United States v. Bankers Trust Co, Nos. 270
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • February 18, 1935
    ...and carriers. New York v. United States, 257 U.S. 591, 600, 601, 42 S.Ct. 239, 66 L.Ed. 385; United States v. Village of Hubbard, 266 U.S. 474, 477, note, 45 S.Ct. 160, 69 L.Ed. 389. See, also, Armour Packing Co. v. United States, 209 U.S. 56, 80—82, 28 S.Ct. 428, 52 L.Ed. 681; Union Dry Go......
  • Island Airlines, Inc., Application of, No. 4339
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Hawai'i
    • June 21, 1963
    ...rates of carriers transporting both intrastate and interstate passengers. See also United States v. Village Page 549 of Hubbard, 266 U.S. 474, 45 S.Ct. 160, 69 L.Ed. But Congress in the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 has not authorized economic regulation of airlines which are not required to......
  • Utah Citizens Rate Association v. United States, Civ. No. C-58-60.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. United States District Court of Utah
    • January 6, 1961
    ...with its denial of relief to parties with only an indirect or sentimental interest. United States v. Village of Hubbard, Ohio, 1925, 266 U.S. 474, 45 S.Ct. 160, 69 L.Ed. 389; Chicago Junction Case, supra; Skinner & Eddy Corporation v. United States, 1919, 249 U.S. 557, 39 S.Ct. 375, 63 L.Ed......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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