Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Commission v. Holiday Tours, Inc., No. 77-1379

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
Writing for the CourtBefore WRIGHT, LEVENTHAL and ROBB; LEVENTHAL
Citation559 F.2d 841,182 U.S.App.D.C. 220
PartiesWASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA TRANSIT COMMISSION, Appellant, v. HOLIDAY TOURS, INC., et al.
Decision Date05 July 1977
Docket NumberNo. 77-1379

Page 841

559 F.2d 841
182 U.S.App.D.C. 220
WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA TRANSIT COMMISSION, Appellant,
v.
HOLIDAY TOURS, INC., et al.
No. 77-1379.
United States Court of Appeals,
District of Columbia Circuit.
July 5, 1977.

Gregory P. Barth, Gen. Counsel, and Gregory M. Murad, Asst. Gen. Counsel, were on the motion for appellant.

John D. Grad and Philip J. Hirschkop, Alexandria, Va., were on the opposition to the motion for appellees.

Before WRIGHT, LEVENTHAL and ROBB, Circuit Judges.

LEVENTHAL, Circuit Judge:

The District Court granted the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Commission a permanent injunction restraining Holiday Tours from operating a motor coach sightseeing service without a certificate of public convenience and necessity. Then, on motion of Holiday Tours, the District Court stayed its injunction pending appeal. We deny the Commission's motion to vacate the District Court's stay, and in doing so find it necessary to refine the discussion in Virginia Petroleum Jobbers Association v. FPC, 104 U.S.App.D.C. 106, 259 F.2d 921 (1958).

On the merits, this appeal turns on the proper interpretation of Holiday Tours, Inc. v. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Commission, 125 U.S.App.D.C. 336, 372 F.2d 401 (1967), in which we affirmed the Commission's ruling that Holiday Tours was not entitled to a certificate of public convenience and necessity under the "grandfather clause" of the pertinent statute. In our concluding paragraph of that opinion, we stated (at 402):

Finally, we note that the Commission concedes that appellant may continue to operate in the future a sightseeing business by limousine, as well as with buses and drivers supplied by licensed bus operators.

This language is central to the current dispute because Holiday Tours, which was primarily a limousine tour service when our earlier opinion was rendered, has recently transformed itself into primarily a bus tour service. Holiday Tours contends that this conversion is authorized by the quoted language so long as the buses are rented from licensed operators rather than owned by Holiday Tours itself. The Commission, however, argues that the language is merely the court's observation that no certificate is required if Holiday Tours occasionally rents buses to accommodate additional customers as an adjunct to its primary business of providing limousine tours. The Commission emphatically rejects an interpretation which sanctions Holiday Tours' conversion from a limousine to a bus tour service.

The District Court adopted the Commission's interpretation but stayed the permanent injunction pending appeal. Although the District Court did not make detailed findings, it recited that all four of the Virginia Petroleum Jobbers factors favored a stay. 1

These factors are by now familiar to both the bench and bar in this Circuit.

Page 843

(1) Has the petitioner made a strong showing that it is likely to prevail on the merits of its appeal? Without such a substantial indication of probable success, there would be no justification for the court's intrusion into the ordinary processes of administration and judicial review. (2) Has the petitioner shown that without such relief, it will be irreparably injured? . . . (3) Would the issuance of a stay substantially harm other parties interested in the proceedings? . . . (4) Where lies the public interest? . . .

Virginia Petroleum Jobbers Ass'n, supra, at 925.

Despite the Commission's protestations to the contrary, the final three factors enumerated above clearly favored the District Court's grant of a stay. The harm to Holiday Tours in the absence of a stay would be its destruction in its current form as a provider of bus tours. 2 In contrast to this irreparable harm, there is little indication that a stay pending appeal will result in substantial harm to either appellee Commission or to other tour bus operators. 3 As to harm to the public interest, this is not a case where the Commission has ruled that the service performed by appellant is contrary to the public interest. Indeed for all that the record discloses, appellant might obtain a certificate, perhaps not precisely for the operation it prefers, if it made application. The interest of the Commission and of the riding public is largely the same as that of the general public in having legal questions decided on the merits, as correctly and expeditiously as...

To continue reading

Request your trial
760 practice notes
  • Part III
    • United States
    • Federal Register March 03, 2010
    • March 3, 2010
    ...Petroleum Jobbers Ass'n v. FPC, 259 F.2d 921, 925 (D.C. Cir. 1958); see also Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Comm'n v. Holiday Tours, 559 F.2d 841 (D.C. Cir. 1977) (clarifying the standard set forth in Virginia Petroleum Jobbers Ass'n v. FPC); Hispanic Information Telecomm. Network, Pa......
  • National Wildlife Federation v. Burford, No. 86-5239
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • December 15, 1987
    ...305, 312-13, 102 S.Ct. Page 319 1798, 1803, 72 L.Ed.2d 91 (1982); Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Commission v. Holiday Tours, Inc., 559 F.2d 841, 842-43 (D.C.Cir.1977). After weighing these factors, the district court concluded that a preliminary injunction should issue in this case. ......
  • Patriarca v. FBI, Civ. A. No. 85-0707B. Misc. No. 86-003B.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Rhode Island
    • March 18, 1986
    ...probability of success in order to be entitled to a stay. See Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Commission v. Holiday Tours, 182 U.S.App. D.C. 220, 559 F.2d 841 (1977). Our reading of the district court's opinions and of the briefs indicates that there are serious legal questions present......
  • Honeywell Intern. Inc. v. E.P.A., No. 02-1294.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • July 23, 2004
    ...a stay should be granted. See, e.g.,Virginia Petroleum Jobbers v. FPC, 259 F.2d 921, 925 (D.C.Cir.1958); WMATA v. Holiday Tours, Inc., 559 F.2d 841, 843 (D.C.Cir.1977); Wisconsin Gas Co. v. FERC, 758 F.2d 669, 673-74 (D.C.Cir.1985) (per curiam). These include the likelihood that the agency'......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
762 cases
  • National Wildlife Federation v. Burford, No. 86-5239
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • December 15, 1987
    ...305, 312-13, 102 S.Ct. Page 319 1798, 1803, 72 L.Ed.2d 91 (1982); Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Commission v. Holiday Tours, Inc., 559 F.2d 841, 842-43 (D.C.Cir.1977). After weighing these factors, the district court concluded that a preliminary injunction should issue in this case. ......
  • Patriarca v. FBI, Civ. A. No. 85-0707B. Misc. No. 86-003B.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Rhode Island
    • March 18, 1986
    ...probability of success in order to be entitled to a stay. See Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Commission v. Holiday Tours, 182 U.S.App. D.C. 220, 559 F.2d 841 (1977). Our reading of the district court's opinions and of the briefs indicates that there are serious legal questions present......
  • Honeywell Intern. Inc. v. E.P.A., No. 02-1294.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • July 23, 2004
    ...a stay should be granted. See, e.g.,Virginia Petroleum Jobbers v. FPC, 259 F.2d 921, 925 (D.C.Cir.1958); WMATA v. Holiday Tours, Inc., 559 F.2d 841, 843 (D.C.Cir.1977); Wisconsin Gas Co. v. FERC, 758 F.2d 669, 673-74 (D.C.Cir.1985) (per curiam). These include the likelihood that the agency'......
  • Deaver v. Seymour, No. 87-5056
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • June 15, 1987
    ...Later, however, applying the four-part test set out by this court in Washington Metro. Area Transit Comm'n v. Holiday Tours, Inc., 559 F.2d 841, 843 (D.C.Cir.1977), the court denied the motion for a preliminary injunction. The district court concluded that any harm Deaver might suffer as th......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT