William Farland v. American Sugar Refining Company, No. 847

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtHolmes
Citation241 U.S. 79,60 L.Ed. 899,36 S.Ct. 498
Decision Date24 April 1916
Docket NumberNo. 847
PartiesWILLIAM N. McFARLAND, Supervisor of Public Accounts of the State of Louisiana and Ex Officio Inspector of Sugar Refining of the State of Louisiana, et al., Appts., v. AMERICAN SUGAR REFINING COMPANY

241 U.S. 79
36 S.Ct. 498
60 L.Ed. 899
WILLIAM N. McFARLAND, Supervisor of Public Accounts of the State of Louisiana and Ex Officio Inspector of Sugar Refining of the State of Louisiana, et al., Appts.,

v.

AMERICAN SUGAR REFINING COMPANY.

No. 847.
Argued April 11 and 12, 1916.
Decided April 24, 1916.

Page 80

Messrs. Donelson Caffery, Harry Gamble, Daniel Wendling, and Mr. Ruffin G. Pleasant, Attorney General of Louisiana, for appellants.

Messrs. James M. Beck, Joseph W. Carroll, George Denegre, Hugh C. Cage, and Frank L. Crawford for appellees.

Mr. Justice Holmes delivered the opinion of the court:

This is a bill in equity brought by a New Jersey corporation, the appellee, against the inspector of sugar refining, the governor, and the attorney general of Louisiana, to prevent the enforcement of act No. 10 of the extra session of the general assembly of that state for 1915. The grounds of relief are the commerce clause and the 14th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

The plaintiff was granted a preliminary injunction by three judges in the district court, and the defendants appealed. 229 Fed. 284.

A summary of the statute is as follows: The business of refining sugar is declared to be impressed with a public interest 'by reason of the nature and by reason of the monopolization thereof,' and on that footing the regulations are made. After providing for elaborate reports and inspection of books by the inspector, the act imposes for the benefit of the inspection fund a tax of 1/2 cent for every 350 pounds of granu-

Page 81

lated sugar made. It then makes it unlawful to buy sugar on an ex parte test of quality, etc., and proceeds to authorize the inspector to make such reasonable regulations not only concerning that, but affecting any branch of the business of sugar refining, as he may deem proper and as may be conducive to the public interest, and to the prevention of monopoly in the business, or to the protection of the public from its consequences. Then come the provisions chiefly in issue here. By § 7 'any person engaged in the business of refining sugar within this state who shall systematically pay in Louisiana a less price for sugar than he pays in any other state shall be prima facie presumed to be a party to a monopoly or combination or conspiracy in restraint of trade and commerce, and upon conviction thereof shall be subject to a fine of $500 a day for the period during which he is adjudged to have done so;' his license to do business in the state is to be revoked, and any foreign corporation (such as the plaintiff is) is to be ousted from the state and its property sold. If irreparable injury to the public interest is shown in such a case, the court may appoint a receiver at any stage of the proceedings, etc. By § 8, if shown by affidavit or otherwise, either in limine or after trial, that any refinery has been closed or kept idle for more than one year, it shall be presumed to have been done for the purpose of violating this act or the laws against monopoly, etc., and if the counter evidence does not rebut the presumption, the court shall order the owner to sell the refinery within six months, and, if that is not done, shall appoint a receiver to do it within twelve months. In computing the year of idleness any plant shall be treated as idle that has not been operating bona fide. By § 9 in suits for ouster, etc., upon showing by the state that the monopoly, etc., are detrimental to the public welfare, an injunction may be issued or a receiver appointed, after a hearing, subject to an appeal return-

Page 82

able within five days, to be determined within forty days, etc. By § 10 a fine of from $50 to $2,500 a day is imposed for violations of the act not otherwise provided for, or of any of the regulations promulgated by the inspector. By § 11, in suits under the act, books, letters, and other documents, 'or apparent copies thereof,' of the defendant, shall be given effect as being what they purport to be and 'as establishing the facts carried on their face' unless sufficiently rebutted, upon proof of their having been in the possession or control of the defendant; and any report of any legislative committee of the state, or of the Senate or House of Representatives of the United States, or of any bureau, department, or commission acting under the authority either of the state or of the Senate or the House of Representatives of the United States, and the records of any court of any state, or of the United States, are made prima facie evidence of the facts set forth therein, subject to rebuttal. In conclusion, by § 15 the business of refining...

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171 practice notes
  • Moss v. Hornig, Civ. No. 9261.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • May 9, 1962
    ...This may appear on the face of the action taken with respect to a particular class or person. cf. McFarland v. American Sugar Co., 241 U.S. 79, 86-87 36 S.Ct. 498, 60 L.Ed. 899, or it may only be shown by extrinsic evidence showing a discriminatory design to favor one individual or class ov......
  • State v. Zarnke, No. 97-1664-CR
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • February 26, 1999
    ...the province of a legislature to declare an individual guilty or presumptively guilty of a crime." McFarland v. American Sugar Rfg. Co., 241 U.S. 79, 86, 36 S.Ct. 498, 60 L.Ed. 899 (1916). The legislature cannot "validly command that the finding of an indictment, or mere proof of the identi......
  • Com. v. Wright
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • June 10, 1985
    ...the province of a legislature to declare an individual guilty or presumptively guilty of a crime." McFarland v. American Sugar Rfg. Co., 241 U.S. 79, 86 [36 S.Ct. 498, 501, 60 L.Ed. 899] (1916). The legislature cannot "validly command that the finding of an indictment, or mere proof of the ......
  • State ex Inf. Attorney-General v. Curtis, No. 28264.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • March 17, 1928
    ...the equal protection of law in violation of Section 1 of Article 14, Constitution of the United States. McFarland v. American Co., 241 U.S. 79; Backus v. Fort Co., 169 U.S. 557; State ex rel. Penrose Inv. Co. v. McKelvey, 301 Mo. 1; Lansdown v. Kierns, 303 Mo. 75; Gast Realty Co. v. Granite......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
171 cases
  • Moss v. Hornig, Civ. No. 9261.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • May 9, 1962
    ...This may appear on the face of the action taken with respect to a particular class or person. cf. McFarland v. American Sugar Co., 241 U.S. 79, 86-87 36 S.Ct. 498, 60 L.Ed. 899, or it may only be shown by extrinsic evidence showing a discriminatory design to favor one individual or class ov......
  • State v. Zarnke, No. 97-1664-CR
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • February 26, 1999
    ...the province of a legislature to declare an individual guilty or presumptively guilty of a crime." McFarland v. American Sugar Rfg. Co., 241 U.S. 79, 86, 36 S.Ct. 498, 60 L.Ed. 899 (1916). The legislature cannot "validly command that the finding of an indictment, or mere proof of the identi......
  • Com. v. Wright
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • June 10, 1985
    ...the province of a legislature to declare an individual guilty or presumptively guilty of a crime." McFarland v. American Sugar Rfg. Co., 241 U.S. 79, 86 [36 S.Ct. 498, 501, 60 L.Ed. 899] (1916). The legislature cannot "validly command that the finding of an indictment, or mere proof of the ......
  • State ex Inf. Attorney-General v. Curtis, No. 28264.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • March 17, 1928
    ...the equal protection of law in violation of Section 1 of Article 14, Constitution of the United States. McFarland v. American Co., 241 U.S. 79; Backus v. Fort Co., 169 U.S. 557; State ex rel. Penrose Inv. Co. v. McKelvey, 301 Mo. 1; Lansdown v. Kierns, 303 Mo. 75; Gast Realty Co. v. Granite......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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