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PENNSYLVANIA GREYHOUND LINES, INC. v. BOARD OF PUB

September 25, 1952

PENNSYLVANIA GREYHOUND LINES, Inc.
v.
BOARD OF PUBLIC UTILITY COMM'RS et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: FORMAN

This is a motion by the plaintiff for summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendants made pursuant to rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 28 U.S.C.

The plaintiff in this case is Pennsylvania Greyhound Lines, Inc., a Delaware corporation, with its principal office in the city of Cleveland, Ohio. The defendants are the Board of Public Utility Commissioners, Department of Public Utilities, State of New Jersey, and Theodore D. Parsons, Attorney General of the State of New Jersey.

 The essence of the complaint is that an Interstate Commerce Commission order, made pursuant to a valid federal statute and regulations, permitting the plaintiff to be a self-insurer, renders inoperative the requirement of the defendant Board of Public Utility Commissioners that plaintiff carry insurance. Plaintiff demands a judgment declaring:

 '(a) The legality, constitutionality and validity of the provisions of N.J.R.S. 48:4-19 (N.J.S.A.) with respect to the autobuses of plaintiff operating in interstate commerce in and through the State of New Jersey and subject to the provisions of part II of the Interstate Commerce Act and the rules and regulations promulgated by the Interstate Commerce Commission under and by virtue of said Act, particularly the provisions thereof with respect to security for the protection of the public;

 '(b) That the provisions of part II of the Interstate Commerce Act, U.S. Code, Title 49, Sections 301-327, particularly Section 315 (49 U.S.C.A. 301-327, 315), and the rules and regulations of the Interstate Commerce Commission promulgated by its order in Ex Parte No. MC-5 under and by virtue of said Act of Congress have superseded N.J.R.S. 48:4-19 (N.J.S.A.) and that said Act of Congress and said rules and regulations of the Interstate Commerce Commission have rendered said statute of the State of New Jersey unconstitutional and inoperative with respect to the autobuses of plaintiff operating in interstate commerce in and through the State of New Jersey;

 '(c) That defendant, Board of Public Utility Commissioners, Department of Public Utilities, is without jurisdiction, authority or power or require or compel plaintiff to comply with the provisions of N.J.R.S. 48:4-19 (N.J.S.A.) with respect to its autobuses operating in interstate commerce in or through the State of New Jersey;

 '(d) The rights and other legal relations of the plaintiff in the premises.'

 Plaintiff is a motor carrier engaged in the transportation of passengers for compensation by autobus in interstate commerce in and through twelve contiguous states, including the State of New Jersey. Plaintiff either transports passengers through the State between points outside of it, or receives or discharges, but does not receive and discharge passengers within the State.

 Under New Jersey law it is provided that:

 'The board of public utility commissioners may require operators of such interstate busses to carry insurance equal in amount to that required by law of operators of busses carrying passengers between points in this state, against loss by reason of the liability imposed by law for damages on account of bodily injury or death suffered by any person as a result of an accident occurring by reason of the ownership, maintenance or use of such autobusses.

 'The board may require the operators of such autobusses to rile with it duplicates of insurance policies or such other records as in the judgment of the board will show that the operators carry insurance against loss for liability for damages. * * * ' N.J.S.A. 48:4-19.

 Plaintiff, being an interstate carrier, is subject to the provisions of part II of the Interstate Commerce Act and the rules and regulations promulgated by the Interstate Commerce Commission under this Act. Its interstate bus operations have been and are authorized by the Commission. Provision is made for insurance under the federal law as follows:

 'No certificate or permit shall be issued to a motor carrier or remain in force, unless such carrier complies with such reasonable rules and regulations as the Commission shall prescribe governing the filing and approval of surety bonds, policies of insurance, qualifications as a self-insurer or other securities or agreements, in such reasonable amount as the Commission may require, conditioned to pay, within the amount of such surety bonds, policies of insurance, qualifications as a self-insurer or other securities or agreements, any final judgment recovered against such motor carrier for bodily injuries to or the death of any person resulting from the negligent operation, maintenance, or use of motor vehicles under such certificate or permit, or for loss or damage to property of others. The Commission may, in its discretion and under such rules and regulations as it shall prescribe, require any such common carrier to file a surety bond, policies of insurance, qualifications as a self-insurer, or other securities or agreements, in a sum to be determined by the ...


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