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HUDSON TRANSP. CO. v. UNITED STATES

June 14, 1963

HUDSON TRANSPORTATION COMPANY, Plaintiff,
v.
The UNITED STATES of America and the Interstate Commerce Commission,Defendants. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Intervening Defendant. ARROW CARRIER CORPORATION, Plaintiff, v. The UNITED STATES of America and the Interstate Commerce Commission,Defendants. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Intervening Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MCLAUGHLIN

These are separate suits by unrelated parties brought under 28 U.S.C. 1336 to set aside orders of the Interstate Commerce Commission. Because they involved similar issues the proceedings before the Interstate Commerce Commission were heard on a consolidated record, with the Examiner filing a single report and recommended order regarding them. They were reconsidered by Division One of the Interstate Commerce Commission which filed a consolidated report thereon. Thereafter the Commission reviewed the proceedings and disposed of them in one report and order. The cases were consolidated for hearing in this court and heard March 8, 1963.

 Following the hearing before the Examiner the latter filed his recommended report and order. In that he found that the challenged operations of the present plaintiffs between points in Pennsylvania through points in New Jersey, in the transportation of property both originating and terminating at points within Pennsylvania were not authorized by their certificates, that they were engaged in that traffic without proper authority and in violation of the I.C.C. Act, § 206(a) (1) and that an order should be entered requiring each defendant to cease and desist from all such operations. It was also recommended that present plaintiffs' petitions above mentioned be denied.

 Division One after reconsideration of the issues concluded that the disputed operations of Hudson and Arrow were, but for their routing, actually intrastate commerce and holding that the carriers' petitions to the extent they sought an interpretation to the contrary, should be denied. There was the further holding that said operations were authorized by the carriers' certificates and that the complaints in so far as they embraced those activities be dismissed. The Division went on to say:

 'No logical reason appears for the present routing of the intrastate freight other than the fact that defendants are without intrastate authority to transport it; and from the record, it fairly appears that the only reason for such routing is so that Hudson and Arrow may participate in intrastate traffic purportedly under rights arising from certificates issued by this Commission. All things considered, we are convinced that both Hudson and Arrow have, in their respective operations hereinabove described, by which they have transported freight moving between Pennsylvania points without a prior or subsequent interstate movement, attempted in bad faith to convert, to interstate traffic, traffic which, but for routing, is actually in intrastate commerce subject to the laws of Pennsylvania.

 'We do not believe, however, that an order directed against such intrastate transportation would be appropriate in these proceedings, inasmuch as we have no jurisdiction over intrastate commerce and the physical operations involved, as actually conducted, violate no provision of the Interstate Commerce Act.'

 Though the Division concluded, as stated in the paragraph just above, that an order directed against the particular type of transportation would not be appropriate in the proceedings and so to that extent should be dismissed, it did specifically find that:

 '(2) that the challenged operations by defendants between the points in Pennsylvania involved, through points in New Jersey, in the transportation of property both originating and terminating at points within Pennsylvania are, but for their routing, in intrastate commerce inasmuch as they are conducted as a subterfuge to evade the laws of Pennsylvania; * * *.'

 On reconsideration, the Commission stated in its report:

 and held:

 'On reconsideration in Nos. MC-C-267 and MC-C-2696, we find (1) that the described operations by defendants between points in Pennsylvania through points in New Jersey in the transportation of property originating or terminating at points without Pennsylvania are authorized by the respective defendants' certificates; and (2) that the described operations by defendants between the involved points in Pennsylvania, through points in New Jersey, which transportation of property originates and terminates within Pennsylvania, are, but for their routing, in intrastate commerce inasmuch as they are conducted as a subterfuge to evade the laws of Pennsylvania and they are not authorized by their respective certificates; and (3) that an order should be entered requiring each defendant to cease and desist, and hereafter abstain from holding themselves out or performing, under certificates issued by this Commission, all operations herein found to be, in effect, intrastate in character.

 'In Nos. MC-113933, MC-71536, and MC-71536, subnumbers 1, 2 and 3, we find on reconsideration that the matters to which the petitions are directed have been disposed of in the findings ...


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