International Railway Company v. Davidson
257 U.S. 506 (1922)

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U.S. Supreme Court

International Railway Company v. Davidson, 257 U.S. 506 (1922)

International Railway Company v. Davidson

No. 340

Argued January 3, 4, 1922

Decided January 30, 1922

257 U.S. 506

Syllabus

1. The Act of February 13, 1911, c. 46, 36 Stat. 899, authorizing special permits for immediate lading and unlading of vessels and other conveyances, and empowering the Secretary of the Treasury to fix extra compensation to be paid customs officials at the expense of the licensees for Sunday and holiday service in such lading or unlading, was not applicable to an international toll bridge nor to the operation thereon of a line of passenger trolley cars; nor was it made so by the amendment of February, 7, 1920, c. 61, 41

Page 257 U. S. 507

Stat. 402, by which the extra compensation was extended to cover overtime "in connection with the unlading, receiving, or examination of passengers' baggage," this provision being given full effect if confined to baggage of passengers on vessels for the immediate lading or unlading of whose cargoes special license may issue under the original act. P. 257 U. S. 512.

2. A company owning and operating a toll bridge, with a line of trolley cars, across the Niagara River, over which was heavy passenger travel in the cars, in other vehicles, and on foot, and as to which customs inspection service had been maintained by the United States, as well on Sundays and holidays, when the travel was heaviest, as on weekdays, was notified that, unless it procured a special license under the above amended act, which would necessitate its agreeing to pay the amount of extra compensation for customs officials and giving a bond to indemnify the United States against all losses arising from the granting of the license, no vehicle, except the cars, would be permitted to enter the United States on Sundays and holidays, and no passenger, except after surrender of all personal baggage, including handbags, to a customs guard, and that all vehicles except the cars, and all baggage surrendered, would be held by the collector at the owner's risk for examination on the following working day.

Held:

(a) That the instruction of the Secretary of the Treasury to this effect could not be sustained as a discretionary determination that the movement of merchandise at the place did not justify maintaining customs service on the days in question. P. 257 U. S. 514.

(b) That it was not a valid regulation under Rev.Stats., § 161, but was both unreasonable and inconsistent with law, virtually laying a tax and providing for extra compensation of officials from a private source, contrary to statute. P. 257 U. S. 514.

(c) That the bridge owner, as well as passengers and vehicle owners, had a standing to question the regulation. P. 257 U. S. 515.

273 F. 153 reversed.

Review of a decree of the circuit court of appeals affirming the action of the district court in dismissing, for want of equity, a bill filed by the present petitioner to restrain the respondent collector of customs from putting into effect measures affecting the customs inspection at the terminus of petitioner's toll bridge.

Page 257 U. S. 508

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