Standard Oil Co. v. United States
283 U.S. 235 (1931)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Standard Oil Co. v. United States, 283 U.S. 235 (1931)

Standard Oil Co. (Indiana) v. United States

No. 384

Argued March 20, 1931

Decided April 13, 1931

283 U.S. 235

Syllabus

1. The jurisdiction of the district court "to enjoin, set aside, annul, or suspend in whole or in part" orders of the Interstate Commerce Commission, U.S.C. Title 28, § 41 (27) (28), does not extend to orders purely negative in character, such as an order dismissing a shipper's claim for damages based on alleged overcharges by carriers. P. 283 U. S. 238.

2. A determination by the Commission of the rate applicable to past shipments, which involved not merely the legal construction of the words of a rate tariff, but consideration of matters of fact, expert knowledge of technical meaning of words and a correct appreciation of a variety of incidents affecting their use, is not reviewable by the courts if within the constitutional and statutory powers of the Commission and not arbitrary or unsupported by evidence. P. 283 U. S. 238.

3. Under § 9 of the Interstate Commerce Act, which provides that a claim for damages against a carrier may be brought before the Commission, or by action in any federal district court of competent jurisdiction, but which denies the right to pursue both remedies and requires an election, a district court has no jurisdiction of a suit which seeks to enforce a claim, which the Commission has rejected, by obtaining an annulment of its order followed by an adjudication of the merits of the claim and a direction that the Commission allow it and hold a further hearing, if necessary, to determine the amount to be paid. P. 283 U. S. 240.

Page 283 U. S. 236

4. The specially constituted district court of three judges has no jurisdiction of an action under § 9 of the Interstate Commerce Act. P. 283 U. S. 241.

41 F.2d 836 affirmed.

Appeal from a decree of the district court of three judges which dismissed, for want of jurisdiction, a bill against the United States, the Interstate Commerce Commission, and numerous railway carriers.

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