American Trucking Assns., Inc. v. United States - 326 U.S. 77 (1945)
U.S. Supreme Court
American Trucking Assns., Inc. v. United States, 326 U.S. 77 (1945)
American Trucking Associations, Inc. v. United States
Argued March 28, 29, 1945
Decided June 18, 1945
326 U.S. 77
1. Under §§ 206(a) and 207(a) of Part II of the Interstate Commerce Act, a railroad filed several applications for certificates authorizing motor carrier operations auxiliary to and supplemental of its rail service. Some of the routes involved were wholly within a State, others crossed state lines, and many were contiguous.
Held: that, in referring each application to a joint board composed of one member from each State in which the application showed that operations were to be conducted, the Commission complied with § 205(a). P. 326 U. S. 81.
2. In the light of the ruling of this Court on the admissibility of certain evidence, the Commission may deem it desirable to consolidate hearings on the applications, but that is a matter for administrative discretion. P. 326 U. S. 83.
3. In passing upon the railroad's applications for certificates authorizing auxiliary motor carrier operations, the joint boards and the Commission should have admitted evidence of the flow of traffic by truck from points covered in one application to points covered by other applications and evidence of the effect of the railroad's motor carrier operations, present and prospective, on over-the-road motor carriers. Other competent and material evidence which protestants may offer as to the economic effect on the non-rail motor carriers should also be received. The railroad should be required to furnish needed statistical evidence which is reasonably available to it, and may submit evidence on its own behalf. This specification of admissible evidence is without prejudice to the discretion of the Commission or the joint boards in receiving other evidence deemed by them or either of them material to the solution of the issues between the parties. P. 326 U. S. 85.
4. In determining whether motor carrier service by a railroad is required by public convenience and necessity, the Commission must weigh the advantages of improved railroad service against any serious impairment of over-the-road motor carrier service. Interstate Commerce Commission v. Parker, ante, p. 326 U. S. 60. P. 326 U. S. 86.
5. Objections that the railroad, as a motor carrier, has been permitted through other proceedings to file tariffs violative of § 217 of Part II of the Interstate Commerce Act, and has been improperly exempted by the Commission from certain accounting requirements of § 220, cannot sustain a protest against issuance of a certificate of public convenience and necessity under §§ 206(a) and 207(a). P. 326 U. S. 86.
6. Upon the evidence, the defense of laches to the suit to set aside the Commission's orders granting the certificates in this case cannot be sustained. P. 326 U. S. 87.
7. Because of the war emergency and the fact that some trucks are being operated under certificates issued on the applications, the mandate herein is stayed until August 1, 1945, to allow opportunity for such steps as the parties may deem advisable. P. 326 U. S. 87.
56 F.Supp. 394 reversed.
Appeal from a decree of a district court of three judges dismissing the complaint in a suit to set aside orders of the Interstate Commerce Commission.