Chicago v. Atchison T. & S.F. Ry. Co.
357 U.S. 77 (1958)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Chicago v. Atchison T. & S.F. Ry. Co., 357 U.S. 77 (1958)

City of Chicago v. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Co.

No. 103

Argued March 5-6, 1968

Decided June 16, 1958*

357 U.S. 77

Syllabus

After the railroads operating in and out of Chicago had for many years utilized an old motor carrier to transfer interstate passengers and their baggage between different railroad terminals in the City, the railroads terminated that arrangement and engaged a newly organized motor carrier to provide the same service. The City then amended its municipal code so as to require, in effect, that the operator of any new transfer service must obtain a certificate of convenience and necessity from the Commissioner of Licenses and the approval of the City Council before it could lawfully transfer any passengers for the railroads. The new motor carrier refused to apply for a certificate of convenience and necessity, and the City threatened to arrest and fine its drivers if they operated unlicensed vehicles. The new motor carrier and the railroads then sued in a Federal District Court for a judgment declaring the city ordinance either inapplicable or invalid. The old motor carrier intervened as a defendant. The District Court dismissed the complaint. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the city ordinance, as applied, was repugnant on its face to the Constitution and laws of the United States.

Held: the judgment is affirmed. Pp. 357 U. S. 78-79.

1. The judgment of the Court of Appeals was a proper subject of an appeal to this Court under 28 U.S.C. § 1254(2), since it held a state statute invalid as repugnant to the Constitution and laws of the United States, and it was a "final" judgment within the meaning of that section. Pp. 357 U. S. 82-83.

2. The old motor carrier had standing to secure review of the judgment below by appeal, since the case involved an actual controversy and it had a direct and substantial personal interest in the outcome. Pp. 357 U. S. 83-84.

Page 357 U. S. 78

3. There being no ambiguity in the city ordinance and no doubt that it applied to the new motor carrier, the courts below properly passed upon its validity without awaiting its interpretation by the state courts. P. 357 U. S. 84.

4. The city ordinance, as applied to the new motor carrier, is repugnant on its face to the Constitution and laws of the United States, because the City has no power to decide whether the new motor carrier can operate a transfer service between terminals for the railroads, which is an integral part of interstate railroad transportation authorized and subject to regulation under the Interstate Commerce Act. Pp. 357 U. S. 84-89.

5. Since the city ordinance is completely invalid insofar as it applies to the new motor carrier, that company was not obligated to apply for a certificate of convenience and necessity and submit to administrative procedures incident thereto before bringing this action. P. 357 U. S. 89.

240 F.2d 930 affirmed.

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