Sherman v. United States, 282 U.S. 25 (1930)
U.S. Supreme CourtSherman v. United States, 282 U.S. 25 (1930)
Sherman v. United States
Argued October 30, 1930
Decided November 24, 1930
282 U.S. 25
1. The penalties of the Safety Appliance Acts are imposed upon the carrier only, and cannot be enforced by action against the carrier's officers and agents. P. 282 U. S. 29.
2. The state Belt Railroad, a waterfront line in the City of San Francisco connecting many industrial plants and the line of the Southern Pacific Railroad with wharves belonging to the State of California and, through the wharves, with other common carriers engaged in interstate commerce by railroad, belongs to the state and is operated by it through the Board of State Harbor Commissioners, without profit, for the purpose of facilitating the commerce of the port. Charges for haulage are collected by the state, and go to expense of operation and to the credit of the San Francisco Harbor Improvement Fund. In a prosecution of the individual members of the Board for alleged breaches of the Federal Safety Appliance Act, as amended, in the operation of the line, held that the action could not be maintained, since, assuming that the work done by the line was interstate commerce, the statute, if it applied to anyone, could apply only to the state, and not the defendants, who were merely its agents. It was therefore unnecessary to decide whether the statute should be construed to embrace the state. P. 282 U. S. 30.
District court reversed.
Upon a certificate of questions arising in the circuit court of appeals upon consideration of a judgment of the district court inflicting penalties under the Safety Appliance Act. The whole record was brought up here by certiorari.