Acker v. United States,
298 U.S. 426 (1936)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Acker v. United States, 298 U.S. 426 (1936)

Acker v. United States

No. 655

Argued April 3, 6, 1936

Decided May 18, 1936

298 U.S. 426


1. In ascertaining a reasonable unit cost, as the basis for a uniform rate for Market Agencies, under the Packers & Stockyards Act, the Secretary of Agriculture was not bound to adopt any one agency's costs or an average of the costs of all of them; to do so would be to leave out of consideration relative size, relative volume, and relative efficiency of individual agencies. P. 298 U. S. 429.

2. In fixing such rates, the Secretary was not bound to adopt as his allowance for salesmen's salaries an average of salaries theretofore paid, and he was justified in refusing to assign, as part of the selling cost, fictitious salaries to the proprietors of such agencies whose actual recompense for their activities is the profit from their own business. P. 298 U. S. 429.

3. In the fixing of such rates, the Secretary may determine from the evidence what is a fair and adequate allowance for the cost of getting and maintaining business; this is not purely a question for the managerial judgment of the market agencies. P. 298 U. S. 430.

4. The objections that the Secretary arbitrarily used a single year as the test period and arbitrarily refused a rehearing are not sustained. P. 431.

5. Under § 316 of the Packers & Stockyards Act, the District Court sits not to afford a trial de novo, but to review the administrative action. Where the issue before the Secretary was the reasonableness of the charges of market agencies for their personal services, no question of confiscation being involved, and where adequate notice and hearings were afforded, and the evidence carefully

Page 298 U. S. 427

weighed by him, as demonstrated by voluminous and detailed findings, and the facts and considerations forming the basis of his ultimate conclusions were candidly exposed in his decision, held that the function of the court was confined to the questions raised upon the record made before the Secretary. P. 298 U. S. 433.

12 F.Supp. 776 affirmed.

Appeal from a decree of the three-judge District Court dismissing a bill to set aside orders of the Secretary of Agriculture fixing uniform rates for Market Agencies under the Packers & Stockyards Act.

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