Rochester Tel. Corp. v. United States,
307 U.S. 125 (1939)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Rochester Tel. Corp. v. United States, 307 U.S. 125 (1939)

Rochester Telephone Corp. v. United States

No. 481

Argued March 7, 1939

Decided April 17, 1939

307 U.S. 125


1. Factors involved in reviewability vel non of orders of administrative bodies such as the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Federal Communications Commission are analyzed, and the governing principles stated. Pp. 307 U. S. 129 et seq.

2. Any distinction between "negative" and "affirmative" orders, as a touchstone of jurisdiction to review commission orders, serves no useful purpose, and insofar as earlier decisions have been controlled by this distinction, they can no longer be guiding. P. 307 U. S. 143.

3. An order of the Federal Communications Commission determining the status of a telephone company as one subject to jurisdiction under § 2(b) of the Communications Act of 1934 because of its control by another, and therefore bound by earlier general orders requiring all telephone carriers so subject to file schedules of charges, copies of contracts, and other information, held reviewable on questions of law under the Urgent Deficiencies Act of Oct. 22, 1913, as extended to the Communications Act. P. 307 U. S. 143.

4. A finding of the Federal Communications Commission that a telephone company, engaged in interstate commerce solely through physical connection with the facilities of another, was under the other's control within the meaning of § 2(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, held justified by the facts before the Commission concerning the relations between the two companies. P. 307 U. S. 144.

The existence of such "control" is an issue of fact to be determined by the Commission by the special circumstances of each case, and not by artificial tests.

23 F.Supp. 634 affirmed.

Appeal from a District Court of three judges dismissing on the merits a bill to set aside an order of the Federal Communications Commission.

Page 307 U. S. 126

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