American Trucking Assns., Inc. v. United States,
Annotate this Case
364 U.S. 1 (1960)
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U.S. Supreme Court
American Trucking Assns., Inc. v. United States, 364 U.S. 1 (1960)
American Trucking Assns., Inc. v. United States
Argued May 19, 1960
Decided June 27, 1960
364 U.S. 1
1. In this proceeding under § 209(b) of the Interstate Commerce Act, the Commission exceeded its statutory authority by granting to a motor carrier subsidiary of a railroad permits to act as a contract carrier for a single shipper from points on the railroad's line in California to points on its line in certain other States, since the Commission neither (1) imposed conditions upon the permits sufficient to assure that the service to be rendered would be truly auxiliary to, and supplemental of, the rail service, nor (2) made findings sufficient to establish the existence of "special circumstances" justifying the waiver of such restrictions. Pp. 364 U. S. 3-15.
(a) The general policy under § 5(2)(b) and the National Transportation Policy of restricting the services of motor carrier subsidiaries of railroads to those which are auxiliary to, or supplemental of, the parent railroad's services is applicable to permits under § 209(b). Pp. 364 U. S. 6-7.
(b) If a trucking service can fairly be characterized as auxiliary to, or supplemental of, train service, there is compliance with the mandate of § 5(2)(b) that the railroad should be able to "use service by motor vehicle to public advantage in its operations"; but, if the motor transportation is essentially unrelated to the rail service, the parent railroad is invading the field of trucking, and,
under normal circumstances, the National Transportation Policy is thereby offended. Pp. 364 U. S. 7-9.
(c) When there are "special circumstances" sufficient to justify such action in the public interest, however, the Commission may sometimes refrain from imposing the condition that the trucking service be auxiliary to, or supplemental of, the rail service. American Trucking Associations v. United States, 355 U. S. 141. Pp. 364 U. S. 10-11.
(d) The conditions imposed upon the permits in this case were not sufficient to restrict the motor carrier to operations truly auxiliary to, or supplemental of, the rail service. Pp. 364 U. S. 11-13.
(e) The Commission's findings in this case were not sufficient to establish the existence of "special circumstances" justifying the waiver of such restrictions. Pp. 364 U. S. 13-15.
2. Insofar as it pertains to the permits to serve points on the railroad's lines, the judgment of the District Court denying relief is reversed, and the case is remanded to the Commission for such further proceedings, not inconsistent with this opinion, as may be appropriate. Pp. 364 U. S. 15-17.
3. The reversal and remand, however, do not apply to the Commission's grant of authority to provide contract carrier service to three nonrail points in Nevada. P. 364 U. S. 17.
4. Appellants, six motor carriers and three associations of motor carriers, had standing to maintain their action to set aside the Commission's order, under the "party in interest" criterion of § 205(g) of the Interstate Commerce Act and under the "person suffering legal wrong . . . or adversely affected or aggrieved" criterion of §10(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act. Pp. 364 U. S. 17-18
170 F. Supp. 38, reversed.