Long Island R.R. Co. v. Aberdeen & Rockfish R. Co.
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439 U.S. 1 (1978)
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U.S. Supreme Court
Long Island R.R. Co. v. Aberdeen & Rockfish R. Co., 439 U.S. 1 (1978)
Long Island R.R. Co. v. Aberdeen & Rockfish Railroad Co.
Decided October 16, 1978
439 U.S. 1
The Interstate Commerce Commission initially denied petitioner railroad's request for an interim terminal surcharge to offset the increased taxes imposed by the Railroad Retirement Amendments of 1973 to fund additional retirement benefits for railroad employees. But after a three-judge District Court set aside this denial and enjoined the ICC from refusing petitioner's terminal surcharge as an interim rate increase under § 15a(6)(b) of the Interstate Commerce Act, the ICC allowed an interim terminal surcharge. On respondent railroads' petition to set aside the ICC's order, the Court of Appeals directed that the interim surcharge be held in a separate trust fund pending the ICC's determination of final rates on remand.
Held: The Court of Appeals' imposition of the trust fund requirement is contrary to § 15a(6)(b)'s purpose of providing an expeditious method of allowing higher rates in order to minimize the effect that the increased railroad retirement taxes would have on the railroads' financial condition. Under § 15a(6)(b), once the interim rates were filed, the ICC could not suspend them until it made final rate determinations. By impressing the trust on proceeds from these interim charges made by petitioner, the Court of Appeals exercised authority that Congress did not repose even in the ICC.
Certiorari granted; 565 F.2d 327, reversed in part and remanded.