ICC V. STICKNEY, 215 U. S. 98 (1909)

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U.S. Supreme Court

ICC v. Stickney, 215 U.S. 98 (1909)

Interstate Commerce Commission v. Stickney

No. 251

Argued October 12, 1909

Decided November 29, 1909

215 U.S. 98


A carrier may charge and receive compensation for service that it may render or procure to be rendered off its own line or outside of the mere transportation thereover.

Where the terminal charge is reasonable, it cannot be condemned, or the carrier charging it required to change it, because prior charges of connecting carriers make the total rate unreasonable.

In determining whether the charge of a terminal company is or is not reasonable, the fact that connecting carriers own the stock of the terminal company is immaterial, nor does that fact make the lines of the terminal company part of the lines or property of such connecting carriers.

The inquiry authorized by § 15 of the Hepburn Act of June 29, 1906, c. 3591, 34 Stat. 584, relates to all charges made by the carrier, and, on such an inquiry, the carrier is entitled to have a finding that a particular charge is unreasonable before he is required to change it.

Where the charge of a terminal company is, in itself, reasonable the wrong of a shipper by excessive aggregate charges should be corrected by proceedings against the connecting carrier guilty of the wrong.

The convenience of the Commission or the court is not the measure of justice, and will not justify striking down a terminal charge when the real overcharge is the fault of a prior carrier.

164 F. 63 affirmed.

On December 10, 1907, the Interstate Commerce Commission entered an order requiring certain railroads running into Chicago to cease and desist from making a terminal charge of two dollars per car for the transportation of livestock beyond the tracks of said railroads in Chicago, and for delivery thereof at the Union Stock Yards, and requiring them to establish and put in force for said services a charge of one dollar per car. Compliance with the order was postponed by the Commission until May 15, 1908. On May 7, 1908, the appellees filed this bill in the circuit court of the United States for the District of Minnesota to restrain the enforcement of said order, averring that the actual cost to them for such terminal services exceeded in each instance the sum of two dollars per car and that the companies were making delivery at a charge less than such actual cost; that therefore the reduction of the charge by the Commission to one dollar per car was unreasonable, oppressive, and unlawful. A hearing was had before three judges of the Eighth Circuit, and a restraining order entered as prayed for by the railroad companies, from which order an appeal was taken to this Court.

Page 215 U. S. 104

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