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U.S. Supreme Court

TIME Incorporated v. United States, 359 U.S. 464 (1959)

TIME Incorporated v. United States

No. 68

Argued January 20, 1959

Decided May 18, 1959*

359 U.S. 464


A shipper of goods by a motor carrier certificated by the Interstate Commerce Commission under the Motor Carrier Act of 1935 cannot challenge in post-shipment litigation the reasonableness of the carrier's past charges, which were made in accordance with the applicable tariffs filed under § 217 of the Act. Pp. 359 U. S. 465-480.

(a) The structure and history of Part II of the Interstate Commerce Act (the Motor Carrier Act [Footnote 1]) -- when compared with Parts I and III, which expressly grant such rights to shippers by rail and water -- lead to the conclusion that §§ 216 (b) and (d) were not intended to give shippers by motor carriers a statutory cause of action for recovery of past charges at allegedly unreasonable rates, or to enable them to assert "unreasonableness" as a defense in suits by motor carriers to recover past charges at applicable tariff rates. Pp. 359 U. S. 468-472.

(b) The Motor Carrier Act does not contemplate that shippers shall have a right at common law to dispute in court litigation the reasonableness of past charges at applicable tariff rates subject to determination of the issue of reasonableness by referral to the Commission. Pp. 359 U. S. 472-480.

252 F.2d 178 and 104 U.S.App.D.C. 72, 259 F.2d 802, reversed.

Page 359 U. S. 465

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