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U.S. Supreme Court

Claiborne-Annapolis Ferry Co. v. United States, 285 U.S. 382 (1932)

Claiborne-Annapolis Ferry Co. v. United States

No. 454

Argued February 18, 1932

Decided April 11, 1932

285 U.S. 382


1. Paragraphs 18, 19 and 20 of § 1 of the Interstate Commerce Act, respecting extension and new construction of railroads, are restricted to carriers engaged in transporting persons or property in interstate and foreign commerce, and were intended to affect intrastate commerce only as that may be incidental to the effective regulation of interstate commerce. P. 285 U. S. 390.

2. A company operating a ferry within a state under a state charter held capable, as a "party in interest," of instituting suit for the purpose of annulling an order and certificate of the Interstate Commerce Commission whereby permission was granted a railway company to extend its line by a ferry over the same waters, and for the purpose of enjoining the railway from constructing and operating such proposed ferry, it appearing from the bill that such action might directly and adversely affect the welfare of the plaintiff by changing the transportation situation. Id.

3. A suit of this kind is to be tried by the specially constituted district court under the Urgent Deficiencies Act of October 22, 1913, 28 U.S.C. § 7. Id. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 285 U. S. 383

4. The statute (28 U.S.C. §§ 46, 47) provides that suits to set aside orders of the Interstate Commerce Commission shall be brought in the district court against the United States, etc., and shall be heard before three judges at least one of whom must be a circuit judge. Held that, for the District of Columbia, such suits are triable in the Supreme Court of the District before two judges of that court and a judge of the Court of Appeals of the District. P. 285 U. S. 390.

5. In such a suit, an order of the Commission permitting extension of a railroad line by adding a ferry is not open to attack upon the ground that the railroad has not corporate power to operate a ferry. P. 285 U. S. 391.

6. Where the right of a plaintiff to enjoin an interstate carrier from constructing and operating an extension of its line depends upon the provisions of the Interstate Commerce Act (§ 1, pars. 18-20) forbidding such construction and operation unless a certificate of convenience and necessity for the extension was granted the defendant carrier by the Commission, the fact that the Commission granted such an order, in a case within its jurisdiction, and upon sufficient evidence, is a complete defense. Id.

7. Evidence before the Commission held enough to support its conclusion that extension of the railway company's line across Chesapeake Bay by means of a ferry would bring material advantages to the public in the way of additional facilities for interstate transportation. P. 285 U. S. 392.

59 Wash.L.R. 410 affirmed.

Appeal from a decree of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, which dismissed a bill to set aside an order and a certificate of the Interstate Commerce Commission and for an injunction. 166 I.C.C. 293. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 285 U. S. 385

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