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U.S. Supreme Court

Alton Railroad v. United States, 287 U.S. 229 (1932)

Alton Railroad v. United States

No. 81

Argued October 10, 11, 1932

Decided December 5, 1932

287 U.S. 229


1. Where one of several carriers which, by their agreement, have established joint rates and fixed the divisions, is illegally deprived of part or all of its agreed share through the action of the other carriers in dividing the freight collections on another basis, the aggrieved carrier is entitled to apply under § 15(6) of the Interstate Commerce Act for an order that the agreed divisions be maintained, and the Commission cannot refuse to entertain the complaint. P. 287 U. S. 236.

2. An order of the Commission denying relief under such an application, upon a finding that the reduced divisions complained of are not "unjust, unreasonable, or otherwise unlawful," is in effect an order reducing the divisions to which the complaining carrier was entitled under the agreement; it is a "negative" order in form only. P. 287 U. S. 237.

3. The Commission, in concluding that the share received by the complaining carrier was not unjust, unreasonable, or otherwise unlawful, construed the words of § 15(6), "importance to the public of the services of such carriers," as referring to the importance chanrobles.com-red

Page 287 U. S. 230

of the particular services in question, and the term "intermediate line" as including a road over which was "reshipped" warehoused grain that had been brought in by other roads with which it did not participate in joint rate.

Held: That the correctness of these constructions, and the question whether a noncompensatory share of existing joint rates can constitutionally be imposed by the Commission are questions subject to review in a suit under the Urgent Deficiencies Act to set aside that part of the order. P. 287 U. S. 239.

4. There may be judicial review of a part of an order of the Commission. P. 287 U. S. 237.

58 F.2d 399 reversed.

Appeal from a decree of the District Court of three judges dismissing a bill to set aside part of an order of the Interstate Commerce Commission. The ground of dismissal was that the order was negative in character, and that therefore the court had no jurisdiction.