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U.S. Supreme Court

Denver Stock Yard v. Livestock Assn., 356 U.S. 282 (1958)

Denver Union Stock Yard Co. v.

Producers Livestock Marketing Association

No. 106

Argued March 10, 1958

Decided April 28, 1958*

356 U.S. 282


Under the Packers and Stockyards Act, a market agency registered and doing business at several different stockyards instituted an administrative proceeding challenging the validity of regulations issued by a stockyard company which provided that a market agency engaged in business at its stockyard shall not, in the "normal marketing area" thereof, solicit business for, or divert business to, any other market. The market agency introduced no evidence to show that the regulations were unreasonable, but claimed that they were invalid on their face as a matter of law. The stockyard company moved to dismiss the complaint, and it was dismissed on the ground that the regulations could not be found invalid on their face. The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case to the Secretary of Agriculture with directions to issue an order requiring the stockyard company to cease and desist from issuing or enforcing the regulations.

Held: the judgment is affirmed. Pp. 356 U. S. 283-290.

(a) The regulations conflict with § 304 of the Act, which makes it "the duty" of every market agency "to furnish upon reasonable request, without discrimination, reasonable stockyard services at such stockyard" (meaning every stockyard where the market agency is registered), and they are forbidden by § 307, which makes unlawful "every unjust, unreasonable, or discriminatory regulation or practice." Pp. 356 U. S. 286-287.

(b) In these circumstances, the taking of evidence as to whether the regulations were "reasonable" was not essential to the "full hearing" provided for in § 310 of the Act. Pp. 356 U. S. 287-288. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 356 U. S. 283

(c) Stockyards subject to the Act are public utilities and, as such, may not engage in discrimination or other monopolistic practices. Pp. 356 U. S. 288-290.

241 F.2d 192 affirmed.

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