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decided: June 10, 1912.



Author: White

[ 225 U.S. Page 314]

 MR. CHIEF JUSTICE WHITE delivered the opinion of the court.

This is a suit instituted in the Commerce Court to enjoin the enforcement of an order by the Interstate Commerce Commission.

The complainants in the bill are The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, The Central Railroad Company of New Jersey, The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company, The Erie Railroad Company, The Lehigh Valley Railroad Company, The New York, Ontario and Western Railway Company, and The Pennsylvania Railroad Company. The Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal and John Arbuckle and William A. Jamison, co-partners, trading as the Jay Street Terminal, intervened and were made parties complainant, they being interested to defeat the order of the Commission.

The defendant named in the bill is the United States. The Interstate Commerce Commission appeared, and the Federal Sugar Refining Company intervened and was made a party defendant.

[ 225 U.S. Page 315]

     The order which it was the purpose of the suit to enjoin was made in a proceeding commenced before the Commission on behalf of the Federal Sugar Refining Company, to compel the railroads above named to desist and abstain from paying to Arbuckle Brothers, claimed to be operating what is known as the Jay Street Terminal, certain so-called allowances for floatage, lighterage and terminal services rendered by them to the complainants in connection with sugar transported by them in New York Harbor to and for the complainants, while at the same time paying no such allowances to the said Federal Sugar Refining Company on its sugar.

We substantially adopt as accurate a summary statement made of the subject-matter of the controversy in the brief of counsel for railroad companies:

"The Federal Sugar Refining Company has a refinery at Yonkers, N.Y., and Arbuckle Brothers have a refinery in the Borough of Brooklyn, New York City. The railroad companies operate what are known as trunk line railroads, extending from New York to western and southern points. In order to receive and deliver freight in New York City they are obliged to transport the same across the waters of New York harbor on lighters by what is called lighterage service, or, when the freight is carried through in railroad cars, on car floats by what is called floatage service.

"At numerous points along the New York City water front within the lighterage limits they have established public stations for the receipt and delivery of freight.

"They have also established boundaries known as 'lighterage limits,' including substantially all of what may be called the manufacturing and commercial portion of the water front of New York City and the opposite shore of New Jersey and within these boundaries they receive and deliver freight at any accessible point on the water front without any additional charge above the New York rates, which are, generally speaking, the same as the rates

[ 225 U.S. Page 316]

     to and from the terminals on the New Jersey shore. At 'public' docks open to any vessel, the railroad pays the wharfage; at private docks the shipper or consignee must arrange for the necessary dockage.

"At a number of points in the Boroughs of Brooklyn and the Bronx, the railroad companies or some of them furnish public stations through arrangements made with terminal companies to furnish union public stations and terminal facilities for the receipt and delivery of freight in cars and through freight houses, and for the transportation of such freight between such terminal stations and the railroad companies' rails on the western shore of the harbor, all of which is done for and in the name of the railroad companies under provisions of their tariffs filed with the Interstate Commerce Commission under which their New York rates apply to and from such union public stations.

"One of these public terminal stations, known as the Jay Street Terminal, is owned and operated by William A. Jamison and John Arbuckle, conducting a separate business in that respect as co-partners under the name and style of 'Jay Street Terminal' in accordance with the laws of the State of New York. Jay Street Terminal is named as a station of the railroad companies, appellees, in their respective tariffs, and is conducted under contract with the railroad companies like any other freight station, bills of lading being issued from and to it on behalf of the railroad companies and in their names, on the regular uniform form, charges being collected and accounts kept, the Jay Street Terminal performing the entire physical and clerical service and furnishing the necessary docks, freight yard and station buildings and equipment, excepting cars. ...

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